Audi UK will enter an R8 sports racing car in the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours on 14-15 June. The British importer of the German prestige car manufacturer has purchased a 2002 specification Audi R8 from Audi Sport that will now be prepared by Arena Motorsport for the annual French marathon.
The all-conquering Audi R8, featuring pioneering FSI fuel-saving technology, is today’s most successful sports racing car having won the Le Mans 24 Hours and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) for the past three years.
The Audi Sport UK entered R8 will also contest the Sebring 12 Hours in Florida on 15 March - the opening round of the 2003 American Le Mans Series. No drivers have been selected for the two-race programme that sees Littlehampton-based Arena Motorsport reunited with Audi.
The Mike Earle headed team from Sussex prepared the 2000-spec Gulf Audi R8 of Stefan Johansson in selected American and European Le Mans Series in 2001. A win and a second place earned Johansson and Audi the LMP900 Driver’s and Chassis/Engine Manufacturers’ 2001 ELMS titles respectively while the Arena-run R8 also claimed creditable second, third and fourth place ALMS results in the "Petit Le Mans" 1,000-mile race in Atlanta, Laguna Seca and Sebring respectively in 2001.
AUDI AG has restructured its motorsport programme for 2003 which means that the Ingolstadt-based Audi Sport department and three times Le Mans winner will support various "customer" teams.Published 21 December 2002