After the February premiere of Audi’s RS 3 LMS race car, the latest TCR model underwent a range of testing, including a wind tunnel test in Ingolstadt, followed by subsequent racetrack testing on the Castellolí circuit in Catalonia and at Vallelunga near Rome, Italy and Aragon in northern Spain.
Having created the entire aerodynamic concept numerically digitally, wind tunnel testing was conducted at Audi’s own facility in Ingolstadt to validate the vehicle’s aerodynamic ability. Detlef Schmidt, technical project manager for the Audi RS 3 LMS, commented, “Our calculations using computational fluid dynamics were fully confirmed in the wind tunnel .The predicted values for downforce and drag match up well.”
On February 23 and 24, the RS 3 LMS completed 500km of testing on the Castellolí circuit with Audi Sport driver Frédéric Vervisch at the wheel. The focus was on chassis and powertrain setup, alongside general component testing and aerodynamic balance of the new race car, with functionality of the mandatory and standardized TCR engine control unit also tested.
Testing continued at the Vallelunga circuit on March 8-10, with the team then moving to Aragon on March 17-18 to further validate the chassis. Rain in Italy gave race engineers a chance to test the Audi’s wet capability and to dial in suspension settings for wet track scenarios; subsequently dry condition setups were explored after. In Spain, the development team focused efforts on optimizing the car for qualifying, but also for entire race distances.
“We already gained a positive impression of our new car at Castellolí,” said Andrea Milocco, project manager of the Audi RS 3 LMS. “This continued at Vallelunga and Aragon. In total, we’ve reeled off almost 3,000km 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. Now we’re moving step by step through our further program.”
As the development process continues, Audi aims to determine values for the aerodynamics and also the car’s center of gravity, with the team aiming for homologation on May 1. The Audi RS 3 LMS is set to make its race debut at the first race of the FIA WTCR World Touring Car Cup on June 3-5 on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.