The Audi R8 LMS is a GT3 racing car developed from the road-going Audi R8 and has been used worldwide since 2012 in various GT racing series. It is the successor model of the 2009 Audi R8 LMS.
The R8 LMS has an aluminium chassis with a steel roll cage. The car body panels are available in either carbon fibre or aluminium.
The car is powered by a 5.2-litre V10-DOHC engine that is installed in front of the rear axle. It can deliver up to 419 kW (570 bhp). Power is applied to the rear axle via a six-speed sequential, pneumatically operated gearbox controlled by shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel.
The SMEG Racing R8 is a current specification 2016 model, which was formerly raced in the Australian GT series by Garth Tander.
As well as competing in the domestic New Zealand Endurance series, SMEG Racing is also hoping to secure an entry for its all-Kiwi crew at both the Highlands 101 and Hampton Downs 101 events, which are both part of the Australian GT series and are the highest profile GT races in New Zealand. It will all be preparation for a full effort on the Bathurst 12 hour event, and this could be in 2018 depending on funding.
Team manager is Stephen Giles, a regular at SMEG racing in recent seasons and the man behind Giles Motorsport’s Toyota Racing Series team. Giles was also chief engineer at McLaren for a period, working with two-time Formula One champion Mika Hakkinen and Juan Pablo Montoya before returning to his native New Zealand in 2006.
The R8 is engineered by Matt Houston, who has also been in the SMEG Racing fold for the last four seasons.