Audi 90 IMSA GTO: Time for Coffee?

While the natural focus when discussing five-cylinder motorsport Audis is to think of the Quattro, it's easy to forget that there was a fair amount of success on the circuit too. Remember the IMSA 90 GTO?

The story of this car, as discussed in this old Audi Sport film, is really quite remarkable. Having won the 1988 Trans-Am series with a 200 Quattro in 1988, people assumed that Audi would mount a title defence to prove the car's worth. But they didn't, instead taking on the big boys in the GTO class with the now legendary 90 IMSA. And in the first season Audi won at Laguna Seca, Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, Heartland Park, Mid-Ohio and Summit Point. It was an emphatic display of how quattro could benefit circuit racers too, which Audi of course went on to further demonstrate during the 90s in other touring car series.

This video covers pre-season testing for the 1989 season and the first couple of racers, the narrator battling it out with the backing music for 'most 80s sound ever heard in a video'. It's a fascinating look into how the team prepared for that season, with some early telemetry systems raved about and some great quips from Hans-Joachim Stuck; apparently when testing this car and a 962 in the same week, he complained to the Porsche engineers about poor traction - "Go back to your s**t Audi" was the response...

Perhaps the only issue with this video is a slight lack of five-cylinder noise. Should that be a problem might we suggest this video, or this one, or maybe even this one - enjoy!

Watch the video here


P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (10) Join the discussion on the forum

  • 1781cc 17 Mar 2017

    I fell in love with this car after buying an Audi 80 B3 1.8 Quattro saloon - my first proper car purchase a few years after passing my test. The love has never waned.

    Amazing car, only other track based car that has had a similar effect on me was the Martini 155 German DTM car.

    Back in the days when race cars were real machines for real drivers

  • Nors 17 Mar 2017

    700bhp reputedley in these.

    Now those are arches!biggrin

  • Glosole 17 Mar 2017

    Remember when I saw these race at Long Beach Transam Indy car support race compared to the other competitors they seemed almost in the wrong class as they seemed to be highly modded road cars rather than the space framed V8 engined American cars that were more like Nascar with fibre glass bodies. Paul Newman often drove an interesting twin turbo Nissan might be the one seen in this footage. Thanks for the memory.

  • ukaskew 17 Mar 2017

    Had no idea what this amazing looking thing was when I went to FoS in 2009, safe to say I've become quite the fan since...

    FoS 2009 - Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO by Chris Harrison, on Flickr

  • DrSteveBrule 17 Mar 2017

    1781cc said:
    Amazing car, only other track based car that has had a similar effect on me was the Martini 155 German DTM car.
    Just Googled that to find out what it was; wow, that is stunning.

View all comments in the forums Make a comment