The 2011 motorsport season for Audi starts earlier than it has for many years: on February 6, Team Joest competes with two Audi R8 LMS in the 12-hour race at Bathurst (Australia). For Audi it is the first race down under since the start of the new millennium.
Reinhold Joest's team supported the last race in Australia on December 31, 2000. At that time Dindo Capello and Allan McNish won the "Race of a Thousand Years" in Adelaide at the wheel of an Audi R8. The spectacular prototype still holds cult status among fans today and brought Dindo Capello the nickname "Crocodile Dindo."
Team Joest now aims to conquer Australia with the Audi R8 LMS - with the GT3 sports car specifically developed by Audi for customer sport use and which bears the sporting genes of the victorious Le Mans Prototypes.
Audi's customer sport program was newly structured to coincide with the 2011 season. Further development of the Audi R8 LMS, marketing and technical support for customers and importer teams worldwide was transferred to quattro GmbH. The race at Bathurst is the first under the new management.
The goal is clearly defined: By participating in the most important endurance races, like Bathurst, the quattro GmbH aims to win further customers for the Audi R8 LMS, which can boast an impressive run of results in its first two years of competition: In 197 races, the Audi R8 LMS can claim 64 wins, a total of 163 podium finishes and seven championship titles to date.
Up to now the focus of customer sport activities was Europe and the Audi R8 LMS - in 2011 it will be further expanded: The next market to enter Audi's sights is Asia.