On the eve before the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, Audi hosted a small event at the Shores Resort in Daytona beach where the new R8 GRAND-AM was shared with journalists and a few race teams considering the car. Just yards away from the very beach where the original Daytona stock car races were first held, a silver non-liveried example of the R8 LMS sat on display.
Audi Sport and Champion Racing veteran Brad Kettler presented the car, explaining some of the benefits. Notable points were a new proprietary racing seat that is one of the safest (if not the safest) in a GT car and parts like the air-to-air refueling technology utilized in the fuel cap - a cap configuration that can be swapped from one side to the other based on its position of the pit at any given race. Another key point, one especially valuable to prospective racing teams, is that the R8's air restricted nearly production V10 is not heavily stressed in racing and able to log many more miles than comparative GT cars. One team representative who didn't identify himself estimated this might likely add up to more than a season's worth of driving.
The car on display is the fourth R8 GRAND-AM to turn up in the United States. Fans keeping close eye will note that the first "Captain America" blue liveried R8 GRAND-AM test car was the first, followed by the two cars for APR Motorsport and Oryx Racing. This fourth car remains for sale and sources tell us that the cars' eligibility for the ALMS (and NOT Le Mans) may be a reality before the end of the 2012 season.
See More Photos from the Presentation in our 2012 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona Photo Gallery HERE.