Sami Sivonen’s Audi R8

This is one of those builds that dreams are made of. When starting a time attack build with what is already a supercar is a big ask (and some may say a big risk), but not for these guys. They have taken a standard R8 R-Tronic and made it into what you see here. While many might say why not start with a GT3 spec R8, that would be no fun and in fact would be detrimental to what is an already highly developed factory race car. What you see below is the brain child of owner Sami Sivonen, Kalle Tyrkkö and engineer Jyrki Repo.

From the build engineer Jyrki Repo

“The car was built in Sami’s garage by Your’s truly, Kalle Tyrkkö and Sami Sivonen. Pauli made his CAD magic from home, and then came in when we had the biggest panic in the final days of the build.

“We outsourced some of the machining stuff, but e.g. all suspension bracketry and anti roll bars, all chassis mods, rollcage, some of the aero parts, all the turbo components were made by the team, in Sami’s small garage.”

“We designed the centerlock system ourselves. I came up with the concept, Pauli made cad drawings, and parts were machined in an oldschool machining shop with WW2 era manual machinery, called Veljekset Karpiola, true gentlemen, with some real skills.”

“Tero Talvensaari from TT-Speed made our electrics, but he lives a few kilometers away, so he made the harness in Sami’s place, too.”

“We have done approximately 45 laps so far, out of which appr. 20 in pouring rain (wasn’t very easy).”

“In the finals race, we were 0.1 sec behind tin top track record in Botniaring in qualifying. On Superlap Sami was more than 1 sec faster than that, before he spun out in the second third of the lap.”

“We hold the track record in Botniaring is almost 3 seconds quicker than any GT3 car ever on that track, and a couple of tenths quicker than F4 track record.”

“The nickname 1:1 stands for power to weight ratio (kg/hp). However I exaggerated a bit on the engine part, so technically it should be more like 0.9:1. Car weighs 1280kg with driver, so a little less than a GT3.”

Your Name: Jyrki Repo

Make: Audi

Model: R8, nickname 1:1

What made you build a car for time attack?

I have personally been working on racecars since mid 90’s, and they all have been VAG family. Sami started doing time attack in 2010 with Audi TTRS, and he won Finnish championship twice in a row. In 2013 he bought a Seat Leon Supercopa, and won ETAM title in FWD the same year.

In 2014 we upgraded the Leon to our unlimited class, and won Finnish championship the same year. 2015 we took part in NETA (North European Time Attack) and found out, FWD cannot really challenge the top tier time attack cars here in the North, although it was quick enough to break FWD track records wherever we went.

Then Sami decided he wants a new car, that would be able to win everything, so he bought the R8 in September 2015.

What series do you run the car in?

Only three races done since it’s been built. Got it running on Finnish championship round 3 in Motopark in July. Then did one race in pouring rain in Alastaro, and then season finals in Botniaring, where the first time se saw a glimpse of what this car is capable of.

Do you drive it yourself, if not, who drives it?

No, I don’t drive. I only build cars.  Driver and owner Sami is not an average driver, as he was very much involved and hands black in the build. He committed a lot with the installs and the overall execution of all the intensive mods we made to the car, from making composites moulds and parts with his fiance, to making bracketry and welding stuff in it.

When was the build started and when did it finish?

The car was bought in September 2015, and we took it to the track in season finals in Alastaro in late same month. Car was then dismantled to the bone in December, and the proper build started in January 2016.

Engine fired up the first time in July, and we ran on dyno on 16th of July. First time the car was on track was 21st of July. We had all kinds of fresh build issues, but Sami managed to win a 5 lap show sprint on the same day, starting from the back of the grid. Winning e.g. 900hp supercharged BMW e36.

What are you currently working on to improve the car?

Winter rehaul, nothing major. Little fix in the fueling, some cooling ducts. Perhaps some work to get a little weight off.

