Audi R8 LMS Cup to debut in Shanghai
Re-produced from press release issued by PR Plus Limited
Beijing, April 18th, 2012 – Asia’s eagerly-anticipated new international racing series, the Audi R8 LMS Cup, will debut with a double-header at the Shanghai International Circuit at the end of this month (April 28th and 29th).
The 16-strong line-up includes former Formula 1 driver Alex Yoong of Malaysia and single seater star Marchy Lee of Hong Kong. The Cup receives an extra bolt of star power in the form of special guest driver Aaron Kwok. The highly-acclaimed Hong Kong artist, who is known to millions as an actor and singer, is equally committed to his craft at the wheel, and is a respected and accomplished racing driver.
It is no accident that Audi chose China to debut its first one-makes cup. With more than 300.000 deliveries in 2011, the country became the biggest market for Audi worldwide. This year got off to an equally- successful start for the brand with the Four Rings, with 90,000 deliveries in China and Hong Kong in the first quarter, representing a year-on-year increase of 40 percent.
“With the Audi R8 LMS Cup, Audi transfers its leading role in China’s premium car market to the race track, and along with it all the glamour, excitement and emotion of this fantastic sport”, comments Director of Audi Sport customer racing China, Rene Koneberg.
After its debut in Shanghai the series will travel to Zhuhai, Ordos in Inner Mongolia, returning to Zhuhai and then Shanghai.
Proven GT3 race car
The fleet of 16 cars for the inaugural season are full GT3-specificiation and identical with the version in which Italian sensation Edoardo Mortara raced to thunderous victory in last November’s Macau GT Cup. Internationally, the Audi R8 LMS (which stands for Le Mans Series) has already scored more than 100 victories. Only minimal adjustments will be permitted under the series regulations, allowing pure racing talent to shine.
Three titles will be up for grabs in 2012: The Audi R8 LMS Cup overall title, a category for amateur drivers, and one for teams, with each round points- scoring. “We intend to bring a new standard of motorsport to China. And we are committed to nurturing up-and-coming young talent”, says Koneberg of Audi Sport customer racing China.
Having completed a successful weekend of testing at Southern China’s Zhuhai International Circuit at the start of the month, organisers are set to release the full entry list in the next few days.
Pioneering lightweight technology
The Audi R8 LMS represents Audi ultra, the pioneering lightweight concepts of the German premium car manufacturer. The Audi Space Frame (ASF) body is made of aluminium with a bolted steel roll-cage. The bodywork consists of carbon-fibre composite and aluminium. The lightweight design of the car has set new standards for GT racing. The V10 engine with petrol direct injection and emission control by two race catalytic converters has an output of 560 HP. All the cars will be shod with Michelin tyres, while each is equipped with the new carbon fiber Audi SP 1 Safety Seat.
“China has become a second home to Audi,” says Dietmar Voggenreiter, President of Audi China. “By entering motorsport there we aim to start proving ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ (‘Advancement through Technology’) on the race tracks of this dynamic country.”
China becomes part of the successful Audi motorsport heritage
Sportivity, ground breaking technology and emotional design are the main components for the Audi brand’s success. The genes for this originate from over 30 years of successful motorsport history. AUDI AG motorsport took off at the beginning of the 1980s with the Audi quattro and a succession of titles in World Rally Championships. Towards the end of the 1990s, Audi moved into sport prototypes and achieved repeated wins in the world’s toughest endurance race at Le Mans. The brand with the Four Rings also became the first automobile manufacturer to score a hat trick in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM).