One of Asia’s best young exports is the latest name to join the ranks of the inaugural SIC888 endurance race scheduled for Shanghai International Circuit on October 7, reigning Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup champion Alessio Picariello named alongside a couple of Cup legends – former championship runner-up Andre Couto, and the man who has made more starts than any other over seven seasons of the Cup, Jeffrey Lee.
The experienced Audi trio will form part of an Absolute Racing J-Fly entry where they will challenge for outright victory in the 888-kilometre event.
All three have experience competing together in endurance events, Couto and Lee sharing a car in the Japanese Super Taikyu series this year – making the podium in the hotly contested Fuji 24 Hour event – whilst Picariello and Lee have contested GT3 events across Asia as a strong partnership in the past.
A multiple winner in the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup, Picariello comes hot off a return to the Blancpain GT Series Asia in Shanghai recently where he took the #37 Absolute Racing entry to a podium finish, whilst two weeks prior to that, he carded back-to-back victories in China GT again in an Audi R8 LMS GT3, the young Belgian expected to carry that impressive pace into the October 7 event.
For Jeffrey Lee, the J-Fly Racing driver is arguably one of the most experienced GT campaigners in Asia, the former GT Asia Series race winner has also been one of the outright contenders in the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup this season, the Cup veteran holding the mantel of the driver with the most starts in the Cup, having faced the starter on 74 occasions coming into the Shanghai event. He too will start well prepared for the rigours of a six plus hour challenge at SIC with rounds seven and eight of the 2018 Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup taking place at Shanghai in the days leading up to the big event.
For Andre Couto, a man who has also played a significant role in past seasons of the Cup, his return to form in season 2018 – after recovering from an injury in 2017 – has seen the Macanese driver spend much of the season behind the wheel of an Audi R8 in Japan, and as one of the most exciting drivers in the region, and a past outright winner of the Macau Grand Prix, Couto will provide additional strength to the J-Fly team as they fight for an SIC888 victory.
(Press release prepared by SIC888)