Seriously, wake up.
Audi's engine-uity and its customer teams have found success in:
- 6 Hours of Peru
- the Nürburgring 24hr in Germany
- Spa 24hr in Belgium
- Hancook 24hr in Dubai
- the Bathurst 12hr in Australia
- the Sepang 12hr in Malaysia, where the R8 took 1-2-3!
The 2016 Audi R8 takes on New Orleans
We had the great fortune of hosting the M1GTRacing crew--Larry Pegrim, Walt Bowlin, and Guy Cosmo--as they tested their finely-tuned racer on our track.
Guy Cosmo, a man who's been no stranger to the podium throughout his career, sat down with us to discuss his thoughts and feelings surrounding Audi's new masterpiece.
NOLA Motorsports: Before we get down to the absolute beast that is the 2016 R8 LMS, let’s get a little background. Have you driven the previous generation R8 before?
GUY: I drove the previous generation last year. I actually did the first Pirelli World Challenge of the season in the older R8. And then I raced with Flying Lizard Motorsports in IMSA twice; I raced with them at Laguna Seca and at the Petit Le Mans in the old Audi. I also raced with Flying Lizard at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill in December in the older Generation of R8, and we won that overall, which was very cool.
Having that experience in mind, what’s your take on this generation of the R8?
GUY: It’s a big improvement from a car that was already very good. If there could have been anything to be improved upon, it has been improved upon.
What specifically impressed you about the modifications Audi has made?
GUY: Everything. They’ve kind of rearranged the drive train. The transmission is a bit different--there’s no more drop gear in there. So they were able to lighten up the car considerably and they were able to lower the engine and drive train. So the overall result is a car that feels far nimbler, and lightweight, and responsive.
Although the car doesn’t necessary produce more downforce, it is definitely much more efficient in how it creates downforce. So aerodynamically, the car is much sleeker; it’s got less drag, which will result in faster straight-line speeds with the same levels of downforce that the previous model had.
It really drives more like a prototype than a GT car, which is really interesting. It’s a phenomenal piece. Every time I’m behind the wheel of that car, I’m just more and more impressed with it. It’s definitely a car that’s going to win many more races.
Above: iRacing unveils the Audi R8 LMS GT3, set to release for the platform in March '16.
In 2014, you and Walt Bowlin tested the past gen. R8 on our track, so you know the driving challenges we're renowned for. Comparatively, how do you feel the ’16 R8 handled our track?
GUY: It was remarkable!
At the end of 2014, I did get a really good feel for how the previous generation handled the track. It was great—it was very comfortable to drive. It had plenty of grip, you know. It managed the track really well.
This new car just allows us to take everything up to the next level. The medium-speed corners, some of the 3rd and 4th gear corners, and some of the faster S’s in the back—you can really get a lot more out of the track with this car.
How's your experience with Audi been? What's your feeling on how they handle motorsports?
GUY: My relationship with Audi is young, for sure, and it’s definitely not official, but it’s really been an incredible experience. The way Audi approaches motorsports and the way they approach their customer program or how they support their customer teams, and the structure of the sale of the race cars to the teams and the technical support—it’s really very impressive, and I’d say they’re definitely leading the way out of all the manufacturers for customer support racing teams. And the cars are phenomenal.
Coincidentally, I’ve wound up with the brand more than not over the past year and a half of my career, and it’s not a formal relationship with them, but I just keep finding myself in more and more R8s, and I really like it. It’s a good situation.
If you're curious, as we were--yes, Guy Cosmo IS his real name. You can follow him for updates (or for the charisma he effortlessly exudes) on Twitter at @GuyCosmo, and you can keep up with the M1GTRacing team at @M1GTRacing on Twitter and M1GTRacing on Facebook.
Also, be sure to check out @AudiSport to stay updated as their
racers continue to land on podiums around the world.