Fans of the four rings will once again be given a day to remember later this month as one of the UK’s most hotly anticipated Audi enthusiast shows opens its doors on Saturday, 15th October at Castle Combe‘s famous racing circuit. The long-established annual gathering organised by Audi Driver Magazine will feature an action-packed day of track sessions and fast-lap passenger rides, show ’n’ shine and concours competitions, numerous owners‘ club displays, parade laps and a host of exhibitors.
Already a familiar sight at the hit show, Audi UK will also be supporting the day by bringing its customary walk-on mobile entertainment unit that is open to all visitors, offering ample seating and complimentary wifi and refreshments, in addition to an intoxicating display of cars forming part of the brand’s extensive heritage fleet and latest line-up. These will include the V10-powered, 570 PS R8 LMX, one of only 99 built worldwide and the brand’s first model with laser lights, plus the RS 6 Avant performance and S8 plus, both pushing out a monumental 605 PS and 750Nm of maximum torque.
An instructor from the thrilling Audi Driving Experience training programme at Silverstone will also offer a series of edge-of-the-seat passenger rides in an R8 V10 plus for those who sign up on the Audi stand on a first-come-first-served basis.
A highlight from another era in the colourful history of quattro drive will also be playing a starring role at the event - the Audi A4 quattro SuperTourer, revered for its game-changing touring car racing supremacy, will be on static display. Its legacy includes Super Touring Car Championship victories in Australia, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and South Africa. In Great Britain, it proved so devastatingly effective in the hands of Frank Biela and John Bintcliffe that it racked up an impressive total of eight victories and 25 podiums in the 1996 British Touring Car Championship alone, culminating with the overall team and manufacturer championship titles that year, plus a driver championship win for Biela. This huge success was ultimately responsible for a rule change that ushered in heavy weight penalties for all four-wheel drive cars in the 1997 season, eventually sealing the complete ban of the drivetrain from BTCC regulations a year later. Separately, guests can also look forward to veteran touring car racer Keith Butcher taking his ex-Audi Sport A4 SuperTourer out on track for demo lap sessions.
One of two Audi 80 models attending is a race-prepared replica of the 80 GLE driven by Sir Stirling Moss in the 1980 British Saloon Car Championship, finished in the distinctive ‘AKAI’ livery. It will sit alongside a rare road-going Audi 80 GT, originally UK-registered in 1979. This immaculate example, painted in Cadiz Orange, has been the subject of an extensive restoration and was notable at the time not only for its impressive power to weight ratio of 116 PS per ton and 109mph top speed but also for its multitude of advanced safety systems.
Another limited edition Audi model from 2005 will also join the line-up of Audi UK show cars at Audi Driver International and continues the race-inspired theme. Built to commemorate the brand’s landslide championship victory in the German Touring Car Masters the year before, a mere 250 examples of the Audi A4 DTM Edition Saloon were produced in right-hand drive.
Under the bonnet is a 2.0 TFSI engine fettled by quattro GmbH for a 10 per cent increase in power and an extra 20Nm of torque, resulting in 220PS and 300Nm. This endowed the quattro-driven saloon with a 7.1-second sprint time to 62mph and a top speed of 153mph, while lowered sports suspension with unique spring and damper settings and ventilated, cross-drilled disc brakes reserved for this model provided even more driver focus. Inside, the scene was set by DTM detailing, carbon fibre inlays and Recaro sports seats upholstered in a special Nardia microfibre fabric that was also applied to the three-spoke sports steering wheel, handbrake and gear lever knob.
Elsewhere, the AMD Tuning S3 Saloon driven by Ollie Jackson in the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will be in attendance, fresh from its final race of the season at Brands Hatch at the beginning of the month.
Exciting events roster
A popular draw for visitors to Audi Driver International is the opportunity to exploit the full potential of their own Audi on Castle Combe’s challenging 1.85-mile circuit, and spectators can witness hundreds of the UK’s fastest and most powerful Audi models being put to the test throughout the day.
Low-speed parade laps are also scheduled at various times for drivers and spectators, and participants are encouraged to take part in a large grand finale for a fitting photo finish. Other attractions include an autojumble and a car sales area.
Traditionally, Audi Driver International attracts an extremely large presence from the myriad UK owners' clubs representing a broad spectrum of models in the Audi range. Last year, the Audi RS 3 Owners Club attended with a convoy of more than 30 examples, all aligned by colour. A number of other clubs were also out in force, including the TTOC and TT Forum, the A2 Owners Club and the quattro Owners Club.
To round off the show, guests are also invited to attend an evening drinks reception at Swindon Audi in advance of a formal three-course meal situated at a nearby hotel. An awards ceremony follows, recognising the efforts of individuals, clubs and traders within the Audi world who have made specific contributions or provided exceptional service, as voted for by readers of Audi Magazine.