Piloted by four drivers - Christopher Mies, Nico Müller, Edward Sandström, and Laurens Vanthoor, the Audi R8 LMS car #28 fielded by Audi Sport Team WRT took top spot, a full 40 seconds faster than its nearest competitor, a BMW Z4 GT3 (#25) of the BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS.
The race itself was certainly full of thrills with the lead position swapping hands 35 times a record in the event that has been held since 1970.
Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing said, “Sincere congratulations to our winners who never lost their cool even in the face of some minor irregularities and held up to the pressure. The whole squad of Audi Sport customer racing is happy to see the new Audi R8 LMS instantly delivering on our promise of it being a competitive, attractive and reliable race car our customers can look forward to starting this fall.”
The Belgian racing team also fielded a second car that came in seventh place while both of Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s R8 LMS racers were forced to retire after accidents involving both their cars.
Powering the R8 LMS is a retuned 5.2-litre V10 engine that produces 585hp, paired to a six-speed sequential shifting transmission. Enhancements in aerodynamics and weight-saving are also undertaken on the car to make it as competitive as it is. However, Audi say about 50% of the GT3 race car is based on its production counterpart that was introduced at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.