Opel, Honda and Seat, they all have already brought their TCR cars to the Nürburgring Nordschleife to compete in the VLN. Audi will now be joining them: At the final of the season, Jordi Gené and Kelvin van der Linde as well as Rahel Frey and Christopher Haase will drive two of the brand-new Audi RS 3 LMS.
Phoenix-Racing will be in charge to manage the participation of the car which was presented to the public at the Paris Motor Show as recently as beginning of October. The Audi RS 3 LMS will start in class SPX as the homologation in class SP3T, the class in which the TCR models of other competitors are classified, is still pending. At the VLN finale, Gené and van der Linde, together with Phoenix, will conduct the first test under racing conditions.
“The Audi R8 LMS has meanwhile become a market leader in its segment. We want to achieve the same with the Audi RS3 LMS which provides an attractive option for customer teams to join the fascinating world of racing with Audi”, says Stephan Winkelmann, Audi Sport CEO. The first units of the Audi RS 3 LMS will be ready for delivery to customer teams in December.
Audi expects a lot from their new product. “The TCR market has even more potential than the market in the GT3 category”, says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “In 2016, there were already ten TCR series with races in 18 countries, and more and more series are launched. With the TCR version of the RS 3, we can reach countries in which there are not GT3 races. And the costs for a TCR race car are very reasonable.”
So the first test kilometres at the Nordschleife will be significantly important. The RS 3 shall demonstrate its potential at the 41st DMSB Münsterlandpokal. According to manufacturer’s specification, it accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in about 4.5 seconds. The four-cylinder two-litres TFSI engine has a power of 330 HP in the TCR trim.
In terms of safety, Audi does not make any compromises. The comprehensive safety package includes a safety tank in compliance with the FIA regulations, a competition safety cell, the PS3 safety seats, FIA safety nets on both sides of the seat and an escape hatch in the roof.
The purchase price comes up to 129,000 Euro for the TCR variant with sequential six-gear racing gearbox and 99,999 Euro for a club sport version.