Audi R8 – The autobiography of R8-405
- Key Points
The Audi R8 was the first in a line of world-beating sports-prototype cars from the Ingolstadt marque which would dominate Le Mans and would see Audi remain at the forefront of international sports-car racing for over 15 years.
If such an award could go to a machine, Audi ‘R8-405’ – the car featuring in this book – was surely the ‘Man of the Match’ for the 2000 Le Mans 24 Hours. In the end it would finish second, behind one of its teammates which had a far less-troubled run, but it was not for want of trying by Allan McNish, his co-drivers Stéphane Ortelli and Laurent Aïello and their mechanics.
At Le Mans, ‘R8-405’ led the race for almost six hours, McNish setting fastest lap of the race in the morning still chasing his teammates in the eventual winning sister car. ‘R8-405’ would race on in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), winning twice in the hands of Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro.
In 2001, ‘R8-405’ competed for a further year in the ALMS, albeit in private – Champion Racing – hands, with regular drivers including Andy Wallace and Johnny Herbert. Despite its tender years, it would later go on to qualify as an historic car, and a host of new opportunities opened up as it became one of the most raced of all the R8s.
● Lavish production and extensively illustrated with over 350 images, including stunning period photography of the car in action during its two seasons of frontline competition, and a gallery of studio photographs depicting the car today.
● Fascinating and authoritative text from award-winning author Ian Wagstaff.
● Race-by-race coverage of R8-405’s two frontline seasons, as both a ‘works’ car in 2000, and as a privateer entry for Champion Racing in 2001.
● Interviews with the car’s leading drivers, including Allan McNish, Andy Wallace and Emanuele Pirro.
● Chapters documenting Audi’s motorsport heritage, the development of the R8, the car’s starring role at Le Mans in 2000, the car’s 2000 and 2001 American Le Mans Series seasons, biographies of the car’s drivers, Audi’s post-R8 endurance-racing story, and R8-405’s subsequent career as a ‘modern historic’ racer.
Dimensions: 285mm x 235mm
Page count: 320
Images: Over 350 illustrations
Publisher: Porter Press International
Publication date: December 2022
Author: Ian Wagstaff
Ian Wagstaff began his career in the offices of Motor Sport and Motoring News before becoming Press and Promotions Manager at Silverstone Circuit. He went on to be an editor in the trade press. He has been working freelance since 1986, writing for the motor-racing press, plus automotive trade and business publications. Ian has won a number of awards for his work and is twice winner of the Guild of Motoring Writers Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy for his books. He is also a past winner of the Motorworld Book Prize (Motorsport category) for his first book in the Porter Press Great Cars series which covered the story of the 1970 Le Mans-winning Porsche 917.