'Can a car that was still winning races in 2006 yet be regarded as a 'classic?' in this case the answer is probably yes, because these Audis established a superb winning record at Le Mans and elsewhere in Europe as well as at Sebring and many other North American Circuits. Part of a Veloce series, this 128 page soft cover book explains how and why Audi took the R8 'roadster' to so many victories- a combination of clever design and good team management, top drivers, reliability and 'easy' race maintenance . Of their 180 race starts only 4 of them ended in retirement caused by mechanical failures! in 1999, Audi insisted on the race team trying both coupe and roadster. The latter (R8R) took 3rd at Le Mans and the coupe didn't feature in the line up after that. The first big win for the R8 came at Sebring in March 2000 and unlike BMW and Bentley (Le Mans victors in 2003), Audi decided they were in for the long haul. This switch to TFSI motor in 2001 improved an already good race car. In six yeas the R8's Le Mans tally compromised of 5 victories, plus well over 50 wins at other circuits- including a one off race in Adelaide where the cars sported crocodile paint jobs! and it wasn't just the Audi factory teams: wins were also racked up by private owners such as Veloqx, Champion and Goh. The book has little side bars on all the teams main drivers and a good mix of tech development and race reports. There are plenty of photos though I would like to have seen some of the main challengers such as Zytek, Lola and Panoz. The R8 kept racing until '06, then was succeeded by diesel power R10, 18 and 18. And Audi's Le Mans racing habit continues, with only one victory for Peugeot despite having got close a number of times... An interesting read that gets inside the success of the R8, which is now included as a model in the current Audi road car line up.' --Classic driver
About the Author
Freelance journalist Ian Wagstaff won the Mercedes Benz Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy for his book The British at Le Mans, a precursor to The British at Indianapolis. Early in his career he wrote for Autosport and Motoring News, before becoming press and promotions manager at Silverstone in the late 1970s. His work for publications such as Racecar Engineering, Race Engine Technology, Performance Racing Industry, The Paddock, The Red Bulletin and Zytek Motorsport has taken him to races endurance races throughout Europe and the USA.