Wind tunnel testing of the new race car in Ingolstadt
First test drives of the customer racing model in Spain and Italy
Nathanaël Berthon and Frédéric Vervisch take turns at the wheel
Following the world premiere of the Audi RS 3 LMS on February 5, Audi Sport’s new TCR model is undergoing an intensive testing program. A wind tunnel test at Ingolstadt was followed by the first runs on race tracks at Castellolí in Catalonia, Vallelunga near Rome and Aragon in northern Spain. The other stages have also already been scheduled until the car’s racing debut in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup in the summer.
Around its premiere, the compact sedan was in the wind tunnel of AUDI AG in Ingolstadt for the first time. The entire aerodynamic concept had previously been created purely numerically in the computer. “Our calculations using Computational Fluid Dynamics were fully confirmed in the wind tunnel,” says Detlef Schmidt, Technical Project Manager Audi RS 3 LMS. “The predicted values for downforce and drag match up well.”
At Castellolí, the second generation of Audi Sport’s entry-level model completed its first laps on a race track on February 23 and 24. Frédéric Vervisch reeled off around 500 kilometers on the circuit 60 kilometers northwest of Barcelona. The developers focused on general component testing, initial set-up work on the powertrain and chassis, and the aerodynamic balance. The engineers also checked the functionality of the mandatory standardized TCR engine control unit, which was preceded by intensive software development. Audi Sport continued its work at Vallelunga from March 8 to 10, then at Aragon on March 17 and 18. The initial rain in Italy gave the engineers the chance to work through air pressures and suspension set-ups for wet track conditions before trying out further options on a dry track. The changeable weather otherwise feared in racing proved to be an advantage during the tests to cover a wide range of conditions for future racing activities. In addition to Audi Sport driver Frédéric Vervisch, new signing Nathanaël Berthon had the opportunity to contribute his feedback for the first time. In Spain, set-up work on the differential, dampers and the aerodynamic balance were on the agenda. The development team also focused on the optimum configuration for qualifying, but also examined the behavior of the new car over complete race distances.