THREE days ahead of Sunday's race meet at JamWest Speedway in Westmoreland, the new and certainly improved Audi TT-R DTM was unveiled at the dealership's state-of-art showroom in New Kingston yesterday.
The occasion also marked a reuniting of race car driver Doug Gore with his super machine since its collision at the Dover Raceway in St Ann in May last year.
"It's been nine months since I've been behind the wheel of this wonderful machine," said Gore.
In his presentation to the audience, former lap-time record holder said he thought his career would have ended with the crash. However, the ATL Group and his sponsors have been very supportive.
"We will be champions again," he said.
The Audi was flown to Germany to be repaired by the hands that crafted it, ABT Sportsline.
ABT's instructions were beyond a simple fix-it job.
"They were told to return a competitive car, or sell it," Gore told Auto.
Adam Stewart, ATL Automotive's CEO, thanked Jamaica for accepting the brands his company sold and shared his commitment to being number one.
"The move into the automotive sector for our group had been a solid one. It is something we chose to do, and wanted to do it differently," he said.
"When we took over Audi brand [in 2010], 14 units were sold per year. Last year, we sold 174 vehicles," Stewart said.
He used the opportunity to laud race car veterans David Summerbell Jr and Peter Rae. He said the Thunder Sport class would again be buzzing with excitement with Gore's return.
The overhauled Audi has been made to look like the current generation. Under the skin, engine power has been upgraded, as well as suspension.
"A lot of the changes came from what ABT saw and data captured on local conditions; so it should be even faster than before," Gore told Auto.
ABT's input has gone even further for the 2013 season indicating their confidence in the Audi TT-R.
"ABT reduced their parts and labour costs as part of a sponsorship package for us. Their sticker will be on the car this year," Gore said.
Other sponsors include Boom Energy Drink, Rainforest Seafoods, and Sherwin Williams.
On its race debut this weekend, ABT DTM race engineer Franco Chiocchetti is expected to be in attendance to ensure the car performs at its optimum.