We at Quattro Life had the privilege of attending Audi Driver International. What a day we had, it was excellent. It proved a great day out for all Audi owners and enthusiasts at the famous Castle Combe race circuit in Wiltshire.
Despite me not a morning person and having an early start, everyone was so friendly and there was a great community spirit there. It was worth getting up early for!
In the coming days we will upload a short video of our day there. In the video, we highlight our cars of the day. What made it fun for us, is that the 3 of us here at Quattro Life have differing Audi cars we like. All 3 of us took the same stance on the new R8, we all agreed that we love it. So it was nice to get up close and personal and take a closer look around it. Aesthetically, its pleasing to all the senses, you cannot deny the new R8 is a beautiful car, but then so was its predecessor.
However, it seems the new R8 is a supercar cast from a dying breed. While other manufacturers are add turbochargers to their cars to meet ever-stricter emissions targets, this makes the naturally aspirated engine seemingly fall out of favour with the modern world.
While the 5.2-litre V10 is a focal point of the car, there is much more to the R8 than simply a big engine. We will cover the new R8 Spyder in the new year, so watch this space! The new V10 R8 was the third member of the Quattro life team, Curtis' favourite. It seems it was the lure of the carbon wing and resistance to it was futile!
The new V10 R8
My personal favourite from the day was from the 90's British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). I grew up watching the BTCC, it was exciting racing and at the time I never had a favourite team, I just enjoyed watching it.
Then all of a sudden, I remember Frank Biela appeared and stamped the A4's authority all over the 1996 season. Comfortably winning not only the Drivers title by 92 points, but also the Manufacturers title for Audi too. The A4 BTCC car certainly arrived in style and delivered. This year, Audi was celebrating 20 years since its domination of the BTCC series.
Frank Biela's 1996 BTCC season winning A4
Fast forward to the BTCC today, there was the AMD Tuning team at Audi Driver International. The AMD team runs the S3 driven by privateer Ollie Jackson. You can read Josh's first-hand experience and thoughts of his passenger laps with Ollie in another article on the Quattro Life tribe page. I also had the privilege of being taken for a few passenger laps with Ollie.
Its cliché to say, but from always watching the BTCC, this really was a dream come true. They say you should never meet you idols, but this experience was everything I expected and so much more! Josh and I are very grateful to the AMD Tuning team and Ollie Jackson for taking us for a few hot laps around the circuit.
Ollie Jackson in his AMD team BTCC S3 lapping the Castle Combe Circuit
The day catered for all ages of Audi fans. As well as fast-lapping sessions on the circuit throughout the day, there were demo drives and parade laps for those that wanted to get out on to the circuit with their cars. The paddock area provided many additional attractions including trade stands and various displays. A Show ’n’ Shine and Concours too. There was plenty of space for car clubs and their displays. A technical forum, car sales and auto-jumble area also.
I want to talk about the Concours cars. The bar was certainly set high and the level of Concours cars was superb. Personally, that's not my scene, I feel I don't have the patience to attend to my car to the same level of detail. Yes, the reason is pathetic and feeble, and yes ok, I love the notion of getting everything together to clean my car, taking the time to clean it in the proper way, a soap bucket and a rinse bucket and all. But the truth is, I'm useless at it and I'm ok with that!
Admittedly, my enthusiasm levels are high to start with, but when it comes to drying, frankly I'm rubbish at it. At this point, I feel it is important to add I live next to a road with high levels of traffic, with no garage or form of covering. Even with the best will in the world, I know that within hours of pathetic cleaning attempts, my car will just get dusty again. Even while I clean it I see the dust and dirt gathering. At this point, I admit defeat and go off and sulk, reassuring myself that it’s better to let the car 'air dry'.
Is it out of jealousy that the concours scene is not my scene? Hardly, I accept my level of incompetence and impatience. However, the effort, patience and dedication that goes in to their attention to detail on their cars is mesmerising. I have a lot of respect for and admire those of you that have the patience.
Exceptional example of an S1
Simple yet beautful
I love these wheels
The Team Dialynx Performance R8. Wow what a car this is. We hope to visit the Dialynx team and write a piece about their R8 so I wont say too much for now! You really need to see the car to appreciate what the team have done and how they've built the car literally from the ground up. This is definitely not your average R8.
Dialynx performance 2.0 T R8
As touched on earlier, the car clubs turned out in force with some impressive arrays of their cars. No one could rival the RS 3 Owners Club, which arrived in a convoy of over 30 pristine examples, all arranged in groups of colour. This was such a clever idea to do and never have I seen so many different colours of the same car in one place.
There were many opportunities to get in your car and drive the Castle Combe circuit. There were 3 main parade laps along with other occasions to take your car to the limit. It seems everyone had a great time out on track.
Audi R8 coming up Avon rise into the fast left entering Quarry corner
It was a fantastic day, we certainly had fun and left us eagerly anticipating the next Audi Driver International day in 2017.
A special mention must go to the winner of the Show ’n’ Shine. This year it was Brian Marland with his 1981 Coupe with 1.8T transplant, with Andy Stevenson taking the runner-up spot with his Series 1 TT quattro Sport. The Concours class was won by Chris Wood with his Kingfisher Blue 3.2 V6 TT and Kevin Newman’s Auto Union 1000 SP as runner-up.
More photos of our day at Castle Combe to come, along with a short video of our day soon to be uploaded.
A big thank you goes to Audi UK for organising and putting on a fantastic show. They had a major presence with their central display area, which was a spectacular two-storey hospitality centre and merchandising unit.
We welcome your photos of the Audi Driver International Day or any other Audi related content, perhaps you would like us to feature your car? Then send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org