It’s been less than two months since the second-generation Audi R8 LMS debuted at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, and the German race car has already scored its first victory. The R8 LMS triumphed in the VLN endurance race that took place this weekend at the Nurburgring, after Christopher Mies and Nico Mulled drove the No. 10 Audi Sport Team WRT to a clear victory in the LMS’ third race. Mies and Muller were followed across the finish line by teammates Pierre Kaffer and Laurens Vanthoor, who also gave the R8 LMS’ first double this season.

Mies and Muller initially took the lead after 10 laps and battled with a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG to stay on top. The duo began to increase its lead from lap 18 onward and completed the four-hour race with a 1:27-minute advantage over the second-placed R8 LMS. It was Audi Sport Team WRT’s first victory on the Nurburgring-Nordschleife.

"The new Audi R8 LMS was easy to drive in both wet and dry conditions. We have also made progress on the suspension setup. This was the key to victory today," said Christopher Mies at the end of the race.

While Mies was "absolutely delighted" with the car, Head of Audi Sport customer racing, Romolo Liebchen, was rather cautious, stating the R8 LMS still needs honing before the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. "This was a test race. We discovered several things on which we must work to be perfectly prepared for the 24-hour race, because we can expect strong competition," he added.

Continue reading to learn more about Audi’s latest victory.

Why it matters

With 26 GT3 Championship wins and 23 titles in other international classes, and 130 cars sold to customer teams worldwide, the first-generation Audi R8 LMS is arguably the most successful and popular GT3 race car of its era. That said, the second-gen car has a pair of huge shoes to fill and its mission will be anything but easy, considering the increasing competitiveness of the GT3 class. But this Nurburgring win gives the new R8 LMS a great start in the harsh world of motorsport, and I have a feeling it’s not the last victory Audi teams will brag about before the end of the season. What’s important here is that is seems the second-gen R8 LMS might have what it takes to live up to its predecessor’s success.

Audi R8 LMS

2015 Audi R8 LMS Exterior
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Learn more about the second-generation Audi R8 LMS race car in our full review here.

Press Release

First victory for the second generation Audi R8 LMS: only seven weeks after its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, Audi Sport Team WRT clinched a one-two with the new GT3 sportscar in the VLN endurance championship at the Nürburgring.

New Audi R8 LMS Scores Its First Victory At Nurburgring
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Christopher Mies and Nico Müller triumphed in the second VLN race ahead of their team mates Pierre Kaffer and Laurens Vanthoor and, in doing so, took a clear victory for the Audi R8 LMS in only its third race – and this on the world’s toughest race track, the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.

In the changeable weather conditions, endurance racing specialist Christopher Mies and Audi DTM driver Nico Müller initially took the lead after ten race laps. The lead exchanged hands several times as they staged a thrilling battle with the best Mercedes-Benz. From lap 18 onwards, the German-Swiss duo gradually increased its lead before finally crossing the finish line after four hours with a 1m 27s advantage over Laurens Vanthoor and Pierre Kaffer. It was the first victory on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife for the Audi Sport Team WRT from Belgium. “We dedicate this victory to J. G. Mal-Voy, the former President of the Audi Club Belgium, who died suddenly last week,” said Team Boss Vincent Vosse.

“I’m absolutely delighted, because it was a nail-biting race. We started on rain tires, changed to slicks and before changing back to wet tires later on,” reported Christopher Mies. “The new Audi R8 LMS was easy to drive in both wet and dry conditions. We have also made progress on the suspension set-up. This was the key to victory today.”

“This victory in the dress rehearsal for the 24 Hours Nürburgring was an important step forwards for us,” said Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “We had very little experience with the R8 LMS beforehand in these changeable conditions. We saw that our new car is competitive. However, this was a test race. We discovered several things on which we must work to be perfectly prepared for the 24-hour race, because we can expect strong competition.” At the season highlight on May16-17, four new Audi R8 LMS will face up to several dozen GT3 cars in a starter field of almost a 160 participants.

Audi has been testing the new GT3 sportscar, which already complies with the new GT3 regulations, since spring 2014. The races during the 2015 season are specifically to put the Audi R8 LMS through an extensive test program under the toughest conditions. “The goal is to be able to supply a winning racecar to our Audi customer teams by the end of the year, and to convince many teams to choose an Audi,” says Romolo Liebchen.

Like its successful predecessor, many of the parts used on the new Audi R8 LMS are identical to the new production R8, which was launched in Geneva at the same as the racecar and that is launched on the market in Summer.”

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