We haven’t even scratched the surface of the car, yet, so there is lot of speed to gain with just Sami learning to drive it, and me learning to set it up properly.

What are some future upgrades?

Less weight, if necessary. And lot of work with setup.

Ask this same question next year. Perhaps I have some ideas then.

Who are some people you’d like to thank?

Oh, many.

Sami, of course, for giving me the honor to complete such a design, and a chance get to go racing with him.

Kalle, our head tech. He is very modest about his part in the build, but we weren’t here if it wasn’t with him.

Matt from Developro. Awesome guy with so much knowledge of these engines, it’s not even funny.

Mark McCoy from Motec. Such a passion to this sport, and the level of support is second to none.

Samuli Saarimaa, a brother in arms, similar background to mine, same vision, same way of thinking. Such a joy to work with him.

Toby Phillips, man I bow deep. He understands the chassis and suspension in a way I can only dream of.

Pauli Manninen, our CAD guy. He makes my ideas appear on CAD screen without me making a single scetch

Martin Mayer from Holinger. We didn’t buy the gearbox from him, but still he has never hesitated to help.

Guy Harding from Racingline Australia. He made our engine thing to become reality, and also gave us a massive hand with our WTAC endeavour this year, and we will be working closely with him in our 2017 campaign.

El Puercosi, Antti Lankinen, for making all these awesome videos.

Marco Zoa, massive language barrier didn’t prevent him for making us the main blade for our rear wing in six days from purchasing order, when we were in a hurry. Wonderful dude from Switxerland, I met in Assen, Netherlands in ETAC last year.

To see more of this great build go to



Lamborghini Gallardo LP520 GT3 Targa Tasmania spec 5.0l V10

Originally built by Developro

Carrillo conrods

Balanced to perfection by Developro

Ported heads and intake manifold

Intake runner flap delete

Supertech valvetrain

2 x Garrett gtx3576 w/ Tial .82 Vband housings

2 x Tial MV-r wastegates

2 x 89mm straight exhausts

Garret sidemount intercoolers with homemade end tanks

E85 fuel

60l ATL fuel cell

Homemade container in cockpit

2 x Bosch 044 transfer pumps submerged

2 x Pierburg “Veyron” main pumps

Two parallel -6An ptfe fuel lines

2 x 4bar Bosch FPR

Finjector 1690cc injectors

Stäubli dry type refueling fittings

1220hp at wheels, 1.4bar (75% wastegate duty cycle. At 80% it wouldn’t stay on rollers)

1000Nm at 5200rpm, 1300Nm from 5500 to 8000rpm.  (1.4bar, measured at wheels)

Torque is limited with cam timing from 4000to 5000rpm.

Rev limiter 9000rpm
Gearbox: Holinger LG6 with pneumatic paddleshift, front wheel drive removed

Clutch: Custom made flywheel 3-disc AP Racing

Driveshafts: Audi Sport LMS Ultra evo


Front Brakes: Audi Ceramic 380×38 with Pagid pads

Rear Brakes: Audi Ceramic 360×32 with Pagid pads

Front Uprights: OEM

Rear Uprights: Audi Sport LMS Ultra

Wishbones/arms: Homebrew

Dampers/Springs: Öhlins TTX40

Wheels: BBS GA 3-piece 12×18 front 13×18 rear

Tyres: Avon in Europe, Yokohama 050 in Australia


Roll Cage: yea, plenty, all home made

Steering Wheel: Seat Sport (Supercopa)

Seat: Audi Customer Racing with memory foam insert

Harness: Yes

Dash: Motec C187

Logger: Motec C187

Wiring/PDM: Motec M150 + 2xPDM15


Combination of all big bits of Audi R8 LMS GT3

Full R8 LMS spec carbon body

Bigger version of Euro splitter

Grand Am Spec diffuser

Homemade twin blade swan neck rear wing (main blade from Marco Zoa, but other bits made in house)

Added some canards and little flics here and there, that wouldn’t exist in the GT3.