Nothing left to chance in development of Audi’s new WTCR challenger
Audi Sport is going all-out to ensure its second-generation Audi RS 3 LMS runs at the front when it makes its debut in the WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup.
As well as tests in Spain and Italy, the car has spent time in the wind tunnel at Audi AG in Ingolstadt in order to confirm the aerodynamic concept created “purely numerically in the computer”, according to the German make.
“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.”
On track, initial testing took place over two days at Castellolí northwest of Barcelona from February 23 and 24 when Audi Sport driver Frédéric Vervisch completed approximately 500 kilometres.
The early focus was on general component testing, initial set-up work on the powertrain and chassis, and the aerodynamic balance. Engineers also checked the functionality of the mandatory standardised TCR engine control unit, which was preceded by intensive software development.
Testing continued at Vallelunga in Italy from March 8 to 10, then at MotorLand Aragón from March 17 and 18.
Rain in Italy, where Vervisch’s Audi Sport-supportedd Comtoyou Racing team-mate Nathanaël Berthon, drove the second-generation RS 3 LMS for the first time, gave 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.
In Aragón, set-up work on the differential, dampers and the aerodynamic balance was carried out, while the development team also focused on the optimum configuration for qualifying, but also examined the behaviour of the new car over complete race distances.
“We already gained a positive impression of our new car at Castellolí,” sums up Dr. Andrea Milocco, Project Manager, Audi RS 3 LMS. “This continued at Vallelunga and Aragón. In total, we’ve [covered] almost 3000 kilometres with our absolutely reliable car to date and established a good basis for our development tests. It’s also positive that our two drivers are united in their feedback and complement each other well.”
Following planned homologation of the Audi RS 3 LMS on May 1, the car is set to make its competition debut at WTCR Race of Germany on the Nürburgring Nordschleife from June 3-5 when Goodyear-equipped Berthon, Vervisch and Tom Coronel, plus one as yet unannounced driver, will be in action for Comtoyou Racing.