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Old 6 Apr 2003, 10:44 (Ref:559845)   #1
H16
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Things Audi could have done to better sports car racing with customer cars

OK, since Audi started selling "customer" R8s, we have seen Champion, a large importer of Audi and Porsche cars, the importer for Audi UK, and the importer for Audi Japan for Team Goh. Team Joest is backed by ASUSA and is hardly a private effort. In my mind, the only true customer was the Gulf.

Clearly, you shouldn't need to have a large Audi carlot to get your hands on one of these things. Audi could have taken a few steps from Porsche in bettering sports car competition had they tried.

No1. Sell for less. Easier said than done, but with more Audi's on the track, thats more Audis in advertising. Imagine a Banna Joes's R8 or Dyson Theftford R8.

N02. Ease up on restrictions. Champion aren't even allowed to start their car without an Audi rep standing there. When did an Audi ever run on anything but Michelins? When did Champion or UK do any kind of body work alterations to try and keep up with the factory? Remember the Loyd 962?

N03. Allow Audi engines to be leased in other chassis. What could a R&S MKIIIC or Dallara have done with Audi power? Porsche would supply teams like Courage with an engine without a problem, so why no Audi?

I have felt that Audi have done more harm than good for Sports car racing, but private Audi's racing together could have been great. Instead, its a simple "who you know" not "who you are" with their private cars.

Agree or Disagree?
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Old 6 Apr 2003, 11:39 (Ref:559868)   #2
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Re: Things Audi could have done to better sports car racing with customer cars

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Originally posted by H16


I have felt that Audi have done more harm than good for Sports car racing, but private Audi's racing together could have been great. Instead, its a simple "who you know" not "who you are" with their private cars.

Agree or Disagree?
Not sure really. From my own persaon point of view, the last thing I would have wanted to see was a grid full of R8s. The simple question is, why should Audi have done anything differently? I don't think you can compare their rationale with Porsche. Audi have won what they wanted to win with their works cars, what more did they really need to do?
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Old 6 Apr 2003, 14:53 (Ref:559962)   #3
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My grip is that when Audi planned the R8 in 1999, they were up aganist BMW, Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes, etc.

When they raced it in 2000, they had basically...Panoz as their only seirous threat.

Caddy was competitive in the races the car actually ran, but EVERYONE knew GM's policy of racing and knew the cars would proabably be mothballed.

They have taken extreme measures to simply pound private entries into oblivian. They haven't done anything for any "real" private entries. Hunt can consider Joest and Champion private if he likes, but perhaps Intersport or American Spirit would have been a better idea of a true private effort.

Last edited by H16; 6 Apr 2003 at 14:56.
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Old 6 Apr 2003, 21:22 (Ref:560568)   #4
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I guess times have changed a lot. Audi is going to have the same publicity with two or three cars than with six or seven. And, shame it, does anyone knows a factory that races for any other reason than publicity?. Cadillac discarded their effort because they were always losing to audi (not that good publicity as losers). The thing they didn´t somehow understand is that they´ll probably would be contenders for ALMS and Le Mans this year... I don´t manage to understand why... Porsche simply don´t go racing again as a works team because they are selling pretty well without it (just a personal opinion, how i would like Porsche to race again in LMP...)
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Old 6 Apr 2003, 22:43 (Ref:560806)   #5
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I guess one reason for not allowing engines to power too many cars is that you don't want engine secrets being discovered by other teams? As well, I guess you want your cars to perform at their best. Would a privateer run Audi have equal or better reliability than a closet factory effort. You don't want poorly run or maintained Audi racecars DNF or breaking down. Not good for publicity?
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Old 6 Apr 2003, 23:52 (Ref:560921)   #6
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H16, Dyson had talks with Audi, but declined because of the amount of control Audi keeps on their teams. In '02, the Gulf Audi had homemade front winglets.

I think the customer program has been quite good. Three in a field is enough for any chassis. Also, the dealerships make for good high calibur teams. I think if just any team could get one, they wouldn't look near as fast. See Intersport's MG effort. They've not shown that car to be as fast as what the top notch Dyson team has. Audi UK at Sebring also didn't do their car justice. From the way they were sliding around the turns, they must have not set it up right, thus it didn't do what the R8 is suppose to do. If anybody could just race one, it wouldn't show what it's made of.
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Old 7 Apr 2003, 13:36 (Ref:561521)   #7
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I thought the Gulf car was gone after '01. I could be wrong though. Where did it run in '02?
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Old 7 Apr 2003, 15:40 (Ref:561696)   #8
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I am not that sure, but I thought Johansson´s Gulf effort didn´t last to 2002. In 2002, at least at LM, Audi´s were the three official cars plus Team Goh´s one. I remamber also Johansson was offered a drive in one of the Oreca Dallaras, but turned it down before test day.
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Old 7 Apr 2003, 16:53 (Ref:561760)   #9
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Well, I don't know what happened to Johansson's Gulf Audi, but for sure it wasn't at LM in 2002.
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Old 7 Apr 2003, 19:53 (Ref:561967)   #10
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Of all the Audis, the Gulf was by far the most beautiful. I saw it run at Sebring '01 and it was definitely one of the fan favorites.
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Old 8 Apr 2003, 06:21 (Ref:562389)   #11
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I meant '01. Sorry for the communication breakdown.
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Old 8 Apr 2003, 06:25 (Ref:562392)   #12
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I thought the Gulf car was gone after '01. I could be wrong though. Where did it run in '02?
If I can remember a last yeat thread about the car, it has been sold - somewhere in USA, I even ask myself if one of our TTers has not seen it in a garage in his own town...
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Old 8 Apr 2003, 13:26 (Ref:562717)   #13
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I've definitely heard of it being in a garage somewhere, but i thought it was in Europe.
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