Rounds 7 and 8 in South Korea saw some of the fiercest action of the Audi R8 LMS Cup's fifth season. This month’s newsletter will give you a rundown on what took place on the longest circuit of the season – including how the championship race was blown wide open after drama in both races. We will take a look at the ambitious privateers who racing across Asia with the Cup and hear from local racing hero K.O. You about his own experiences and motivations in motorsport. We will also take a look at the ying and yang of motorsport. Be sure not to miss the latest Cup news, coming straight to you in the 2016 Audi R8 LMS Cup newsletter.
A dramatic double-header at the Korea International Circuit blew the race for the Audi R8 LMS Cup wide open. When the dust settled after Rounds 7 and 8, Alex Yoong (120 points) of Audi TEDA Racing Team lay top of the championship. But the reigning champion is followed closely by the chasing pack comprising Team Audi Hong Kong’s Marchy Lee (109 points), who now stands second overall, Alessio Picariello (108 points) of MGT by Absolute, Martin Rump (95 points) of Champion Racing Team and Castrol Racing Team’s Rahel Frey (94 points).
It was victory in Round 8 that propelled Alex into a points lead at the top of the championship, taking the chequered flag ahead of Martin and Marchy after starting in 2nd place. Martin and Alex were able to get past Marchy, who was carrying 50 kg of success ballast, on the first corner of the race. However the young Estonian immediately misjudged a corner as he challenged race-leader Alex Yoong. This mistake sent the Champion Racing Team driver off the track, where, upon reentering he set out to work his way through the field.
Behind the front three, battles raged. Rahel bumped into Cheng Congfu – who endured another difficult weekend – causing him to spin. The Swiss GT specialist was slapped with a 30 second retrospective penalty for the incident, relegating her to 10th place, just behind Congfu, who finished ninth.
Alessio worked his way expertly through the field to finish 4th. The young Belgian had started in 13th after receiving a 10-place grid penalty for an incident with Alex in Round 7 earlier in the day.
The incident in Round 7 became the talk of the weekend, coming just over two laps before the end of an absorbing race. Alessio had started in pole in front of Alex. Both men had come into the weekend tied on points, with the Belgian edging just ahead of his rival after taking the extra point for Superpole on Saturday. When the lights went out on Sunday’s first race, the Belgian quickly established a lead over Alex, but it was an advantage that the Audi TEDA Racing Team driver would eat into lap by lap until everything came to a head on lap 10.
With Marchy Lee – the only other driver able to stay in touch with the frontrunners - lurking behind, Alex and Alessio’s cars came into repeated and prolonged contact forcing both into early retirement. Marchy took full advantage to dive up the inside to record his maiden Cup win of 2016. Rahel and Jan Kisiel crossed the line next, only for the young Polish Audi Sport TT Cup champion to lose his third place trophy after a 1.5 second penalty bumped local hero KO You above him in the final standings.
Further down the field Cup debutant Dan Wells of KCMG finished fifth in an impressive first outing in the second generation Audi R8 LMS.
Anthony Liu of Absolute Racing recorded back-to-back wins in the Am Cup - a classification that had been dominated until the Korean races by Team Audi Volkswagen Taiwan’s Jeffrey Lee. Lee came home in second place in Round 7’s Am Cup, with Greg Taylor of Phoenix Racing Asia completing the podium in his first ever Cup race. In Round 8, the impressive Australian newcomer finished second ahead of China’s Sun Jingzu of Absolute Racing.
Jeffrey (168 points) still leads the classification from Jingzu (110 points) and EN Sport by Absolute’s Vincent Floirendo (97 points).
With the intense weekend behind them, the Cup’s drivers head into the final four races of the season with everything to play for. Next up, a double-header at the Penbay International Circuit, Taiwan.
Amateur in name only
Motorsport is in the Audi DNA. As a result, through a global customer racing programme, Audi strives to provide the best driving experiences for all racing enthusiasts. Over the past half-decade, Audi Sport customer racing Asia has become a leading force in the burgeoning world of Asian motorsports.
The growth of customer racing in Asia is allowing more and more car owners to experience the thrill of motorsport first hand – to race alongside established professionals and test their skills on some of the world’s most exciting circuits.
For Rounds 7 and 8 of the Audi R8 LMS Cup in Korea, a third of the drivers on the track were Amateur Cup competitors, including two brand new entrants from Australia and China, Greg Taylor and Anthony Liu.
They provided a stern test for the established Am Cup drivers across both races, with Anthony Liu even finishing ahead some of his professional counterparts. Current classification leader Jeffrey Lee finished in the top 10 overall in Round 3 and Round 4 earlier in the season. Jeffrey once again outpaced a professional challenger in Round 6, with an 11th place finish.
As we make our way toward the final stretch of the 2016 Audi R8 LMS Cup, these ambitious privateers continue to prove that they’re amateur in name only, and that you don’t have be pro to make your mark on the track. Want to see for yourself? Check out our website to learn more.