Audi’s full-blown marketing push for the new TT continues, with the launch of a one-make championship in Germany. Called the Audi Sport TT Cup, the series will support the DTM German Touring Car championship, with six rounds over the 2015 season.
Based on the Audi TTS road car, the racers will retain the same 306bhp 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine and six-speed S-tronic dual-clutch paddleshift ’box, more or less unchanged. It’s a similar idea in principle to the Seat Leon Cup Racer, the Europe-wide one-make series for Leon Cupra-based race cars.
The Audi TT Cup car certainly looks the part…
In these first pictures the race-spec Audi TT looks suitably mean, with a tarmac-scraping front splitter, wide wheelarches and a gigantic rear wing. It would be nice if the race series could pave the way for a limited-edition extreme version of the production car…
While power output is more or less the same as the road car, a kerbweight of 1125kg means the racer is a fair bit lighter (the production TTS weighs in at 1460kg). With slick tyres and the driver able to adjust the front differential’s settings from the cockpit it’ll no doubt be a pretty brisk bit of kit.
There’s also a ‘push-to-pass’ button, providing a 28bhp shot of horsepower a limited number of times during a race.
All the cars will be prepared and run by Audi, making the TT Cup a very high-end arrive ’n’ drive championship. There are planned to be 24 cars on the grid: 18 regular racers and six guest drivers, who will change at every round.
Sounds great – how do I enter?
Audi says the series is aimed at ‘beginners’ as well as established drivers. Those interested in filling the 18 regular slots will have to go through a ‘multi-stage selection process’, with former F1 driver Markus Winkelhock the judge. The eventual champion will get a place in Audi’s GT3 sports car racing programme, with eventual promotion to the DTM or World Endurance Championship. A sort of Audi-based X Factor for budding racing drivers, then.
Audi can do without racing drivers altogether, though…
That’s right. We recently brought you news of Audi’s plan for anautonomous RS7 to lap the Hockenheim race circuit without a driver. Well, it’s done it – either a fascinating demo of driverless tech or another sinister nail in the coffin for driving freedom, depending on your point of view.
Shortly before the final round of the 2014 DTM championship this past weekend the ‘piloted driving concept’ RS7 completed an undramatic, crash-free lap, accurate, says Audi, ‘to within centimetres’.
Using a mixture of GPS and 3D cameras, the driver-free RS7 made its way around Hockenheim’s Grand Prix circuit in just over two minutes. Audi tech chief Dr Ulrich Hackenberg says the stunt is of ‘great value’ to development for road cars in the future, particularly in the field of automatic avoidance functions.
So if Audi’s having trouble filling any of the guest cars in the TT Cup, it can always race them remotely from the pit lane…