Tom Kristensen
(Auto racing)
Frank Biela
(Auto racing)

See also

Audi R8 (race car)

Knowledge Identifier: $Audi_R8_(race_car)


Audi R8 (race car)

Sports-prototype race car introduced in 2000 for sports car racing as a redevelopment of their Audi R8R and Audi R8C used in 1999 add

Category: Business (14)

Launched in 1997.

Countries: Germany (48%), Japan (14%), Italy (10%)

Main connections: Audi, Bentley, Tom Kristensen

Linked to: Audi, Bentley, Volkswagen Group, BMW




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In 1997, sports car racing and especially the Le Mans 24 Hours was popular among factories like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Toyota, Nissan Motors and others add something


With the upcoming American Le Mans Series providing a stage for the US-market, Audi announced plans in 1998 to compete in 1999, with the R8R and powered by a $V8 (V8_engine) turbo add something


Yet, during the fall of 1998, after the necessity of GT1 homologation was dropped in favour of LM-GTP prototypes, regarding the speed and success of these closed GT coup├ęs like the Porsche 911 GT1, Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, and the Toyota GT-One, Audi ordered their newly acquired Norfolk based RTN to build a closed-cockpit car using the same drivetrain add something


After the 1999 Le Mans shame, Mercedes retired from GTs to focus on the return of the DTM touring cars in 2000, as well as on F1 add something


Following a period of testing, two R8Rs debut at the 1999 12 Hours of Sebring add something


Based on the experiences, Audi decided to regroup for 2000, and built a new R8 spyder together with Joest and Dallara add something


First time out in 2000, the team won a 1-2-3 finish, which was just a small preview of what this all-new Audi was capable of add something


Its streak of Le Mans victories between 2000 and 2005 was broken only by the Bentley Speed 8 in 2003, when the R8 finished 3rd add something


The R8 won a hat trick at Le Mans in 2000-2002, campaigned by Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest and driven by Tom Kristensen, Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela add something


The car was developed by Audi Motorsport and Joest Racing and first debuted in 2000, winning the 12 Hours of Sebring add something


Toyota and & BMW went to F1, with BMW at least continuing to race for two years in the ALMS, where the open roadster of Bill Auberlen suffered a "back flip" during the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in 2000, as the closed-cockpit Porsche of Yannick Dalmas had done in 1998 add something


Rinaldo Capello - Capello was selected for the 2000 Le Mans race by the Audi Sport Joest team, driving the Audi R8 - the team finished in third place


Tom Kristensen - In 2000, 2001, and 2002 he won the 24 Hours at Le Mans race with the powerful Audi R8 along with Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro, becoming the first three drivers since Jacky Ickx in 1977 to win the race on three straight occasions


Audi Sport's program saw tragedy in 2001 when on April 25, popular ex-F1 driver Michele Alboreto died in an accident after suffering a high-speed tyre failure during an R8 test session at the Lausitzring in eastern Germany add something


The Bentley Speed 8, which ran at Le Mans from 2001 to 2003, winning in 2003, utilised a heavily modified 4,0 L version of the V8 engine from the Audi R8 add something


The British-built R8C coupe was retired, but Audi-owned & Bentley developed the concept of the R8C closed cockpit LMGTP and entered the Bentley EXP Speed 8 in 2001, winning the race with the Bentley Speed 8 in the 2003 add something


"Alboreto Is Killed Testing Audi R8", New York Times, April 26, 2001, Page D7 add something


In 2002, the Audi R8 was the first car to beat the Toyota TS020 GT ONE's qualifying lap record from 1999 add something


The & Bentley racing effort was campaigned by Team Bentley with assistance from longtime R8 competitor Joest Racing and Audi Sport UK. After 2002 the Joest factory team dropped its R8 campaign and left it to the privateers add something


The highest speed of the R8 at Le Mans was in the practice sessions of the 2002 Le Mans 24 Hours Race add something


The name Audi R8 is used by the production road sports car Audi R8 which is based on the 2003 Audi Le Mans quattro concept car, not the R8 race car add something


Rinaldo Capello - Capello was on the winning team in both the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003 and 2004, driving a Bentley Speed 8 and an Audi R8 respectively, and has finished on the podium on three other occasions


Since then, the Audi R8 has won numerous championships and races, including further wins for 'privateer' teams at Le Mans in 2004 and 2005 add something


Tom Kristensen - In 2004, he equaled Ickx's record of six Le Mans victories in Team Goh's Audi R8


At the 2005 Le Mans, the Audis failed to qualify on pole position; the fastest R8 started the race in third position add something


However, as successful as the R8 was, during the 2005 season, it was evident that its time at the front of the pack was drawing to a close add something


The V12 engined turbodiesel won at its race debut at the 2006 12 Hours of Sebring with both cars starting on the front row add something


The petrol-powered Audi R8 race car was replaced by the new Audi R10 TDI Diesel in 2006; however, the need to further develop the R10 meant that the R8 saw action in a few races leading up to Le Mans add something