- Four Audi R8 LMS to be fielded at Fuji
- BBT’s Anthony Liu and Davide Rizzo join the team
- Asia’s largest GT competition with 34 race cars
Shanghai, August 14th, 2017 – The Blancpain GT Series Asia remains in Japan for round 7 and 8 of the 12-round series. The next stop on the calendar will be at the Fuji Speedway close to Japan’s highest mountain, Mount Fuji.
The Absolute Racing serviced teams will be looking to carry its momentum forward to Fuji and will be fielding a fourth Audi entry in the race to be driven by Blancpain GT Series Asia Round 2 winners Anthony Liu and Davide Rizzo.
The fourth R8 LMS will run under the BBT team and joins the existing cars in the Absolute Racing stable – the OD Racing Team car of Mitchell Gilbert and Aditya Patel, the J-Fly by Absolute car of Jeffrey Lee and Alessio Picariello and the Milestone Racing that will be driven by Sun Jiangzu and Franky CongFu Cheng.
Anthony Liu is a familiar face to the team as he is race winner in the Audi R8 LMS Cup AM+ Class with Absolute Racing. China’s Liu and Italy’s Rizzo form one of the strongest GT pairing in the region and are bringing a wealth of experience. The BBT duo is heading into the weekend full of vigour and without any kind of championship pressure, as they’re not doing the full season.
OD Racing Team team-mates Mitchell Gilbert and Aditya Patel have their sights firmly set on a return to winning form this weekend after a disappointing weekend in Suzuka when a tyre blowout ended the team’s efforts while leading the second race with 15-min to go. The duo comes to the Fuji track 21 points adrift of the title summit, knowing that the two rounds this weekend are going to be a tough battle.
J-Fly by Absolute star Jeffrey Lee currently lies 2nd in the GT3 Pro Am championship standings and will team up again with Audi R8 LMS Cup series leader Alessio Picariello. The “Belgian Bullet” snatched two pole-position in two races and is aiming to push J-Fly by Absolute entry further towards the top of the points table this weekend. J-Fly by Absolute’s drivers must now overcome the maximum 5-second pitstop success penalty in the race one if they’re to score heavily once again.
Last but not least, Milestone Racing hopes are high for a set of solid results heading into the weekend, after CongFu Cheng and Sun Jiangzu collected points at all the meetings so far.
Team Manager, Michael Schneider, said, “Fuji is an outstanding venue, and one that throws up a number of different challenges for our drivers and engineers. We are now halfway through the season and so far we can be pretty happy with the performance of our drivers.
J-Fly by Absolute drivers Jeffrey Lee and Alessio Picariello have been on pole-position and on the podium in the two races they took part in. Milestone Racing had a great start in the season with a podium, and of course OD Racing boys are doing well. They have shown a strong performance. Without being crashed out in Thailand and suffering an unfortunate puncture while leading the last race, I’m sure Mitchell Gilbert and Aditya Patel would be leading the championship. We didn’t give up on the championship hopes and will fight back stronger in the second half of the season!
Even if we know we will have to face a very tough competition with 34 entries, I expect a lot from BBT`s Anthony Liu and Davide Rizzo as they are one of the strongest Pro/Am pairing. Of course they will need some time to adapt to the new car, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on the podium on their first weekend with the Audi R8.”
Fuji track features a tight, technical section and also the longest straight of the championship at 1.5km.
Preparations for the race will begin on Friday with two 50-minute practice sessions, while the two grids order is determined on Saturday with two 15-minute qualifying sessions. The first race will be held on Saturday, beginning at 3.35pm local time. The second 60-minute race is scheduled for Sunday at 2.25pm.
Both races will be screened live on the Blancpain GT Series Asia Facebook page and SRO’s GT World Youtube channel.
Weekend Timetable (GMT+9)
Friday, 18th August
Free Practice 1: 13.00 – 13.45
Free Practice 2: 15.45 – 16.30
Saturday, 19th August
Free Practice 3: 08.40 – 09.10
Qualifying 1: 11.35 – 11.50
Qualifying 2: 12.00 – 12.15
Race 1: 15.35 – 16.35
Sunday, 20th August
Race 2: 14.25 – 15.25