Macau, November 17, 2019 – Audi Sport’s drivers and customers return from the Macau Grand Prix with two trophies. The most successful Audi Sport driver was Jean-Karl Vernay in an Audi RS 3 LMS, who finished the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup in third position. Meanwhile, Filipe Souza in the Champ x TA Motorsport Audi RS 3 LMS took a 1950cc class win in the Macau Touring Car Cup (MTCC), crossing the line third overall.
In the FIA GT World Cup, Phoenix Racing, on clinching fifth place, scored the best result of the Audi R8 LMS. At a packed weekend for Audi Sport customers at one of Asia’s longest-running motorsport events, there was a Macau debut for the Audi R8 LMS GT4 however Alex Au of Grid Motorsport’s Greater Bay Area GT Cup race ended prematurely after contact with a competitor.
“Macau was intensive once again and created a lot of work for our teams,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “Congratulations to Jean-Karl Vernay and Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport on clinching a podium in the FIA WTCR. Frédéric Vervisch showed very good fightbacks as well. With the second spot on the grid in the FIA GT World Cup, we had secured a good starting base for the qualification race which, unfortunately, we weren’t able to convert into a corresponding race result. Ernst Moser with his Phoenix Racing team and our Audi Sport driver Christopher Haase, on finishing both races in fifth position, clinched the best result for us. Many thanks for that.”
For the eighth time this season, the Audi RS 3 LMS achieved a podium finish in the WTCR – FIA-World Touring Car Cup. On the challenging city street circuit in Macau, Jean-Karl Vernay with Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport had qualified for the third spot on the grid for race three. In a very balanced front field, the Frenchman successfully defended his position against the attacks of his immediate rival but, just like the competitors around him, was unable to overtake another car. During the course of eleven laps, the quartet at the front had pulled clear of the field by 18 seconds. As a result, Vernay finished on podium for the third time this season.
As the highest classified of six Asian wildcard entrants across the weekend, Billy Lo recorded two results in the points. The driver from Macau, racing for Tianshi Zuver Team was one of just two guest entrants in the first qualifying session and the only one in the second to have managed the leap across the qualification hurdle. In his Audi RS 3 LMS, Lo clinched 23rd in the first and 25th place in the third race.
Filipe Souza fought well over the MTCC race in Macau, improving from his starting position of fourth overall to finish in third place in a field of over 30 touring cars. The result was enough to secure the 1950cc category win in front of the Champ x TA Motorsport driver’s home fans. In the second Audi RS 3 LMS entry, Ng Kin Veng crossed the line 18th.
GT World Cup
In the FIA GT World Cup, Dries Vanthoor had secured the best starting base in Macau. The Belgian from Audi Sport Team WRT had started the qualification race in second position, but retired on lap one following contact with the guard rail. From the last spot on the grid, Vanthoor managed a fightback to eighth.
Christopher Haase in an Audi R8 LMS from Phoenix Racing had secured seventh position on the grid after a small mistake in qualifying. In the qualification race, he improved to fifth position, which he claimed again in the main race as the best Audi Sport driver.
Chen Weian from Audi Sport Asia Team TSRT on his Macau debut finished in 13th place in the main race, the third-highest classified of the FIA silver-graded entries.
Greater Bay Area GT Cup
In the 13th entry for Audi Sport customer racing across the weekend, Alex Au of Grid Motorsport fielded the Audi R8 LMS GT4 for its Macau Grand Prix debut. Au showed the pace he is capable of in free practice, clocking the second fastest time, but contact with the wall on the first lap of qualifying derailed his weekend.
The team was able to temporarily repair the car during the session, and he went back out, but was only able to secure the 13th fastest time. Then in the main race on Sunday, Au was caught up in an incident and retired whilst running 10th.