Being obsessed with DTM and IMSA racing, it’s no surprise Nick Flom would wind up in something a bit fruity on the road, although his carbon-clad widebody Audi RS3 daily driver is actually more at home on the track…

How often, when traveling from point A to an unfamiliar point B, do you make it successfully without one wrong turn? It’s not likely the majority of you will raise your hand and assume the identity of Rand McNally. There aren’t many instances where I interview people and their story doesn’t include some sort of detour, distraction or derailment, but here we are with this purpose-built widebody Audi RS3.

Nick Flom: The Owner

“The RS3 is my third ‘build’, but my first full-on build in the sense that there is no aspect of the car left untouched,” says owner Nick Flom very matter-of-factly. Flom, a 30-year-old cyber security consulting engineer from northern Virginia, has been investing time and money into an automotive habit for the luckier part of thirteen years. “My first car, when I was a senior in high school, was a 2008 Ford Focus SE that I did similar things to,” Nick reminisces.

“That car was also gutted, had a bolt-in half cage, [its] battery was relocated to the rear, straight piped exhaust, wheels, coil-overs and a bunch of other suspension modifications to make it handle like it was on rails.” Nick had his first taste of track time with the trusty Ford Focus, albeit parking lot antics via auto-crossing. Still, it was enough experience that clearly stuck with him through the second movement of his motoring concerto.

front on shot of widebody Audi RS3

Automotive Journey

After finding the law too focused on his juvenile adventures with the Ford, it was released into the wild and replaced with a somewhat tamer Benz SLK230 Kompressor. While it wasn’t as “racey” as Nick puts it, it did benefit from coil-overs, upgraded supercharger pulley and various other performance modifications, the service bills were becoming too much. With a convertible top that wouldn’t open and an engine that overheated, the Merc was moved on in 2017.

Nick’s urges for a fun vehicle laid dormant for two years until in 2019 when he rejoined the fold and began to search for a weekend ride. With a specific budget in mind, the two finalists vying to ding his credit score were either a BMW M2 Competition or the Audi RS3. Obviously we all know what he chose, but it seems there was more to his decision than dollars and cents.

Discovering the Audi RS3

“I found my RS3 online at a dealership in Arizona, [which had been] traded in by the initial owner,” beams Nick. “I contacted the dealership and spoke with a salesperson who told me there were some aftermarket parts on the car and wanted to show me, so I FaceTimed with him. The salesmen showed me the intercooler and that the one on the car had ‘APR’ on it. I instantly knew what the dealership had and promptly bought the car.”

Besides the upgraded front-mount intercooler, the RS3 had already enlisted an army of APR parts, including a catless downpipe, high-flow secondary cats, turbo inlet pipe, and part of the carbon intake system. “Within a week of owning the car,” says Nick, “I took it to my local European shop, New German Performance, and found out that the car was already ‘stage 2’ on [APR’s] 91-octane tune. I had NGP swap the tune on the car to APR’s E85 file and it’s been that way since.”

widebody Audi RS3 interior

Transition to Full Race Car

But how did it make the journey from a Mythos black RS3 enjoying the bolt-on performance life to the carbon fibre widebody track attack weekend warrior? Surely this wasn’t intentional.

“So initially I bought the car with the intention of doing an OEM+ build,” says Nick sheepishly. “Lower it a little, wheels and tyres, just small things. A friend of mine invited me to my first track event in years, a track-cross event, in the winter of 2019-2020. I remember him saying when he invited me, something to the effect of hey man, that’s a sports car, an RS. How about you bring that out to this track event and see how it does?”

Like Frank the Tank setting aside the Wild Cherry Pepsi to funnel a beer, he was hooked. “Being on an actual track and not just in a parking lot was awesome. It was that day that I decided I was going to go all out and build a race car. Even then, I didn’t think the car was going to be at the level that it is at now, let alone will be in the future.” It’s as if he’s setting this feature up for a sequel already.

Carbon fibre RS engine cover

Embracing “Simplify and Add Lightness”

“I’ve always been a fan of the Lotus mantra of ‘Simplify and add lightness,’” muses Nick. “Being on APR’s stage 2 E85 tuning from just about the beginning of my ownership, I knew in order for me to make more power and go faster, it would require a lot of money to build the engine, transmission, and fuelling system to go faster, so rather than that, I decided to start putting the car on a diet.”

