Audi has announced a number of changes to the format of its R8 LMS Cup ahead of the 2018 season. For the series’ seventh season, the popular one-make cup will become exclusively reserved for privateer drivers, ending several years of mixed Pro-Am competition.
In addition to the new driver rating format, racers will have the choice between two race cars. 2018 will see the R8 LMS GT3 will be joined by the newly-developed R8 LMS GT4 in a move the company states as a way of ‘appealing to new comers’. Drivers in the championship will also be offered an extensive mentoring program, with guidance provided by Audi Sport’s professional drivers.
In an attempt to encourage the development of the Cup’s drivers, Audi Sport has also announced that all data from practice sessions and the races will be openly accessible to all participants. At the same time, the service team from Absolute Racing as the official fielding team will offer maximum equality of opportunity to all the campaigners.
The German OEM announced the regulation changes on the same weekend that it retained its Intercontinental GT Challenge crown. As in 2016, Audi prevailed in the GT3 manufacturers’ classification, this year taking victory in front of ten other brands. The drivers’ classification went to Markus Winkelhock, ahead of his two fellow Audi Sport drivers Christopher Haase and Christopher Mies.