With their championship aspirations back on track, the official Audi R8 LMS Cup entry is ready to fight for the top step of the podium as Rounds 7&8 of the GT Asia Series gets underway at the Suzuka Circuit on August 17-19, 2012.
With regular partner Marchy Lee of Hong Kong away in Inner Mongolia for Rounds 7&8 of the Audi R8 LMS Cup in Ordos, exciting young talent Alexandre Imperatori has been drafted in to partner Chinese Taipei driver Jeffrey Lee in the Pro/Am category.
At just 25, Imperatori is already a force to be reckoned with on the international sports car scene. Having raced in Japan Formula 3, Formula Nippon and Super GT, Imperatori is familiar with the 5.807km Suzuka circuit. Although he will be racing the Audi R8 LMS ultra for the first time in Suzuka, he was on the Audi team which took the GT class win at last year’s 6 Hours of Zhuhai.
Commented Director of Audi Sport customer racing in China, Rene Koneberg: “As our regular GT Asia Series driver Marchy Lee is not available due to his commitments racing in the Audi R8 LMS Cup in Ordos this weekend, we are delighted to have such a fantastic addition to our team in Alexandre Imperatori and look forward to working towards our goal of a perfect weekend in Suzuka.”
Last month in Fuji, the Audi R8 LMS Cup entry returned to podium form with a third-place finish in a dramatic Round 6. Buoyed by their success, and now just two points away from third place, Lee and Imperatori are expected to make a powerful pairing.
In Suzuka, the team will be flying the flag for the Audi R8 LMS Cup, the brand’s first-ever one-makes series which stormed onto the Asian motorsport scene in April this year.
As well as spreading the word about the Audi R8 LMS Cup, the GT Asia Series entry represents the ideal platform on which to showcase Audi lightweight technology in competition with other leading automotive marques. Leading proponents of the track-to-road philosophy, Audi technological innovation honed on the world’s racing circuits is implemented in its road car production, directly translating to the consumer as improved efficiency.
Suzuka is the second of three race weekends in Japan and is a critical opportunity for the team to earn vital championship points ahead of the season finale as part of the Macau GT Cup at the 59th Macau Grand Prix in November. The intense and exciting GT Asia Series competition is further enhanced by a mandatory pit stop and Balance of Performance success ballast regulations.
The official Audi R8 LMS Cup entry and new pairing of Lee and Imperatori will mount the challenge for their maiden series victory with the two qualifying sessions and Round 7 taking place on Saturday, August 18. Round 8 will be run on Sunday, August 19.
“Following our podium finish at Fuji, we’re looking forward to carrying over that momentum to Suzuka. I’m excited to be working with Alexandre this weekend as we have raced against each other before, but never competed together as a team. Team work, particularly during the driver change, is an essential element towards achieving success in this series and I am confident that Alexandre and I have what it takes to stand on top of the podium in Suzuka.”
“I’m excited to race the Audi R8 LMS ultra at a special track like Suzuka. It will be a new championship for me, but I really look forward to the weekend and hope we can grab a good result. I have raced a lot in Suzuka over the past few years and it is truly one of the very best tracks in the world. It’s not very wide, which means errors can be costly. This track is a real roller coaster: fast, flowing, elevation changes and incredibly technical.”