Here’s How Audi Racing Benefits Its Consumer Models
With all that is written about car racing, it is easy to lose sight of one of the biggest reasons an automaker becomes involved in racing in the first place, research and improving its products. That’s right, since the first race cars crossed the start line in the era of the Vanderbilt races more than 110 years ago, automakers have used the sport to improve their vehicles and to introduce new improvements.
Take defrosting, for instance. A race driver was reported to have had trouble with window misting in an early spring race about 80 years ago. Also an engineer, he knew a bit about heat and its properties, and he decided to take a flexible pipe and reroute the exhaust to the windscreen. The result was a clear windshield.
Origin Of Defrosters
Granted, it’s not the best way to handle things because of the carbon monoxide problem, but it pointed the way for developers to work on the issue. So, defrosting took its cue from racing as did a slew of improvements for cars. Take the major automotive improvement of the early 20th century, the hydraulic brake. At the early part of the 20th century, brakes were little more than hand-activated devices that locked a block of material against wheel drums.
While it did stop cars, it did take a bit of time, and they weren’t all that reliable. Racers found they needed something better, so they came up with the brake drum and internal shoes and the hydraulic system to activate it. The auto industry then took this development, as it did with defrosting and improved on it for consumers. It was a significant achievement in safety, all thanks to racing.
Today, Audi has used its racing experience in the IMSA WeatherTech Manufacturer’s Series to improve its R8 production car. The race version of the R8 is the R8 LMS. The street version shares 50 percent of LMS parts.
The R8 LMS was the winner of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup Manufacturer’s Championship. Magnus Racing, one of the teams campaigning the R8 LMS, won the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup Team Championship. Magnus also scored major victories at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and Northeast Grand Prix. It finished third in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Audi Wins Championship
Meantime, Stevenson Motorsports, the second team running an R8 LMS, in a mid-season charge, captured three major wins to propel Audi to its first IMSA WeatherTech Manufacturer’s Championship in the GTD category.
Johnny Stevenson congratulated Audi “on winning the IMSA GTD Manufacturer’s Championship.” The owner of the Stevenson Motorsports Team, he said that they were “proud to have been a part of their [Audi’s] great season.” He continued that he hoped his team would “take everything we learned this year and come back even stronger in 2017.”
Magnus Racing, which campaigns Number 44, used its strong performance at Road Atlanta to grab significant points to win the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup Team Racing Championship in the GTD class. It was driven by a trio, John Potter, team owner, Marco Seefried and Andy Lally.
An enthusiastic Potter said that finishing “the 2016 season with the [championship] is an excellent way to close the year. The cornerstone of the series is endurance racing, so to walk away with the championship in our first season with Audi is incredible.”
”Production Car DNA”
In recent years, Audi has been a strong presence on the circuits. For example, the automaker has claimed victory in the Petit Le Mans, a 10-hour enduro at Road Atlanta, nine times straight. In 2014, the Audi R8 LMS finished first in the GTD category. Says Audi, this proves “endurance racing success is part of the Audi production car DNA.”
The Audi R8 LMS shares 50 percent of its parts and is equipped with the same engine as the 2017 Audi R8 production car. Customers benefit from the same level of durability engineered into every Audi R8 race car.