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1991 Audi V8 Quattro DTM Race Car

While the M3 and 190E 2.3-16 took most of the laurels, a fair amount of DTM fans forget that it was the V8 quattro – replete with wood trim – that took the 1990 (Hans-Joachim Stuck) and 1991 (Frank Biela) crowns before its flat-plane crankshaft was deemed illegal. In 1991 Audi introduced an Evolution model, which sprouted adjustable front and rear spoilers. That’s what you see here – A rare Audi Sport race chassis that was initially run by race-winner Stuck and campaigned by Schmidt Motorsport. If you have deep enough pockets and happen to be cruising through Monaco, it can be yours!

1991 Audi V8 Quattro DTM at RM Auctions Monaco:

From the seller:

Chassis No.

WAUZZZ44ZLN000049

Documents

Bill of Sale Only

To be offered on Friday, 10 May 2024

  • Original Audi Sport-entered, Schmidt Motorsport-run car from the 1991 and 1992 DTM seasons
  • Recorded three race wins in the 1991 DTM with two-time Le Mans winner, Hans-Joachim Stuck
  • Also driven in 1991 and 1992 DTM by subsequent 24 Hours of Daytona class-winner, Hubert Haupt
  • Retained by Audi until its sale in 2014 to Haupt, retained by the driver since
  • Restored by marque specialists Imgrund Motorsport of Hüttenhausen, Germany
  • Accompanied by FIA HTP papers and an extensive spares package, including its original race engine and two spare sets of wheels

Established in 1984 as the Deutsche Produktionswagen Meisterschaft—the German Production Car Championship—before transitioning to its more familiar Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterchaft moniker in 1986, the DTM rapidly emerged as the most prestigious touring car championship in continental Europe. Strictly enforced Group A regulations and a performance-based weight handicap system promoted a relatively level playing field as the series became a byword for spectacular and competitive racing.

For the 1988 season, a “double header” race weekend format was introduced, which was accompanied by an upsurge in manufacturer interest from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Ford. Furthermore, the collapse of the European Touring Car Championship at the end of that year hastened the arrival of grandee teams including Eggenberger and Schnitzer for 1989, as well as star drivers such as ex-Formula 1 pilots Johnny Cecotto and Bernd Schneider, Touring Car greats Steve Soper and Roberto Ravaglia, and Sports Car legends Klaus Ludwig and Manuel Reuter.

Following Ford’s withdrawal, the 1990 season looked set to be a bilateral contest between BMW and Mercedes-Benz, with both marques entering no less than four Works-backed teams. However, it was a single factory-supported, Schmidt Motorsport-run Audi V8 quattro that attracted the greatest attention as the Ingolstadt marque embarked upon an official DTM campaign for the first time. Piloted by former World Sports Car Champion Hans-Joachim Stuck, its superb four-wheel-drive system rendered it the class of the field; the German winning seven of a possible 22 races to secure the title.

For 1991, Schmidt expanded to a two-car operation, with 22-year-old karting prodigy Hubert Haupt joining Stuck in the team. Audi’s presence was also bolstered by a second Works-backed outfit; the Audi Zentrum Reutlingen squad running cars for Franks Biela and Jelinski. Duly updated to “Evolution” specification, the V8 quattro’s 3.5-litre engine by now produced almost 500 horsepower, while a new front splitter and adjustable-height rear wing offered significant aerodynamic advances.

BMW initially set the pace by winning the first four races, but enviable consistency and three wins in the final four rounds handed Biela the title ahead of the Mercedes-Benz-mounted Ludwig and Stuck. Incredibly, this represented the first time a manufacturer had sealed back-to-back DTM titles. Audi’s dominance was underlined by Biela winning two of the four end-of-season ITR races to also secure the ITR Driver’s Cup.

Originally one of the Schmidt Motorsport-run cars, this stunning example—chassis LN000049—made its race debut in the opening round of the 1991 Championship, at Zolder. Driven by Hans-Joachim Stuck, it finished a superb 2nd behind Cecotto’s BMW in the second race, ahead of Biela’s similar car. However, after a sequence of three retirements in four races, Haupt took over the driving duties at Avus; the Bavarian finishing 4th and 3rd on a weekend when Audi swept the podium in both races. Thereafter, the car reverted to Stuck, who subsequently took three excellent wins at Norisring, Diepholz, and Singen to cement his 3rd place in the Championship.

If Audi’s 1991 season had been unmitigated triumph, then 1992 proved acrimonious. The team’s early season pace was overshadowed by BMW and Mercedes-Benz lobbying successfully for the quattro’s minimum weight to be increased to 1,300 kilograms, and frequent protests centring around the legality—or otherwise—of the quattro’s crankshaft. A Biela-Stuck 1-2 at Nürburgring aside, there were few other results of note, and Stuck’s 6th place at Avus was to prove the final significant result for chassis LN000049. Indeed, so toxic was the prevailing political situation that Audi withdrew mid-season; the Nürburgring Nordschleife round in June representing the marque’s Championship swansong.

Having remained in Audi’s care for more than two decades, chassis LN000049 was acquired in April 2014 by its illustrious former driver, Hupert Haupt, who promptly entrusted it to Imgrund Motorsport of Hüttenhausen, Germany for complete restoration to 1991 specification. The work performed including rebuilding the car’s complex transmission and suspension, as well as rewiring, replumbing and the fitment of a 4.2-litre engine; the latter unit offering superior torque and slightly lower maximum revs.

Exquisitely finished in its correct 1991-specification Audi Sport livery, chassis LN000049 is supported by an extensive spares package including its original race engine, two spare sets of wheels, a wiring harness, a complete braking system, and a period-correct laptop for data download purposes. Used only minimally since completion, the car is accompanied by an FIA Historical Technical Passport and represents a highly attractive and competitive entry into the numerous historic and Youngtimer touring car events for which it is eligible.

The ~million-Euro pricetag is just the start if you want to actually run the car, since everything is effectively bespoke on them and you’ll need a hefty race budget just to keep it running. Still…it’s hard not to dream.

That wood trim! What a trip. Thanks to our reader John, who spotted this one and sent it in. I’ll keep on dreaming!

-Carter

3 Comments

  1. John
    John April 24, 2024

    The ultimate Audi V8 OG!

  2. Avus99
    Avus99 May 3, 2024

    I want to hear it….

  3. Mark Jawdoszyn
    Mark Jawdoszyn May 7, 2024

    The car that put Audi on the map. Legendary.

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