R8 LMS Racecar '05

R8 LMS

For 2009, Audi announced the production of an R8 LMS racing car, designed for the GT3 rules in the FIA GT3 European Championship and various national racing series. Known within Audi Sport as the 'R16', the R8 LMS features a 500 PS (368 kW; 493 bhp) V10 engine. Because the GT3 regulations prohibit the use of four-wheel drive, Audi had to drop its 'trademark' quattro four-wheel drive system, and the R8 LMS is only available with the typical rear-wheel drive setup. The torque is transmitted via a newly developed six-speed sequential sports gearbox.

Despite the development of the car, Audi itself had stated not to enter any races with the new GT3 car as an official 'factory' team.

The car was unveiled at Essen Motor Show. The first Audi R8 LMS (chassis number 101) was delivered to Audi Sport Italia in 2009.

In the 2009 24 Hours Nürburgring, and preceding VLN endurance races, Audi privateer teams had entered four cars, operated by the Abt Sportsline and Nürburging-based Phoenix race teams. Until the 19th hour, two of these R8 remained challengers for the lead, against two Manthey-operated Porsche GT3 in the same lap, before the leading #99 car suffered suspension problems. The #97 finished 2nd,

and despite electrical and gearbox problems, the other two cars finished 23rd or better.

Australian Mark Eddy participated in the 2010 Australian GT Championship with the first R8 LMS in the Southern Hemisphere.

In the 2010 24 Hours Nürburgring, the first four spots on the grid were occupied by Audi R8.