In less than three days, one of the largest and most eagerly anticipated shows in the Audi enthusiast calendar opens its doors at Wiltshire’s Castle Combe Race Circuit. Organised by Audi Driver Magazine, and supported by Audi UK, the annual Audi Driver International event treats owners and fans of the four rings to a packed programme of immersive activities, and also plays host to an impressive array of modern and historic machinery representing the very best of Vorsprung durch Technik through the years.
On display this year in front of the familiar Audi UK hospitality unit will be some of the hottest stars of the S and RS stable, including the 560 PS RS 6 Avant, the 310 PS TTS in both Coupe and Roadster form and the all-new RS 3 Sportback, which with a 367PS output is notable as the most powerful five-cylinder production car in the brand’s history.
These proven powerhouses will sit alongside a selection of their forebears, including two recent acquisitions that have been welcomed into the Audi UK heritage fleet. They are a 3.6-litre Audi V8 quattro first registered in 1990 and an immaculately presented 1968 Audi 80 Variant – notable as a member of the F103 series which was the first model range to be sold in the United Kingdom wearing the Audi badge. This particular example is thought to be one of only two UK specification Variants still in existence. Also on display will be the Le Mans-winning R18 e-tron quattro, driven to victory in 2013 by Audi legends Tom Kristensen, Loic Duval and Allan McNish.
One secret of the enduring appeal of Audi Driver International is the fact that it offers the opportunity for owners to drive their own cars on track, ensuring that spectators will be able to revel in the sight, and not inconsiderable sound, of some of the fastest and most powerful Audi models in the UK and Europe being put through their paces. Joining them on circuit will be former Le Mans winner Richard Attwood, who will get behind the wheel of the latest quattro-driven RS 3 Sportback, and will no doubt spare very few of its 367 ‘horses’ as he treats some lucky passengers* to unforgettable taxi rides on the challenging circuit.
Low-speed parade laps are also scheduled at various times throughout the day for drivers and spectators, culminating in a grand finale session where participants are invited to take to the track in a spectacular finishing cavalcade.
Additional attractions at the circuit will include various trade and exhibitor stands, an array of Audi owners club displays, an autojumble, technical forum, and of course the hotly contested Show’n’Shine and Concours d’Elegance events.
Continuing into the evening, a reception will be hosted by Swindon Audi at their Centre ahead of a gala dinner and presentation of the Annual Audi Driver Awards, followed by a disco and bar.