A cold but sunny morning at SIverstone’s Grand Prix Circuit saw a huge mix of cars on track for a general test day from historic Minis, through to brand new roadgoing supercars – But the fastest car on track was Steller Motorsport’s new weapon bound for the 2020 British GT Championship.
The brand new 2020 spec. Audi R8 LMS GT3 was quick straight out of the box – In the hands of Steller’s double GT4-winning driver from last season, Sennan Fielding, and with support in the garage both from Steller’s engineers and support from Audi Customer Racing in Germany, the car was putting in very competitive times, despite the traffic!
“We’ve done 75 plus laps this morning, a fair amount of running literally just fresh out of the box just to see how the whole car runs. And it’s as good as it looks,’ said Sennan after running was completed for the day.
“It’s absolutely amazing to drive. It gives you so much confidence as a driver. And even on a day like today, where there’s every kind of car out there it’s still very, very quick.
“As someone with race-winning form in the Steller Audi GT4 last season how big a step is this?It is quite a big step, there’s more power, more aero, the brakes are much better.
“It is a lot but the way the R8 is set up, everything is so progressive, and it gives you so much confidence.
“So for a driver that’s wanting to step up from GT4 to GT3, it’s not going to be a massive shock straight out of the pit lane, there are reference points to the GT4, and it would be relatively straightforward to get to grips with. Everything’s nice and controlled.
“Amongst the biggest changes to adapt to are that the braking distance does feel astonishingly late compared to anything else and you can really feel the aero, which is again pretty progressive and a very nice feeling, but the balance of the car is awesome. Really good.”
This is the newest version of the GT3 R8 and the changes have, for the most part, been put in place to make it an even more friendly proposition for the gentleman driver?
“It’s one of those cars where it’s very easy to get up to a pretty quick pace. There is a bit more that a full Pro driver can unlock, and there’s plenty to learn for someone getting into a GT3.
“But the way this Audi is set up means that they can do that in a very linear, progressive way and still really enjoy the car as they progress.
“The support we have both in-house and from Audi is mega too, one thing I found today, as soon as we had a tiny bit of oversteer, the engineers here made one small adjustment and fixed it straightaway.
“That makes it so easy for either a professional or a gentleman to drive at a very competitive pace.”
You had winning form in GT4 with Steller last season and, I’m sure, have been keeping an eye on GT3 too. This is the only Audi currently slated for GT3 in the British Championship. Any reason why we shouldn’t see this one right at the front of the pack with the right combination of drivers?
“No, definitely not. I don’t know why there aren’t more out there. It’s an absolutely amazing car. And I think with a good pair of drivers it can definitely be competing at the front end of the field without doubt.
“I think too that the Audi should be really well suited to most of the UK circuits. I think it could be extremely strong. And obviously, with a great manufacturer like Audi, they’re going to do whatever they can to make sure it is one of the strongest cars on the field.”