The Audi R8 LMS is currently our favorite endurance racer. Recently it took part in Australia’s famous Bathurst race for the first time and crushed the locals! Now it’s all set for 2011 Spa Francorchamps 24 Hour which is our favorite track, to be driven by Johnny Herbert, incidentally our favorite driver.
The 46-year-old Brit will make its Spa debut this July after a two year break from endurance racing. He last raced at Dubai 24 Hour. He will join the lineup of Le Mans 24 Hour race winners and GP drivers Mark Blundell (GB) and Stefan Johansson (Sweden) plus Indy 500 race victor Eddie Cheever (USA).
This lot will be driving Anglo-American United Autosports team’s R8 LMS. This car has won seven championships across Europe since its début in 2009, the 5.2-litre sports car achieving a total 64 victories.
Now if you are struggling to remember Johnny’s great achievements, here’s a little reminder:
Having won the 1987 British Formula Three Championship, disaster struck Herbert the following year in an International Formula 3000 Championship race at Brands Hatch, an accident resulting in Johnny badly breaking his legs after a fearsome impact with the barriers.
It was an act of huge bravery that saw him back in a racing car at the beginning of 1989, despite the fact he could barely walk. Even more remarkably, he was now in Formula 1, scoring points on his début in Brazil driving for the Benetton team. The amiable Herbert, who was born in Romford, Essex, won the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours plus three Grands Prix during an 11-year F1 career with spells at Benetton, Jaguar, Ligier, Lotus, Sauber and Stewart.
“To get the opportunity to do a 24 hour race again is wonderful and especially as it’s at Spa which has always been one of my favourite race tracks. I’ve never competed in the Spa 24 Hours so I’m really looking forward to that aspect as well as competing for United Autosports for the first time and reacquainting myself with Audi. I raced an Audi sports-prototype for a number of years.
And here’s some facts and figures about the astonishing Audi R8 LMS:
- V10 5.2-litre engine,
- 4 valves per cylinder,
- petrol direct injection,
- 523 PS,
- emission control by two racing catalytic converters,
- rear-wheel-drive, traction control (ASR),
- sequential pneumatic activated 6-speed sport gearbox with shift-paddles,
- Audi Space Frame (ASF) made of aluminum with bolted steel roll-cage,
- carbon-fibre composite/aluminum bodywork,
- Dunlop radial tires. Start weight TBA. Limitation at 8500rpm for every gear.