More markets, a growing number of marketed race cars and increasingly more victories and championship titles: The Audi RS 3 LMS has hit the bull’s eye. In the first three years since 2017, the touring car delivering up to 257 kW (350 hp) has scored as many as eleven driver titles, 25 additional championship wins, plus 228 stand-alone race victories. To put customers in a position of continuing their winning streaks, Audi Sport offers optional modifications of details for the touring car as an update kit for the 2020 season.
For the 2020 season, the Audi RS 3 LMS features minor changes that facilitate its fielding for the teams while taking a variety of regulatory changes into account. The kit encompasses new parts and modifications now making it possible to reduce the weight of the touring car to 1,145 kilograms (version with sequential transmission) and 1,185 kilograms (S tronic). In this way, Audi responds to a ten-kilogram reduction of the BoP weight specified by the regulations for the Audi RS 3 LMS for the 2020 season. A modified cooling airflow enhances the consistency of the braking system while air supply through the outside mirror housings optimizes air circulation in the cockpit. To implement a new measuring method defined by the regulations, Audi made adjustments to the engine control unit and offers a new air temperature sensor. Finally, modified components in the drive train enable longer mileages. In this price-sensitive segment, Audi Sport gives high priority to the concerns of its customers and therefore offers this kit as a so-called “variant option”. As a result, the homologation of the existing race car remains unchanged and there is no absolute necessity to retrofit the optional new parts. They may be used individually or as a package.
The Audi RS 3 LMS has proven its mettle as a reliable and competitive model in sprint and endurance racing. It delivers up to 257 kW (350 hp) depending on the regulations, sets safety standards with its extensive protective features and is available in two versions. Audi Sport offers the opportunity to enter TCR racing at an ex-factory price of 109,000 euros (excl. VAT) for the variant using the S tronic double-clutch transmission. Roughly one third of all customers have opted for this version. Customers can also purchase a variant with a sequential transmission for an ex-factory price of 129,000 euros (excl. VAT).
In the areas of logistics and parts supply, the teams benefit from a worldwide network that makes perfect use of the Group’s resources. Specific local customer support plus an accessories package for the Audi RS 3 LMS round out an offering that represents a compelling value proposition to more and more customers.
Worldwide the entry-level touring car is able to compete in 25 licensed TCR racing series, other competitions and major stand-alone events such as the Nürburgring 24 Hours and the FIA Motorsport Games. Arguably, this currently makes the TCR category the world’s most successful contemporary touring car class. In 2020, the international calendar also reflects the inaugural events of the new TCR Denmark, TCR New Zealand and TCR DSG Europe racing series.
Relevant statistics prove the global popularity of the 180 Audi RS 3 LMS cars produced: In the first three years, the total number of customer team entries amounted to 2,568. This trend is clearly pointing upward: Following 756 race car starts in year one and 836 in the second season, this number increased by another 16.7 percent to 976 in 2019. The teams went home last year with 602 trophies. “Until 2016 we weren’t even active in this category, and now we’re seeing such impressive numbers close to the four-digit range,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “Obviously, such growth is not unlimited, but we intend to remain one of the leading manufacturers on all continents the TCR competes on.”
With its brand diversity this class thrills a worldwide audience. For the 2020 season, the TCR race cars of 14 manufacturers are internationally homologated. Gripping racing, door-to-door duels and favorable prices for race cars and spare parts mean that the front-wheel drive race cars are popular in diverse markets and with race drivers representing a wide range of experience. Young up-and-coming drivers, established amateurs and classic gentleman drivers equally make up Audi Sport’s successful clientele. For importers and dealerships, the TCR category provides an attractive stage for participation as well.