The forthcoming Frankfurt Motor Show - which begins next week - will witness the debut of the race version of Lamborghini's much-acclaimed new Murci?lago model.

Named the Murci?lago R-GT, the competition car is currently being jointly developed by race experts Reiter Engineering and Lamborghini's parent company, Audi, whose sports division, Audi Sport, is refining the concept for use in various race series.

The car is Lamborghini's first step into the field of international motorsport since its abortive engagement in Formula One in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The newly founded Lamborghini Customer Sports Programme will take care, not only of the sale of the race cars, but also in offering trackside assistance, as the R-GT is designed to allow clients to participate in events on an international level.

Lamborghini believes that the Murci?lago can compete in series such as the FIA GT Championship or the American Le Mans Series, where it will run against Italian rival Ferrari and endurance stalwart Porsche. Customer cars should be available by 2004.

The performance of the Murcielago will be demonstrated by Reiter Engineering when it enters an R-GT in the FIA GT races at Estoril [5 October] and Monza [19 October].



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