Win on Sunday, sell on Monday is a mantra that used to carry a lot more weight than it does these days. For the top sports/luxury carmakers, however, there's still value to be had in motorsport recognition, however, and Audi is carrying forward its R8 LMS GT3 program for 2010.
The new car gets a range of upgrades to boost service life and make it easier to maintain--key aspects for a racing vehicle--including a revised chassis and suspension, more cooling capacity, more robust electronics, a new six-speed transmission, and an optimized exhaust system. The 2009 version of the car saw duty all over Europe last year, and the 2010 car is already scheduled for a pair of 24-hour races at the Nurburgring and Spa-Francorchamps.
Teams that already own the 2009-spec R8 LMS GT3 won't be left out in the cold, however--an upgrade kit will be made available. The improvements made over the past year were part of what Audi calls an "evolution project" for the car.
"All the experience we gathered last season with the help of our partners has been fed into the evolution-version. We’re convinced that we’re handing over a reliable and easy to handle vehicle to our customers that embodies the high quality standards of the Audi brand," said Audi's motorsport chief Dr. Wolfgan Ullrich.
Unfortunately, the 20-car production run for 2010 is already sold out, so if you're looking to campaign a privateer R8 LMS GT3, you'll have to get on the list for 2011.