A racing thoroughbred

Audi Sport celebrates a milestone for the R8 LMS.

One of the most successful GT3 race cars of the modern era, the Audi R8 LMS GT3 celebrates yet another milestone in a stellar career to date.

15 June, 2021

The milestone brings the number of Audi Sport GT3 race cars to 275, an impressive enough number given that the global GT3 market consists of just 10 car manufacturers

Just as the Audi R8 road car was a game changer for the brand when it debuted in 2006, so too the race variant, the Audi R8 LMS GT3, has created a motorsport storm ever since it first hit the race tracks three years later.

Between 2009 and 2015 some 137 Audi R8 LMS cars were produced before the second generation model was introduced. Taking up instantly from the first model, the second incarnation of the R8 LMS has now surpassed the first model with Audi Sport customer racing producing the 138th model of the second-generation Audi R8 LMS.

“As we see in our competitive environment, it is by no means a matter of course that a successor is as commercially successful as the predecessor model or even surpasses it,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing.

“For us, it was never exclusively about sporting success. Since day one, we’ve designed our customer racing program to provide teams on all continents with a high-performance product, individual support and seamless service.”

The milestone brings the number of Audi Sport GT3 race cars to 275, an impressive enough number given that the global GT3 market consists of just 10 car manufacturers.

More impressive still is the success of the R8 LMS GT3 on the race tracks of the world since its introduction, with 188 racing titles in various categories in America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific region with Australia and New Zealand. This extraordinary tally includes 13 overall victories in 24-hour races and eight in 12-hour competitions, including a record three Bathurst 12-hour victories here in Australia.

Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing.
Audi R8 LMS – 2009.
Second-generation Audi R8 LMS – 2015.

Sharing half of its components with the Audi R8 road-going model, the jewel of the Audi Sport customer racing program is partly built in the Böllinger Höfe facilities at the Neckarsulm site before final assembly at the Audi Sport customer racing workshop in Heilbronn, south west Germany.

Like the road version, the R8 LMS is powered by a normally aspirated, 5.2-litre V10 engine which rockets the race car to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds (like the road cars). Power output is 436kW depending on final tune with in excess of 550Nm of torque, while drive is through the rear wheels in keeping with FIA GT3 regulations, unlike the quattro drive of the current Audi R8 V10 performance (the Audi R8 road car is also available as a purely rear-wheel drive model).

Race transmission is a sequential, pneumatically operated six-speed performance transmission with paddle shifters as opposed to the seven-speed S tronic in the road car. 

The advanced chassis is made up of a material mix of aluminium, CFRP and steel, making for an extremely strong but lightweight chassis, and in the development of the evolution used since 2019, Audi has increasingly taken into account customer requests regarding running times and drivability. The R8 LMS GT3 continues to set the standard in GT racing series’ internationally, with teams present throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and America. 

In addition to the the GT3 cars, Audi Sport also produces two additional racing variants of the R8 in the GT2 and GT4 models of which, over 100 additional GT race cars have been built to date. The GT2 enjoyed a successful racing debut at the GT2 European Series, winning both races, while the GT4 continues to accumulate titles, most recently winning its class at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.

The Audi R8 LMS GT3 shares half of its components with the Audi R8 road-going model

The R8 LMS ion action at the Nürburgring in 2009.
In 2015, the second-generation car won the 24 Hours of Nürburgring on debut.
At the 'Green Hell' this year.
The Audi Sport stable (L to R) RS 3 LMS, R8 LMS GT2, R8 LMS GT4 and R8 LMS GT3.