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Audi iconic retro liveries at 24h Nürburgring

Audi R8 LMS #40 (Audi Sport Team Scherer PHX), Mike Rockenfeller/Timo Scheider/Martin Tomczyk; Audi R8 LMS #1 (Audi Sport Team Scherer PHX), Mattia Drudi/Ricardo Feller/Dennis Lind/Frédéric Vervisch; Audi R8 LMS #39 (Audi Sport Team Land), Christopher Haase/Christopher Mies/Patric Niederhauser; Audi R8 LMS #22 (Audi Sport Team Car Collection), Luca Engstler/Max Hofer/Gilles Magnus/Dennis Marschall

Audi Sport teams raced the 51st edition of the Nürburgring 24 Hours from May 18 to 21 with four Audi R8 LMS cars in iconic historic designs, liveries reflect its motorsport heritage.

A reminder to the public of unforgettable times for the brand in racing and rallying. In sporting terms, Audi, as the most successful brand of the past decade, is already aiming for its seventh overall victory after 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2022.

“This year the audience at the Nürburgring can look forward to a special appearance,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Rolf Michl. “The four R8 LMS offer the many fans of this race and the Audi brand, as well as photographers and cameramen, an exciting reinterpretation of unforgettable liveries.”

The audience is instantly reminded of legendary times of the four rings in motorsport. “After six victories in the past eleven years, we now want to race for our seventh success in the world’s biggest endurance race,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing.

“The Audi design department team has taken historical motifs as a model to develop four new designs for the R8 LMS. They are completely unique, but immediately call to mind images of earlier Audi race cars.”

Each of the four GT3 sports cars cites features from individual eras. While these four race cars will be competing on behalf of Audi Sport customer racing, the private team Scherer Sport PHX will bring two more R8 LMS to the Eifel.

American Audi flair at the Nürburgring: Number 1

Audi Sport Team Scherer PHX pulls up as last year’s winner with the number 1. The team from the Eifel region has already won the race four times. For many fans of the brand, the design of the car with the coveted starting number is associated with legendary successes.

The white background with the flowing historic Audi Sport colors is reminiscent of the appearance of those models with which Audi caused a sensation in the land of opportunity in 1988 and 1989. The Audi 200 quattro won the Trans-Am racing series in the USA in 1988, while the spectacular 90 quattro was a star in the IMSA GTO a year later.

At the time, Audi successfully made the switch from rallying to circuit racing with the quattro all-wheel drive system. Frédéric Vervisch, who celebrated his second victory in the 24-hour race after 2019 last year, shares the number 1 spot with his Audi Sport driver colleagues Mattia Drudi and Ricardo Feller as well as Dennis Lind.

Le Mans sends its regards: Number 22

The appearance of the R8 LMS from the Audi Sport Team Car Collection harks back to an era of high technology: In 2012, Audi was one of the pioneers of electrification in motorsport with the R18 e-tron quattro hybrid sports car. The company made history with the e-tron drive technology with three Le Mans victories in a row.

In contrast to the base colour, the silver-grey surfaces pick up on the circuit board design that has characterized Le Mans sports cars since 2012. Matte black surfaces above the wheels of the R8 LMS symbolize the open fender surfaces that were mandatory in LMP1 racing at the time.

Red lines and angled surfaces include further characteristics from that era. The four up-and-coming Audi Sport junior drivers Luca Engstler, Max Hofer, Gilles Magnus and Dennis Marschall take turns at the wheel of this number 22 R8 LMS at the Nürburgring.

Yellow eye-catcher for the green hell: Number 39

The Audi R8 LMS with start number 39 begins the series of designs with a throwback to the earliest era. The characteristic combination of all-around yellow stripes and the historic Audi Sport colours of mahogany brown, grey and red on a white background represents the rally years.

At that time, Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive won the special stages and the hearts of many fans. Between 1984 and 1987, various models in this design won world championship titles and decided legendary competitions such as the Monte Carlo Rally, the San Remo Rally and the Safari Rally in their favour.

Christopher Haase and Christopher Mies – both two-time winners of the Nürburgring 24 Hours – take turns in this race car with their driver colleague Patric Niederhauser. Audi Sport Team Land, the winner of 2017, is fielding this Audi.

Silver for the champions: Number 40

Three champions, one green hell: The three former Audi DTM champions will start for Audi Sport Team Scherer PHX with a very special number: Mike Rockenfeller, Timo Scheider and Martin Tomczyk will share the number 40 to mark the 40th anniversary.

Each of them has already won the DTM – Rockenfeller in 2013, Scheider in 2008 as well as 2009 and Tomczyk in 2011. In addition, Scheider stood on the winners’ podium in the Nürburgring 24 Hours exactly 20 years ago and was one of the winners of the Spa 24 Hours for Audi twelve years ago.

Rockenfeller triumphed in the Eifel in 2006, set a new distance record at the Le Mans 24 Hours with Audi as the winner in 2010 and decided the Daytona 24 Hours in his favor in the same year as well.

The three former Audi factory drivers start in the design that marked the beginning of a striking era at Audi Sport in 1992. The base color silver stands for the company’s remarkable history in sport.

In conjunction with red décor and the prominently displayed Four Rings, this color combination henceforth characterized the brand’s motorsport appearance, for example in the heyday of super touring cars in the mid-1990s. The Audi A4 quattro dominated this category in 1996, winning seven titles worldwide.

Even at the beginning of the LMP era at Le Mans in the following decade, the combination of silver and red characterized the bodies of the R8 and R10 TDI models.

With their highly diverse designs, the four race cars are individual, striking and unmistakable. One identical feature of this quartet also stands for special attention to detail: In the case of the Audi Sport logo, the designers are replacing the current red version for the anniversary with the original three-colour variant, which was even protected by patent as a word and figurative mark between 1981 and 2021.

Two strong Audi private driver teams complete the line-up

24h Nürburgring 2023 | Audi MediaCenter

In addition to these four race cars entered on behalf of Audi Sport customer racing, two further R8 LMS cars are to compete for top results: Team Scherer Sport PHX staffs the two GT3 cockpits with top-class Nordschleife experts.

Number 5 is shared by two-time winner Frank Stippler, Alexander Sims, who is also a former winner, as well as Renger van der Zande and Vincent Kolb.

In number 16, Markus Winkelhock, a three-time winner, is on board, and colleague Ricardo Feller, as well as drivers Michele Beretta and Kim Luis Schramm, complete the line-up. In addition, there are teams with the RS 3 LMS in the TCR class of the field.