The word ‘diet’ is a dreaded word for many people, bringing back memories of failed attempts at shaving off a few pounds. But in the case of this inanimate object that is the Audi RS3, not only was it receptive to reducing its portly 3,600 curb weight, but it was also incapable of raiding the snack cabinet at 11 p.m. after its conscience had gone to bed.

“In the motorsports world carbon fibre is king,” says Nick. “The material is lightweight and strong, so replacing anything metal or plastic with the same part in carbon fibre was my goal. It started with the hood and quickly spread throughout the exterior and interior.” A gutted back seat area was offset by the addition of a welded-in custom chromoly 4-point rear roll bar, courtesy of Piper Motorsport. While mass reduction is a good goal to have, safety is even more important.

audiSport wing

Evolution of the Exterior Of The Audi RS3

Besides the heavy presence of carbon fibre, the most striking thing about the RS3 is the MComposit LMS TCR wide body kit. However, in a rare instance of Nick doing something over, this was not the initial way it looked.

“I’ve always been a fan of car racing, specifically DTM, IMSA and the big box flares of 80’s group B rally,” Nick tells us. “Shortly after making the decision to go full race car, I started looking into how I could change the look of the car to be more aggressive. I quickly found many photos of the Audi RS3 TCR LMS cars, but thought the parts were unattainable due to them being race cars. The style and look of the Audi RS3 TCR cars was and is my end game regarding the exterior looks of the car.

During my research of the TCR cars, I discovered this company, MComposit, out of Bulgaria, that makes TCR replica body panels out of carbon fibre. I reached out and got pricing for a full kit, but quickly discovered that a kit was way out of my price range.”

driving shot of widebody Audi RS3

The Red Bull Livery For The Audi RS3

Discouraged but not deflated, Nick chose more affordable aggression via Clinched’s universal fender flares in early 2020 and by June of that year, they were measured, cut, painted, and installed by a pal who worked at a local body shop. The flares acted as awnings for the mesh Forgeline LS3 for the better part of two years before things changed. In fact, once the flares were installed, Nick went ahead and rebuilt the LS3s to a wider spec to take advantage of the added width. But of course, those aren’t the wheels you see today.

“The Red Bull livery was kind of a ‘happy accident’ where one thing just led to another,” Nick recalls. “The local car club I’m in, called Nu Conceptz, was doing vinyl liveries for people in the club when I joined. Since I joined while they were doing them for other members, I was at the bottom of the list to get one done.” And for anyone who’s been at the bottom of any list, there is always the chance that when it comes time for your turn, the shop’s going to be closed.

Concurrent to all this, a club buddy had been working on the distinctive livery in Forza. An interesting prognosticator was he designed it using a TCR RS3 in the game. So what’s the deal, is Nick a Christian Horner fan? “My friend did a Red Bull inspired theme because at the time I would always show up to events with a Red Bull.”

Track Transformation and Upgrades

In order to be more effective on track you need more than just raw power. Going fast requires stopping faster and Nick elected to employ an Essex Parts Radi-CAL competition big brake kit, consisting of 372mm two-piece rotors with AP Racing Pro 5000R calipers. That’s one way to paste your eyeballs to the windshield. Holding your racing line is another way to shave seconds from your lap time. For this, Nick channeled the professionals at 034 Motorsports. “Their parts are second to none,” says Nick with conviction. “I have almost their entire suspension catalog on my car, and since starting my journey, we put a partnership in place for me to represent them.”

front on shot of widebody Audi RS3

Suspension and Handling On The Widebody Audi RS3

One piece of the suspension puzzle worthy of its own paragraph is the bespoke Fortune Auto coil-overs. “Wanting to take my car to the next level, suspension wise, I was looking for a good set of track oriented coil-overs. A friend of mine introduced me to Terry and his guys at Fortune Auto, out of Powhatan, Virginia. After one conversation with Terry, he was on board to use my car as the development chassis for them to come out with an offering for the 8V A3/S3/RS3 line of cars. The car has been on Fortune Auto coilovers this whole past year, and I have nothing but great things to say about their products and service.”

Acquisition of the MComposit Kit

Remember that kit that was originally out of the realm of realisation? Well, it’s a rather remarkable tale in itself.

