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Audi R8 will serve as the official pace car of the Rolex 24
Audi will make its presence felt at this month’s 51st Rolex 24 At Daytona, even before the fall of the green flag for the twice-around-the-clock sports car classic.

An Audi R8 will serve as official pace car of the event as the manufacturer begins its second season as an official automotive partner of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.

GRAND-AM President and CEO Ed Bennett noted that Audi’s involvement in GRAND-AM continues to evolve and expand.

“That’s indicative of what’s happening overall in North American sports car racing with the ongoing merger of GRAND-AM Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron,” he said. “Audi is a premium brand, legendary both on and off the race track. Having an Audi R8 pace the Rolex 24 field will be a proud moment in the history of the event.”

After the Audi pace car clears the track, five Audi R8 teams will do battle with Porsche, Ferrari, BMW & Chevy in what’s shaping up to be an incredibly deep GT field.

”We are excited to have a larger presence at Daytona through the R8 pace car as well as through our R8 customer racing teams,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “The R8 has enjoyed great success on race tracks around the world and we hope to bring some of that success to Daytona. The R8 represents the pinnacle of performance to our brand and we look forward to our continued partnership with GRAND-AM.”

The Audi R8 pace car is fitted with the production V10 engine generating 525 horsepower and will have an exclusive pace car livery along with warning lights to provide support throughout the twenty-hour race. The R8 pace car and the R8 GRAND-AM share many of the same components including the engine and the Audi space frame with aluminum construction.

The engine has been extensively tested both by Audi engineers and on race tracks around the world in various climates and driving situations. Its durability is remarkable as the service intervals in the R8 GRAND-AM are only required at approximately every 10,000 race miles.

Four R8 GRAND-AM race vehicles will contest the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona including an entry by Rum Bum Racing, winner of the 2012 Grand Sport championship in the Continental Tire Series. “The entire group from Audi Sport Customer Racing is confidence-inspiring,” said Rum Bum Racing driver Matt Plumb. A combined factory effort with customer race teams will also include Alex Job Racing and APR Motorsport.

Audi plans hospitality for guests and a car corral for Audi owners during the Jan. 26-27 Rolex 24 weekend.

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