As the first examples of the scalp-bronzing Audi R8 Spyder head for the UK to enliven spring 2010, two rather more knuckle-whitening versions of the celebrated Audi supercar are preparing to compete in the 2010 FIA GT3 European Championships in the hands of a new home-grown racing team.

The latest R8 road car is based on the 525PS, 5.2-litre FSI model, but features a bespoke body incorporating additional weight-saving carbon fibre composite panels as well as the all-important fully automatic lightweight fabric hood. Good for a 4.1-second 0-62mph sprint and a top speed of 197mph, the R8 Spyder is available to order in the UK now in six-speed manual and six-speed R tronic automated manual forms priced at £111,955 OTR and £117,155 OTR.

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The Audi R8 LMS, which takes the fixed head version of this formidable, V10-powered lightweight aluminium supercar as its basis, was developed by Audi Sport in close cooperation with quattro GmbH for "customer" motor sport teams. The first thoroughbred "customer" sports car in the Audi brand's illustrious near 30-year modern motor sport history adopts an even more extreme edge through the even more extensive use of weight-paring carbon fibre, the installation of a race-spec gearbox and the removal of all standard interior trim.

United Autosports Audi R8 LMS GT3

United Autosports, a newly formed British racing team based in Leeds, Yorkshire, has secured two examples of the specially enhanced and race prepared super car, which has already justified its £267,000 ‘list price' by achieving 23 race victories throughout Europe in 2009, its debut season.

With this spectacular duo, the team aims to successfully defend the FIA GT3 European Championship title for the German ‘Vorsprung durch Technik' manufacturer. British sports car fans can see them make their maiden outing in the British GT Championship opener at Oulton Park, Cheshire, on Easter Monday (April 5th), before they campaign in the FIA Euro races at Silverstone, Northamptonshire, on May 2nd.