Shanghai, November 11, 2012 – Hong Kong driver Marchy Lee has become the first ever Audi R8 LMS Cup Champion after crossing the line second in today’s twelfth and final round at the Shanghai International Circuit. The winner’s honours went to Audi Driving Dreams team guest driver Edoardo Mortara who took a confident lights-to-flag victory, giving him two race wins this weekend. Third across the line and sealing his second place overall in the championship was Adderly Fong driving for the KLM Team. Malaysia’s Alex Yoong was fourth in the Audi GQ car, confirming his third place in the overall points’ standings.
The Amateur Cup had already been taken by Jeffrey Lee in Saturday’s Round 11 but second and third places in the Amateur’s Cup were confirmed respectively today for Alex Au of AK Racing and top celebrity and accomplished driver Aaron Kwok of Team Audi R8 LMS Cup. The Teams’ championship was also wrapped up today with Audi Ultra taking top honours on 229 points ahead of Audi GQ on 193 points and KLM Team on 186 points.
An exciting mix of professionals, rising stars and passionate enthusiasts, the Audi R8 LMS Cup has seen 16 drivers compete against each other in identical cars. Racing across the region with rounds at Zhuhai, Shanghai and Ordos, the series is an optimum showcase for Audi lightweight technology. Along with partner, Michelin, who introduced a first in Asian motorsport – a long life tyre which lasts over the course of an entire weekend, Audi sees the Cup as the perfect opportunity to nurture motorsport talent and demonstrate its commitment to China and its customers in the region. As a further sign of this commitment it was announced today that Audi Korea will enter an official team in the Audi R8 LMS Cup for 2013.
Commented Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing China: “Audi is proud to have completed such a successful first ever single-make championship. Next year, we will go from strength to strength supporting motorsport across Asia.”
Today’s final round took place in cool but sunny conditions, a welcome contrast to the damp track of Saturday’s Round 11. As the field got away from the grid in the finishing order of the previous day’s race, it was clear that Mortara had the advantage from a clean rolling start. Determined not to interfere in the main battle for the Cup standings the Italian found himself under pressure to keep clear of the charging Audi Ultra of Marchy Lee. Lee meanwhile had the determined Fong and Yoong hot on his heels.
Further down the field, American amateur driver Dino Crescentini of Spark Motorsport spun at the start of lap 2. He rejoined at the back of the field but his chances of a second Amateur Cup win had slipped away. This left already crowned Amateur Cup Champion Jeffrey Lee and AK Racing’s title runner up Alex Au to enjoy a battle royale for podium honours.
Team Erdos Xinan’s Sun Zheng meanwhile had a storming start. The Chinese driver had received a late penalty after Saturday’s race and found himself at the back of the grid with a monumental task ahead of him. It was a challenge he seemed to relish as one by one he picked off his rivals. By lap six he was in seventh place overall and closing fast on Wang Jian Wei in the Team Betterlife car. Wang proved a tougher opponent but Sun Zheng eventually took him on lap 12, putting him in sixth place behind Team Zhe Jiang Aotong’s David Zhu whose solid race skills placed him fifth.
With the race entering its closing stages the back markers began to make their presence felt, enabling Fong to have a final but unsuccessful attempt at overhauling Lee. So as the cars took the final chequered flag of the season the top six finishers were Mortara followed by Marchy Lee, Fong, Zhu and Sun Zheng. The top Amateur Cup finishers were Jeffrey Lee, Au and star driver and personality Aaron Kwok in the Team Audi R8 LMS Cup car. Final placings for the Amateur Cup standings therefore confirmed Jeffrey Lee as Champion with runners up places going to Au and Kwok.