Ingolstadt, 23 April, 2003
March 19 was a very special date for the Swedish KMS Motorsport team: On
that Wednesday, the race version of the new Audi A4 completed a
successful rollout with Fredrik Ekblom at the wheel. “It was a big day for the
entire team – particularly however, for those people who worked extremely
hard to realise the project,” explained Team Principal Tommy Kristoffersson.
Up to last year, KMS Motorsport was successful with the Super Touring
version of the Audi A4 quattro in the Swedish Touring Car Championship. A
change in regulations left KMS with no other choice than to develop a
completely new car for the 2003 season. With support from the Audi Sport
Customer Department, a race version of the new Audi A4 complying with the
“Super 2000 Touring Car” regulations was developed.
Because it is a national project, supported by the Swedish Audi importer, the
new A4 race version was provisionally homologated only in Sweden and not
however, with the international federation FIA. The advantage for KMS: Cars
homologated nationally weigh 40 kilograms less than those cars authorised
by the FIA and, for example, compete in the European Touring Car
Benefiting from the weight advantage and building a light car was therefore
one of the priorities set during development of the new front wheel drive car.
“We reached this target,” said a proud Ronnie Bergström, Technical Director
at KMS Motorsport in Arvika, Sweden.
For the A4 STCC development, the engineers could exploit the experiences
made with the Super Touring Car, but could only incorporate a few complete
parts as the body and suspension components of the old and new Audi A4
were completely different. Only the gearbox was used during 1997 and 1998
in the front wheel drive A4 Super Touring.
All other components were redesigned, including the four cylinder 260 hp
engine that, because of the more limited Super 2000 regulations, differs
completely to the STW engine. Furthermore, replacing the four-valve engine
as basis unit is the more modern five-valve version.
When compared to the previous Super Touring Cars, more restrictive
aerodynamic regulations are valid for the Super 2000 Touring Cars. The
cars have a homogenous rear wing and less downforce. Therefore, during
development particular value was attached to obtaining the most efficient air
flow possible over the rear wing.
“In Super Touring Cars, the attention to detail is even more important than
ever before,” explained Team Principal Tommy Kristoffersson. “I am
convinced that the new A4 has plenty of potential that we must exploit during
the course of the year.”