Audi R8 #6 – Minichamps

R8 #6
2003 Audi R8
Pilots: J. J. Lehto, E. Pirro, S. Johansson
Team: Champion Racing / Dave Maraj
Race: 3rd overall (1st in LMP 900 class) at Le Mans in 2003
Minichamps - 400051303 (diecast) 

Published 09/06/19

With the 1-2-3 finish of the R8 in 2002, expectations were high for Audi. And to spice things up, Bentley’s Speed 8 was progressively getting better. Though not in the same LMP900 class, the GTP Bentleys had a concrete shot at an overall win. However, ACO thought that overall speeds in 2002 were too high. Consequently, they determined that all classes should have a 10% decrease in engine output. So though the 2003 R8 was basically the same 2002 car (with minor aerodynamic tweaks), it was less powerful. With the new and bigger air restrictors Audi’s 2003 V8 now produced 520 hp.

R8 #6
And another good looking R8 not in “standard Audi prototype livery”.

To maximize their chances, Audi had three R8s in three different privateer teams. R8 #6 here was racing for Champion Racing, with a very experienced pilot roster. It was an eventful race for everybody, but Bentley managed the lead for almost the entire race. With that, both Speed 8s came in first and second, while Champion Racing’s #8 came in third. Though third overall, they were first in class. 

A privateer saved the day for Audi in 2003.

So, the R8 #6 is not an overall winner but a class winner. And, if you add to that the fact that Minichamps did a nice job on the model, it’s a double win. Definitively not for every collector, but a nice model for the R8 fan or Le Mans nut. Like me, in both accounts.

Another “honest” model from Minichamps…

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