Audi R8 LMS, First Delivery to Audi Sport Italia

Audi Sport Italia received today the first Audi R8 LMS, wearing chassis number 101, two days after the symbolic handover of the vehicle, made on Tuesday. The car, designed for the GT3 class competitions, will be available in the "stables" of five other racing teams: Abt Sportsline, Argo Racing, ORECA, Phoenix Racing and Team Rosberg. The teams plan on using the LMS in five European GT3 Championships as well as in the 24 hour race at Nürburgring.

The R8 LMS is powered by a 5.2l 500 horsepower normally aspirated V10 engine, derived from a production unit and mounted longitudinally in front of the rear axle of the Audi R8 LMS. The powerplant is equipped with petrol direct injection FSI, which allows for a higher compression rate and makes for greater power output.

From the design standpoint, a first quick look at the R8 LMS will give you the feeling it's the same as the series version, apart from the enormous rear wing. Only that it's not. Since modifying the production aluminum components or pressing new metal bodywork panels would have been to expensive, Audi Sport decided to manufacture almost the entire outer skin from carbon-fiber composite. Only the doors, which are designed to meet all safety standards, are the same as the production parts.

"2009 is a test and development year during which we aim to collect as much experience as possible with the R8 LMS. We are delighted to be able to do this with teams with which we are familiar and have established a solid partnership over the years,” Wolfgang Ullric, Audi Motorsport Chief said in a release.

The downside for the GT3 fans is that there will be no factory team entries with the R8 LMS, even if 12 of the sports cars will get a taste of the tarmac in over 40 events on almost 30 European circuits.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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