The Audi Sport TT Cup will run on the undercard of the German DTM touring car championship. The series is angled at beginners, club-level competitors and celebrity drivers.
The racing version of the new Audi TT uses the road car's lightweight steel and aluminium body and weighs 1125kg in total. It is powered by a two-litre TFSI petrol engine that's been adopted from the production model with very few changes, and a six-speed S tronic transmission.
The engine produces 306bhp, but is equipped with a 'push-to-pass' function that temporarily boosts maximum power by 30bhp. An active differential that is electronically variable from the cockpit ensures optimal traction at the front axle.
Other tech is adopted from Audi's existing racing series, such as the 'PS1' racing seat, which is taken from the Audi R8 LMS ultra.
The cars will all be prepared by Audi's performance and sporting arm, Quattro, and two races are planned at each of the six DTM rounds that will be held within Germany next season.
Former Formula 1 driver and Audi sportscar racer Markus Winkelhock will be on hand to coach the participants of the Audi Sport TT Cup during the season.
The German has tested the Audi Sport TT Cup car and said: "It is a genuine race car, ideal for rookies, yet challenging to drive. You immediately feel that you_re sitting in an Audi and recognise the close kinship with the brand_s other race cars."
Audi says the winner of the championship will receive support to move up into the manufacturer's__ GT3 sports car programme.
Autocar | by Matt Burt