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The courtship between Audi and GT3-class racing teams has officially begun with the automaker's announcement that it has developed a GT3 version of the R8 sports car dubbed "R16" internally by its project overlords at Audi Sport . The rear-drive racer (GT3 regulations prohibit AWD) features a six-speed sequential gearbox, mostly production-spec suspension components, plus an updated front end and a large rear wing designed to keep it planted to the tarmac. No additional tech specs have been revealed at this time. Factory driver Frank Biela was at the wheel for the prototype's roll-out, and customer deliveries are expected to take place next fall. Look for the car to see wheel-to-wheel action against the likes of the Aston Martin DBRS9 and Jaguar XKR GT3 during the 2009 European racing season. We patiently await its inclusion in a future Gran Turismo update so that we can try it out, too.
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