Shanghai, November 10, 2012 – Malaysian Alex Yoong has stolen a march on his title rivals after taking pole position in the closing seconds of the final qualifying session of the 2012 Audi R8 LMS Cup. The Audi GQ driver posted a time of 1m59.969 seconds on wet tyres with less than thirty seconds left of the session. Second quickest was DTM ace and guest driver Edoardo Mortara who is driving for the Audi Driving Dreams team this weekend. Hong Kong driver Marchy Lee in the Audi Ultra car posted a late fast time to qualify third quickest overall.
Putting on a confident display to take pole in the Amateur Cup was Spark Motorsport’s Dino Crescentini. The American’s feat was all the more impressive for being his debut outing in the Audi R8 LMS Cup. Second quickest amateur driver was Jeffrey Lee for Pauian Archiland J-Fly Racing with Aaron Kwok third for Team Audi R8 LMS Cup.
All 16 drivers went out in the morning qualifying session on Michelin’s wet weather tyres after early morning downpours and misty conditions presented the drivers with damp but drying conditions. The mixed field of professional and amateur drivers had some tough decisions to make in setting up their Audi R8 LMS cars.
This was the final qualifying session of the season for the Audi R8 LMS Cup and all three titles (Overall, Amateur Cup and Teams) are still up for grabs. As the session started all bar Alex Yoong and AK Racing’s Alex Au were eager to get on track and get to grips with the difficult conditions. It was Mortara, fresh from his recent F1 test, who immediately went out and set the benchmark time of 2m00.806 seconds on used wet tyres. Marchy Lee was just two tenths behind while Crescentini also stated his intentions early on, giving Jeffrey Lee and the rest of the amateur field a target to hunt down.
Yoong meanwhile had joined the fray and he soon sent a warning by setting the second quickest time. A flurry of pitstops midway through the 30 minute session saw most drivers change to a fresh set of Michelin’s wet tyres. With just ten minutes to go, the order was Mortara, Jeffrey Lee, Yoong, Wang Jian Wei (Team Betterlife), Sun Chao (PD Group Team) and current overall title points leader, Adderly Fong (KLM). Marchy Lee, Crescentini, Alex Au (AK Racing) and Sun Chao (PD Group) completed the top ten.
A final frenzy in the closing stages of qualifying resulted in Crescentini setting his Amateur Cup pole time of 2m.01.167 seconds. Mortara, who had sat out much of the middle part of the session, went out on fresh tyres. He managed to boost his time but left the door open for Yoong to set the pole winning time with just 23 seconds to the flag. The former F1 driver had completed only five flying laps and was the only driver of the day to break the two minute barrier.
With Mortara now lying 0.578 seconds behind in second place, Marchy Lee stormed across the line to take third place overall. The top ten was completed by Crescentini, Amateur Cup protagonist Jeffrey Lee, Wang, Sun, Kwok, Fong and Massimo Vigna (Team Chengdu New Elements). Although starting from ninth on the grid, current overall cup points leader, Adderly Fong can be expected to fight hard to defend his title chances in the penultimate race of the season.