Pure Dominance: Audi R8

2001 Audi R8

Offered by RM Auctions | Monterey, California | August 17, 2012

The Audi R8 is, quite simply, one of the most dominant race cars ever conceived. It never lost at the 24 Hours of Le Mans when it was entered with official factory backing (it won in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005). Factory support switched, unofficially, to its sister car in 2003, the Bentley Speed 8. And for last race in 2006, Audi had entered the replacement car, the R10. If it weren’t for rules concerning the number of years a car could compete, this car would likely still be competitive today. It was lightning quick and it was designed to be serviced and have major components replaced in a very short period of time.

And the drivers that drove these things is a lineup that is second to none. Drivers included: Tom Kristensen, Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro, Allan McNish, Rinaldo Capello, Marco Werner, JJ Lehto, and Michele Alboreto (who was tragically killed in an R8 testing accident). They won races and championships just about everywhere they were entered. It was an unbelievable run. The drivers and competition history of this ex-Team Joest car is as follows:

  • 2001 ELMS Race at Jarama – 1st (with Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello)
  • 2001 X-Factor Grand Prix of Sonoma – 2nd (with Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro)
  • 2001 Grand Prix of Portland – 2nd (with Biela and Pirro)
  • 2001 Gran Turismo 3 Grand Prix of Mosport – 24th, DNF (with Kristensen and Capello)
  • 2002 24 Hours of Le Mans – 7th (with Hiroki Katoh, Yannick Dalmas and Seiji Ara)
  • 2002 Suzuka 1000km – 27th, DNF (with Katoh and Ara)

The car itself was developed from the semi-competitive R8R and R8C cars that were used in 1999. The engine is a 610 horsepower 3.6-liter twin-turbo V8. There were 16 built in total, and five are in private hands today, making this a rare opportunity – especially because it is a race-winning factory Team Joest car. The pre-sale estimate is $1,000,000-$1,500,000. For the complete lot description, click here. And for more from RM in Monterey, click here.

Update: Sold $1,034,000.

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