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The Rarest Audi Model Still the Sportscar to Beat

The rarest and most expensive Audi model – the all conquering Audi R8 Le Mans prototype racer – which costs almost £2 million to buy and run for a year, is celebrating its fourth Le Mans victory this month in its fourth year as a world beater. But for only £7.95, Audi is releasing a DVD of the car in action at this year’s event.

The R8, which costs 100-times more than the average road going Audi, is the most successful sports racing car over the past decade, having achieved almost 40 race wins including its historic run of consecutive victories at Le Mans since the car’s début in 2000. From 48 race starts, an Audi R8 has achieved 39 endurance sportscar race wins, 43 pole-positions and 42 race fastest laps.

Britain’s Johnny Herbert and Allan McNish have both scored victories in the 200mph “supercar” which pioneered Audi’s fuel-efficient FSI [direct petrol injection] system – technology that can now be sampled on the Audi A2, A3 and A4 model range.

The sleek prototype has netted three consecutive Le Mans 24 Hour victories (2000-03) and four successive Driver’s and Manufacturers’ titles in the American Le Mans Series (2000-03). The twin turbo-charged V8-engined, 550 bhp R8 has also won the Driver’s and Manufacturers’ 2001 European Le Mans Series titles, plus Spa and Le Mans 1,000 km race wins this year, confirming the Audi R8 as the most successful open-top sports racing car of its era.

DVD Documentary Launched

Even devoted sportscar or Le Mans fans may find the estimated £2,000,000 too excessive to own and race an Audi R8 at Le Mans. Thanks to the British importer, Audi UK can now bring you a behind-the-scenes documentary of their 2003 Le Mans 24 Hour race campaign direct to your living room.

While the Audi Sport UK team’s French race result was not the one they had hoped for, the 60-minute programme, available now on DVD for £7.95 (including UK post & packing), is an absorbing compilation of the British team’s build-up to the race last June. The film also includes footage from the 2003 Sebring 12-Hour race and the 2003 Le Mans test weekend.

Archive footage goes back to the Le Mans race’s origins in the 1920s while motorsport historian, and renowned Le Mans race author and specialist, Brian Laban, provides expert commentary. The DVD can be purchased by contacting TwoFour DVD & Video Collection, P O Box 17, Plympton, Devon PL7 5YG or e-mail sarahfryer@twofour.co.uk

Audi’s 2004 motorsport programme is still being finalised although its likely the already amazing Audi R8 “Roll-of-Honour” will be further embellished by the German manufacturer’s “customer” teams in America, Britain and Japan around the world next season.


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