Audi Sport has a huge celebration planned for its fortieth year, and the party starts next weekend.
Audi has announced that it will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the company founded as quattro GmbH with a celebration that kicks off at this weekend's Nurburgring 24 Hours. Audi Sport GmbH is the name by which quattro has been known since 2016, but the company was originally founded on October 10, 1983.
Audi Sport is kicking off its birthday celebrations at the Green Hell partly because it is the most successful manufacturer in the GT3 era of the 'Ring's 24-hour endurance race, with six overall victories and three additional GT3 class wins. Thus, it will present its four competing Audi R8 LMS racecars in retro designs that call to mind famous liveries from Audi's motorsport history.
Former DTM champions Mike Rockenfeller, Timo Scheider, and Martin Tomczyk will start with the number 40, and their R8 LMS livery will take inspiration from the 1992 Audi V8 quattro DTM.
There will be attractions off the circuit too. On Friday, May 19, the abovementioned drivers will answer questions at the "Champion's talk" against the backdrop of various Audi Sport models displayed in the ring boulevard. Among these will be the first-generation Audi R8, the first RS4 Avant, and the current R8 GT and RS4 Avant competition. The world-famous Audi S1 Hoonitron that the late Ken Block piloted through Las Vegas will also be present.
For those who can't make it to the Eifel circuit this weekend, Audi Sport's headquarters will host various exhibitions from June 14, including one detailing the history of the defunct NSU brand and another taking a closer look at Audi Sport's evolution specifically.
The company that became Audi Sport was created as a means of protecting the quattro name and its associated marketing rights, but in 1984, it began selling accessories, from clothing to luggage and even model cars. Then, in 1995, Audi Sport opened customization programs and later helped create the Audi "Picasso" cabriolet. The following year, the company became a registered vehicle manufacturer and unveiled the S6 plus. In 2007, the first R8 arrived, and its GT3 variant was the first of Audi's customer racing cars, which now also include the RS3 LMS, the R8 LMS GT4, and the R8 LMS GT2. Audi Sport customer racing vehicles have, to date, clinched over 400 motorsport titles, but don't expect many more wins in production-based cars.
Audi is said to have dropped its customer racing programs to focus solely on Formula 1 and the World Rally-Raid Championship.
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