This R8 racer helped Audi dominate the 24-hour endurance race in the early 2000s.
Alongside the dream of driving an F1 car, few gear heads would turn down the opportunity to participate in the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. 24 hours of high-speed driving limited only by your cramping muscles and the mechanical durability of your race car? Yes, please. It's something very few humans will ever experience, but now, there's a chance to at least get closer to tasting the real thing.
Fiskens, a London-based company, specializes in selling exotic cars. And it doesn't get much more exclusive than the 2000 Audi R8 LMP900 that it currently has on sale. Yes, it's an Audi developed especially for the 2000 edition of Le Mans, as well as the car that helped spawn Audi's road-going supercar, the R8. The R8 LMP900 achieved pole position, the fastest lap, and placed second overall at the 2000 event. That year, it was driven by the team of Allan McNish, Laurent Aiello, and Stephane Ortelli.
If the second-place finish of this particular car, chassis 405, seems like a disappointment, it isn't. That year, Audi also claimed the first- and third-placed spots with another two R8s, completely dominating the field. It set the tone for over a decade of Audi supremacy at Le Mans until the marque's most recent victory there in 2014. Following its Le Mans heroics, 405 continued its remarkable run by achieving third place in the Nurburgring 1,000 km race, as part of the American Le Mans Series season.
Several other podium finishes followed in America, including a runner-up result in the Petit Le Mans competition, with legend Tom Kristensen behind the wheel. Kristensen holds a record nine wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With such a phenomenal resume, who could say no to parking this legend in their garage? It's powered by a 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing about 600 horsepower, enabling the R8 to reach a top speed at Le Mans of 210 mph.
The chassis, meanwhile, was compared to a Lego model, as just about any component could be changed in as little time as possible. In one instance, the car's rear transaxle was changed in little over three minutes mid-race, a process that ordinarily takes over an hour. The body looks to be in brilliant shape and it's just as dramatic as it was 20 years ago, with barely enough space for a finger between the body and the ground. While parts of the structure reveal the extensive use of strong but light carbon fiber.
Unsurprisingly, the price is only by application, and probably to prevent the rest of us from choking on our lunch if we saw it. We don't expect this legend to go for much less than around $2-million, though. And that's without the exorbitant cost of keeping it running for those few track days per year.