Audi, we’re glad to say, has finally deemed the North American market worthy of its RS3 pocket rocket. But the new road-going sedan isn’t the only version making its way to America.
Pictured here is the new Audi RS3 LMS USA Clubsport undergoing testing and demonstration runs at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida in preparation for the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season.
You may recall that, alongside the strassenversion, Audi showcased the competition-spec RS3 LMS at the Paris Auto Show this past September. The junior counterpart to the R8 LMS in Audi Sport’s customer racing lineup, the RS3 LMS is offered to privateer racing teams in either Clubsport or TCR spec (for the cost-effective touring-car class that’s growing around the world).
This version is ostensibly based on the Clubsport model, but adapted to the specific regulations of the Pirelli World Challenge – namely the TC class in which four examples will compete this year. The season kicks off this weekend at Virginia International Raceway before hitting Mosport in Ontario, Lime Rock in Connecticut, Utah Motorsports Campus, the Circuit of the Americas, and Laguna Seca.
Aspiring racers can pick one up for $135,000, including all the requisite safety equipment. Detuned to 330 horsepower (from the road model’s 400), it isn’t as quick off the line – taking 4.5 seconds to reach 62 instead of 4.1, but with racing slicks and a track-tuned suspension, we suspect it would run circles around its road-going counterpart on a closed circuit.