SHANGHAI, 28th of February, 2018 – Everything is set for an exciting seventh season of the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup. On the challenging 3.129km Adelaide Street Circuit in Australia eight Absolute Racing-managed Audi R8 will start their engines for the first round of the single-make championship operated by Audi Sport customer racing Asia.
This season the one-make series fields Audi R8 LMS’ in GT3 and GT4 configuration, with the GT4 variant set to make its debut both in the series and in competition on Australian soil. In 2018, Absolute Racing manages the Cup’s Asian-based line up.
Back to contest a record-setting seventh consecutive season is Jeffrey Lee. Team Audi Volkswagen Taiwan representative will become the only driver to have appeared in every Cup season since its debut in 2012 – when he won the first-ever Am Cup title. He took his second Am title in 2016, and last year finished runner-up in the Am+ category.
Returning to the Cup as reigning Am champion is Thailand’s Bhurit Bhirombhakdi. Racing under the banner of Singha Plan-B by Absolute Racing team, Bhirombhakdi begins a second season with the Cup following an impressive GT podium finish in the final round of the 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series.
Also returning to the Cup is China’s Sun Jingzu, who joins for a fifth season running. Sun was runner-up in the Am Cup last year, with three victories and a trio of podiums out of his six starts.
Amongst the familiar faces in the Cup paddock who will be on the grid for the season opener is Hong Kong-based Australian Daniel Bilski. Masters Cup winner in 2016 and 2015 Am Cup champion, Bilski will defend again the colors of B-Quik Racing.
Joining the series this year is Indonesian Andrew Haryanto, who has a vast racing experience in Asia. Second in the Blancpain GT Series Asia GT3 Am Cup last season, Haryanto won the Am title in the 2017 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Middle East.
China Touring Car Championship 1600cc Class Champion Yang Xi is another Cup debutant but the Beijing racer is no stranger to the R8 GT3. Back in 2013 he took second place honors in the Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race GTC Class with a R8 GT3 Cup car.
With a privateer line-up in the new-look Cup the open data policy, designed to create an ideal environment for driver development, is complemented by participation at each round of accomplished pro mentors. 2013 Cup champion Adderly Fong and last year’s second runner up Franky Cheng Congfu will fulfill the roles of coaching and guiding the drivers this weekend.
The new Audi R8 LMS GT4 makes its Cup debut this season, with the category launched in Adelaide by an exhibition race between Fong and Cheng as non-points-scoring guest entries. The GT4 Cup will then commence with an all-privateer line-up from rounds 3 and 4 of the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup at the Nürburgring in May, where Chinese celebrity racer Han Geng will make his Cup debut.
Both rounds will be streamed on the Cup’s website and Facebook page along with Chinese portals PPTV, Youku, and LeSports.
Weekend Timetable (GMT+10:30)
Thursday, March 1st 09:25 – 09:55 – Test 1 14:30 – 15:00 – Test 2 Friday, March 2nd 10:40 – 11:00 – Qualifying 1 15:15 – 15:35 – Qualifying 2 Saturday, March 3rd 14:05 – 14:35 – Round 1 Sunday, March 4th 10:55 – 11:25 – Round 2
Absolute Racing – Team Entries:
3/YANG Xi/GT3/China/Absolute Racing 7/Jeffrey LEE/GT3/Chinese Taipei/ Team Audi Volkswagen Taiwan 13/SUN Jingzu/GT3/China/Absolute Racing 27/Daniel BILSKI/GT3/Hong Kong/B-Quik 28/Andrew HARYANTO/GT3/Indonesia/ProMax Team 33/Adderly FONG/GT4/G/Hong Kong/Absolute Racing 59/Bhurit BHIROMBHAKDI/GT3/Thailand/Singha Plan-B by Absolute Racing 88/CHENG Congfu/GT4/G/China/Absolute Racing
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