Beijing, March 2, 2020 – Audi Sport customer racing Asia has announced a strong official line-up of five silver-graded drivers for the third season of the successful Audi Sport Asia driver pool programme. Sandy Stuvik, Martin Rump, Chen Weian, Shaun Thong and Weiron Tan form a potent line-up of young talent, each having enjoyed a successful start to their careers in Asia.
“We are very pleased to announce such a talented group of drivers for the 2020 Audi Sport Asia driver pool. The programme provides a professional platform for aspiring drivers to further develop their careers together with Audi. At the same time, the project supports our customers and teams in the region by giving them access to drivers with strong experience with Audi machinery and race-winning pedigree,” said Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “Together with our customers and teams, we expect our pool drivers to challenge for various championship titles across the region.”
24-year-old Thai driver Sandy Stuvik is the new entry into the Audi Sport Asia driver pool in 2020, capping off a triumphant first year with Audi in 2019. Stuvik took the Thailand Super Series Super Car GT3 championship with the Audi R8 LMS in dramatic fashion in the final race of the 2019 season, sharing the cockpit over the season first with Shaun Thong and then with Martin Rump. That title win saw the Thai driver catapulted back into the limelight after having had an eye-catching start to his career in single-seaters, winning the Formula Renault Asia and Euro Formula Open championships in the early 2010s.
Estonian Martin Rump is named an Audi Sport Asia driver for a third year. Rump won his first overall title in Asia in the Audi-supported single-seater championship Formula Masters China Series in 2015. That performance saw the 23 year-old promoted to the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup the following season with Rump winning his first race and going on to finish third overall. Since then he has won numerous races with Audi customer squads in GT World Challenge Asia, China GT and Thailand Super Series amongst other series.
Chen Weian of Hangzhou, China continues his rapid ascent with the four rings and is named an Audi Sport Asia driver for a second year. The 23-year-old Chinese driver is also an Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup alumni, winning the Am+ Cup in his first and only season with the one-make series in 2017. Chen has won numerous championship titles with the Audi R8 LMS in Asia, including the Asian Le Mans Series GT AM title in 2017, the GT Masters Asia overall GT3 title in 2018-19 and the past three Pan Delta Circuit Hero GTC crowns. Chen also took part in last season’s FIA GT World Cup in Macau.
Shaun Thong’s association with Audi Sport in Asia goes back over five years, with the 24 year-old native of Hong Kong, China contesting a number of the world’s most high profile events and series with the four rings. Named as the first participant in the Audi Sport customer racing Asia young driver development programme in 2015, Thong was part of the first ever all-Asian Audi team to be entered into the Nürburgring 24 Hours, finishing a strong 12th overall. Thong then went on to contest the Audi Sport TT Cup, Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup and claimed the 2016 GT Asia Pro/Am championship title. In 2017, Thong narrowly missed out on the inaugural GT World Challenge Asia title with long-standing driver partner and mentor Marchy Lee, finishing third overall and winning the Silver Cup. Since then, Thong has focused largely on Japanese series driving in Super GT last season and winning the 5 Hours of Motegi with the Audi R8 LMS in the Super Taikyu Series.
Malaysia’s Weiron Tan is another to contest his second season as an official Audi Sport Asia driver after a successful run last year with the Audi R8 LMS. Tan, partnering with Martin Rump, took the Audi R8 LMS to two race wins in last season’s GT World Challenge Asia. The pair showed strong pace all year and were unfortunate not to be closer to the title by the end of the season, finishing sixth overall as the highest-placed Audi team. Tan made headlines around the world in 2018 as part of the first all-Asian team to win an FIA World Endurance Championship round, taking LMP2 honours at the 6 Hours of Fuji.
The individual programmes of each driver will be announced in the coming weeks.