‘Fat Cat’ R8 1:1 from Finland geared up for 2019 Pro Am challenge!

The Flying Finns are returning to World Time Attack Challenge this October and they are taking no prisoners! The insane Audi is revised, bigger and better than ever, and they are confident they have what it takes for a 2019 Pro Am win!

Team Finland made waves in 2017 when they brought their incredible R8 1:1 project down to Sydney to go up against Rob Nguyen’s ‘Mighty Mouse’ for the Pro Am title. Dubbed the ‘Fat Cat’, the Audi became the sweetheart of the crowd and the fellow competitors alike due to their all-round larrikinism, resonating strongly with the Aussie crowds.

Besting a lap of 1:29 and a bottom step podium on their only outing at Sydney Motorsport Park so far, they will return to compete for the Pro Am class championship and they’re not just throwing the dice with the same odds they came in with in 2017.

The team have rewritten their whole package for 2019, revising the whole subframe and suspension set up and taking the car forward with a huge leap in technology. Unfortunately the catalyst for this rebuild was a high-speed accident which saw the car take a tumble at Finland’s Botniaring circuit at the speed of about 240km/h! 

Fortunately, driver Sami Sivonen left the crash without any major injury and Team Finland, lead by Mikko Ahola of RevisionTech were able to salvage and rebuild what they had left.

Sami and Mikko visited the 2018 WTAC event to enjoy themselves and also do some vital networking to aid the return of the ‘Fat Cat’. Mikko was able to word with Sammy Diasinos of Dynamic Aero Solutions, the genius behind the winning formula of last year’s Pro Class champ, the RP968.

“I think working with Sammy was very good,” says Mikko, R8 1:1 project lead, “The end result should be pretty spectacular when we get all the final bits on the car. Sammy did a super job despite the super-wide frame and limitations with engine and gearbox package. The package has similarities with RP968 but there are near to no parts that are identical as the flow is very sensitive to small shape changes.”

The engine uses the same 5.2L V10 base, and cooling and efficiency has been improved thanks to Turbosmart, Garrett and Häggblom Motorsport. New custom JE pistons and Arrow rods brought down the compression ratio from 12.4:1 to 9:1, which undoubtedly has been done to accomodate more boost.

A pair of Garrett GTX3582R turbos are tasked for boost duties, and through some custom intake and exhaust manifolds, the Audi’s powerplant outputs a staggering 1287HP and 1270Nm at the wheels with a redline of only 8000rpm!

Main suspension dampers are by Ohlins, but to further keep it on the black stuff, a trick Tractive Suspension third damper across the towers assists with heave and pitch under load.

The Fat Cat’s target time for 2019? “Of course we need to say Pro Am win. By our analysis, Sami would need to do a time around 1.22 which should be completely possible with this package,” says Mikko.

The team is keen to catch up with everyone when they return in October, and look forward to putting up a good fight in Pro Am. With no Mighty Mouse to chase, who will they be looking to have a rivalry with this year? 

“It looks like the Tilton Evo will be back, so that is something to look at for sure!” says Mikko.

The R8 1:1 is currently en route to Sydney! Welcome back the Flying Finns at #WTAC2019! Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge will be held 18-19 October 2019. Tickets are on sale NOW at http://tickets.worldtimeattack.com/