With the Stephane Ratel Organisation set to host GT2-class racing in 2020, Audi Sport has released a new offering for gentleman racers looking to get in on the action. Making its debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed is the Audi R8 LMS GT2, and it joins the R8 LMS GT3, R8 LMS GT4 and RS3 LMS as the fourth model dedicated to customer racing.

Based on the latest R8 Spyder, the race car packs a 5.2 litre naturally-aspirated V10 that makes 630 hp (640 PS) and over 550 Nm of torque, both being slightly more than what the road car offers. The seven-speed S tronic double-clutch transmission has been retained here, as are the paddle shifters, but drive is only sent to the rear wheels – no quattro here.

Revisions have also been made to the bodywork, which is visually more race car-like compared to the GT4 equivalent. A new front bumper (with accompanying splitter) and vented bonnet are all much more prolific on the GT2, and it even benefits from vented wheel arches.

Elsewhere, there’s a roof scoop to aid in feeding fresh air to auxiliary components, complete with a redesigned rear deck and roof section adapted from the coupe. A large swan neck spoiler can be found at the rear, while the dual exhausts are higher up to make room for the diffuser below. To add to the aero package, the underfloor sections are covered with carbon-fibre reinforced polymer.

Inside, you get plenty of carbon-fibre and race car items, but a small number of road car items are retained like the switchgear for the lights, climate control, indicators, wipers and even the cruise control, although it’s likely many of these are non-functioning. Altogether, the car has a dry weight of 1,350 kg, and is longer and wider than the road car it’s based on.

Despite the class naming, GT2 actually sits between the GT3 and GT4 classes, following much of the same rules of the latter. This means no modifications are allowed to the engines and transmission, with power outputs being allowed up to 700 hp, which is more than the GT3 class that is capped at 560 hp.

However, aerodynamic limitations on GT2 cars mean that GT3 cars will have a significant advantage in the corners, and Audi says its GT3 will still be quicker around a full lap of a circuit. As running a GT3 car is rather expensive, the GT2 is the less costly option for those who want to race, but don’t want to be “held back” in GT4.