Our Choice of Race Car
As Riley is a paraplegic and uses hand controls to drive, he cannot operate a foot clutch – this meant that a lot of good potential options were immediately off the table, as most automatic versions of cars that are affordable enough to just buy and turn into a race car are terribly slow and frustrating. We believe what we landed on isn’t actually a compromise, despite this restriction.
We went forward with a 2004 Audi TT s-line, with the proven 3.2L VR6 engine, Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) automatic transmission, and Quattro all-wheel drive. This car came with 247 horsepower from the factory, which maximizes our potential within the limits of the GTU regulations. There is a bunch of weight that can come of out this car still, and Riley has previous experience with how good the DSG is as he did his driver training in an Audi A3, which also had Quattro AWD. Both the gearbox and AWD system, in addition to the engine, can be fine-tuned to our needs at the track, helping us further. This specific car has 100,000 on the odometer and is bone stock; we will be the first ones to modify it, so we can trust all that’s been done to it. Perhaps most importantly: this engine sounds fantastic.
Proof of Concept:
There is one other Audi TT in this spec currently racing in the GTU series, and we talked in detail with its driver before moving forward with this car. He records some of the fastest speeds on the straights, is at a huge advantage when the weather is changeable or wet, and he consistently scores points and moves up the order in races from where he qualifies. His best race lap time is a 2:35, and during our preliminary test of our car on October 31, 2021, we set a 2:41. What is very exciting about that is that we tested that car with stock brakes, stock suspension, stock seat, stock engine, and old, skinny M+S tires and STILL managed a 2:41. There is so much time to find in this car and based on that we are confident we can improve even on the other TT’s potential.
Here are pictures of the car from the day we received it: