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Under the Hood: Tips and Tricks to Driving the new Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II

The newest variation to one of the most successful GT3 platforms has arrived on the grid of ACC. The Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II is an updated specification of the original Audi R8 GT3 and its cousin the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO. Despite its relatively similar looks, the EVO II is what you would call a refinement of something that just works and each tweak makes it even better.

Introducing the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II

The Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II has had the full upgrade package by Audi sport all the way from aerodynamics to chassis refinements. This upgrade was brought in response to all the upgrade packages from its GT3 rivals to ensure that the car stays towards the front of the grid.

The Audi sport team produced a new EVO II variant engine that produces a maximum of 585 hp and added a new air intake, improving the torque delivery and overall engine performance from the characteristic 5.2-litre V10 Engine. To better control this power the car also has, an upgraded traction control system providing more adjustment to the driver to improve overall drivability for new and experienced drivers.

The Aero upgrades are just as significant with the R8 previously relying on the floor and diffuser for most of its downforce, now adding a new giant rear wing to produce improved downforce levels. This is a key tool for improving the overall balance of the car and making the car more stable overall.

The Basic car characteristics

The Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II as mentioned is not a complete divergence from its predecessors and with this, it inherits many of the general characteristics. It is a car that a good setup can go a long way in keeping consistency high during longer races and just making the car more pliable.

The overall feeling of the car will still be pointy and be best suited to those that are very precise with their driving skills. However, with the changes on the car’s dampers and aero platform, you give the car inherently more understeer than its predecessor. What this means, in reality, is that the car is more forgiving of mistakes and will allow you to attack the kerbs a little more than before. If you loved the old Audi, but it was just too unpredictable and on edge for your driving style then the EVO II will definitely be an improvement.

However you may want to set the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II, we’re here to help, with the recent launch of Fast and Safe variants of our setups. You can download them now as part of our ACC Setup Subscription, or as part of the Audi’s Setup Bundle.

Aerodynamics

The new and improved aerodynamic platform of the EVO II is one of the most obvious upgrades to the car, with its new larger rear wing taking the aerodynamic bias away from the diffusor. What this means, in reality, is an overall increase in downforce levels giving the car more performance within the high downforce tracks than the original EVO variant, this is seen mostly at tracks like Zandvoort or Barcelona where aero performance is key to success. It must be noted that increased aero can lead to an increase in understeer when the speed is lost in slower corners.

With this newly improved aero performance comes a downgrade in the top-end performance of the car. The new rear wing adds a significant amount of drag to the car bringing down the top speed of the car. Although the EVO II will be slower in a straight line than its previous variant it is still competitive with other cars on the grid with a very good overall BoP. 

When tweaking the setup you must keep in mind that the aero platform of this car is very sensitive to pitch changes, which can be a big advantage of the car. The changes in pitch on the power and braking allow the Audi to transfer the weight of the car to the front axle during the turns and to the rear axle on the power giving more grip on the corner exit.

Steering and Cornering

The Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II is one of the most interesting mid-engine cars on the grid, and this brings all its benefits and quirks. The general feeling of the car will provide lots of rotation compared to its front engine counterparts but can lead to understeer in slow corners due to the lack of weight on the front axle. If you are not familiar with mid-engine setups then there will need to be an adjustment to your driving style. But if you need some help in setting the car up, why don’t you check out some of Coach Dave Academy’s live setup broadcasts?

Due to the previously mentioned aero characteristics to maximize the handling of the EVO II, the car should be run with relatively soft springs and a low bumpstop range. However, if you are pushing the ride height extremely low, slowly adjust the suspension and bumpstop range of the car as there is a very small operating window before the car becomes unpredictable. In addition to the suspension, the antiroll bars are a key component to keep in mind as setting them too soft will lead to the bumpstops actuating too early in the high-speed corners.

As you may have begun to gather, the EVO II is a very intricate car to set up and will have a very narrow operating window. So, proceed with caution when adjusting the suspension as this will cause changes across all different areas of the car. However, get that small window right and the car will work with you and be a great handling machine.

Engine and Power Delivery

The upgraded powertrain on the EVO II is a welcomed improvement on the previous version, with minor improvements across the board refining an already great engine. However, with the current balance adjustments within ACC, the car has seen an overall decrease in power leaving you a little wanting compared to the top speed-focused competitors. Despite this fact, the car still holds respectable top speed across the board and shouldn’t be too much of a disadvantage. Just be sure to keep this in mind and do some testing if you’re looking to enter a long season in the EVO II. If you’re still lacking some time on the track, our Lap Guides might be able to help you out. 

In terms of the gearbox, the car hasn’t changed all too much with the optimal shifting range centring around 8000 rpm. The dash lights are relatively reliable for optimal shifting but testing on each individual track or using the MoTeC software can get that extra refinement out of each shift.

As with the rest of the car, the elements of adjustability around the powertrain are as finicky as the rest. The differential has a limited number of settings, that thankfully are easy to understand, being either very low, right in the middle or very high. If you stray too far from these zones, the suspension and the differential will fight against each other, ruining the car’s balance. The differential preload also needs to be taken into account as this will be very narrow and very dependent on the other settings that you have adjusted in the setup, be very cautious adjusting this value and don’t go too crazy.

The Round-Up 

The Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II is a great car for those that prefer the mid-engine platform, those that loved the previous car will require a little adjustment to get the most out of the new characteristics. However, if you’ve always avoided the Audi platform due to its infamous tricky handling style then the new EVO II variant is a great option for you. As with every car, a great setup and overall understanding will get you the most performance from the car so be sure to try the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II as you may be surprised with the results. If you’re looking just to jump in and drive, then Coach Dave Academy offers a host of setups to improve your performance without all the headaches of testing each and every setup change. Additionally, over on The Coach Dave Academy Youtube channel there are live setup sessions and hot laps to further improve your knowledge and driving habits in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II.

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