“So the story on that kit just a stroke of luck,” Nick tells us enthusiastically. “In June of 2022, a local friend of mine who also has an RS3 saw a guy had posted this kit for sale in a group on Facebook that I was not a part of. My friend screen-shotted the post and sent it to me. I immediately joined the group and messaged the seller, telling him I would buy the kit for his asking price. It turns out the seller was selling all of his possessions and moving back to the country he was from. The seller had bought the kit brand new from MComposit, but had never gotten around to installing it, so the kit was still new, in the packaging from MComposit.”

widebody kit

Installation of the Widebody MComposit Kit

Nick’s northern drive to New Jersey saved him two-thirds the cost of what the kit retails for, an incredible savings for any coupon clipper. Once in his possession, the next task was finding a quality and reputable body shop to transform his RS3 into the TCR racer he wanted from the start.

That monumental challenge was laid at the feet of Vincente and his crew at Extraordinaries Customs & Collision out of Sterling, Virginia. Anyone who has ever had a car at a body shop knows that completion dates are sometimes, uh, fluid. However, in a continuation of Nick’s good fortune with the widebody Audi RS3, he dropped the car off at the end of June with the expectation of having it done in September, just in time for Dubs at the Gap. And would you know, it made it, taking home “Best Audi” as well.

The kit was installed over the livery, with the flowing carbon fibre fenders complementing the graphics nicely. Look closely and you’ll see accommodations for the front and rear parking sensors, as well as the adaptive cruise control sensor. “One of the big things that I was adamant on with the wide body kit, was that all of the factory installed sensors would continue to work,” says Nick. The bodyshop took the time to measure and cut holes for all the required sensors. We’re sure the adaptive cruise will prevent him from getting too close to other competitors as he’s ripping round Summit Point.

AP racing brakes

Widebody Audi RS3 Wheel Changes

Prior to being admitted to the bodyshop, Nick had changed the wheels to 18” Titan 7 T-R10s wearing 285-section tires, which are absolutely swallowed under the car. Plans are in the works to go back to different Forgeline wheels with a wider footprint and a lower offset. The one-eyed look is courtesy of an Eventuri carbon headlight delete race duct.

With its healthy helping of additional carbon fibre, Nick says a lot of the questions he gets are in regards to the car’s current weight. “The widebody Audi RS3 was corner balanced shortly after Dubs at the Gap and weighed in at 3,340 lbs. without me and about ¾ tank of gas.” Nick has all intentions of getting it sub-3,000 with additional carbon parts and we see that as yet another achievable goal.

race car bodykit

Final Thoughts On The Widebody Audi RS3

In a show car sense, it would be at this point that Nick sits back and enjoys the fruits of his labour. However, as an evolving race car, it’s been in service this whole time, increasing his comfort level on track from continuous track events. Actually, that Flom Motorsports banner waving on the front doors was created solely as an aggregator for his widebody Audi RS3 content on all the social media channels. Nick’s doing it right, separating his private life from that of the notoriety gained from having an outrageous car. It also gives credence to the project when seeking out sponsors.

Since the readership can’t rotate through driving duties, we asked Nick what aspect of the car really made him smile. “I think my favourite part of the car is the view from the driver’s seat. While the exterior is definitely wild, sitting in the driver’s seat, with all of your senses taking in the car, knowing what the car is capable of, it’s a lot. You see the roll bar in the rear view mirror, you see the carbon clad rear hips in the side mirrors, the gauge cluster feeding you engine and performance vitals.

It hums of catless E85 exhaust fumes. You hear the loud, 5-cylinder exhaust dumping on the ground and reverberating underneath the car. You feel the suede steering wheel and gear selector, you feel the six point harnesses holding you tight to the bucket seat which is in turn holding you snug with its bolstering. And you feel the whole car vibrating from the numerous solid suspension and engine/transmission mounts in the car. When I’m driving this widebody Audi RS3, specifically on the track, every aspect of my being is consumed by ‘race car.’”

rear 3/4 shot of widebody Audi RS3


So while Nick’s dreams of being on the grid at Le Mans may never come to fruition, this isn’t just someone wearing RollJunkie apparel but never stepping foot on the mats. “I’m not looking to set any records, I just want to go have fun and maybe win some events. At this point I just want to build a bad ass race car, how I see fit.” We think he crossed the finish line first in that competition.

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Words: Bryan McCarthy. Photos: Alex Lafferty, Brian Murray, Capriati Media & Cracked Lens Media.