Published on April 24th, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Audi R8 LMS Cup Gets Impressive Driver Lineup
The Audi R8 LMS Cup has just released an impressive entry lineup for its debut, headed by former Formula 1 driver Alex Yoong of Malaysia and including the brightest young stars on the Chinese motorsport scene. The 16-strong grid for the Audi R8 LMS Cup season launch double-header at the Shanghai International Circuit this weekend includes nine professionals. Yoong, competing in the Audi GQ team, is joined by former single seater and FIA World Touring Car driver Marchy Lee of Hong Kong with Audi Ultra. Also from Hong Kong comes British Formula 3 talent, 22-year-old Adderly Fong, racing with Audi MGM, and Mak Hing Tak with the KLM Team.
Zhu Hu An of China is entered by Team Zhe Jiang Aotong. Zhu, 19, cut his teeth in karting and junior single seater racing, and the Audi R8 LMS Cup represents a major step up for the talented youngster.
Another former open-wheel competitor, Wang Jian Wei, is quickly becoming established as one of China’s leading sportscar talents. He is competing with Team BetterLife in the five-meeting, 10 race debut season. Sun Zheng, 20, is a young talent from Beijing, who started racing at eighteen and has made fast and impressive progress, recording podium finishes in last year’s 2011 China Touring Car Championship (CTCC). Zheng is the Team Erdos Xinan entry. Fellow countrymen Sun Chao, who hails from the Western Chinese city of Xi’an and was second runner-up in the 2011 CTCC 1600cc Turbo Class, will race with P D GROUP Audi Team. Another CTCC driver, Hua Xia Wei of Team Chengdu New Elements completes the five-car Mainland China professional entry. While highly-acclaimed artist Aaron Kwok may be better known for his talents on the screen and stage, the Hong Kong star is a respected and accomplished racing driver in his own right, and will be the official Audi R8 LMS Cup Driver for the entire season.
Joining Kwok in the Amateur category, for competitors who are not full-time racing drivers, is Jeffrey Lee of Chinese Taipei with Team Pauian Archiland J-Fly Racing. Successful businessman Lee may not technically be a professional driver, but he is nonetheless hugely talented and is expected to be right on the pace this season. Lee’s fellow countryman Eric Hsiang is entered in the non-professional category with J-Fly Racing.
Hong Kong driver Eric Kwong, 30, who has raced for three years in the Hong Kong Touring Car Championship, joins the Amateur category with AK Racing. Zhang Ran, 28, of China is entered by Audi Castrol and is the sole Amateur entry from the Mainland. Lady driver Zhang lives in Beijing, and has competed in both single seater and touring car races. Experienced veteran Adrian Fu of Hong Kong makes a welcome return to the race track with the Fuspeed Racing Team. The exciting mix of professionals who have reached the highest echelons of the sport, veteran touring car drivers, and hot new talent is one of the reasons the series has generated so much buzz ahead of its debut races in Shanghai. Commented Director of Audi Sport customer racing in China, Rene Koneberg: “We’re delighted to have such a great combination of talent and experience this season. Our goal is to create a series which is both exciting for our fans to watch and also provides new opportunities for rising talent to further develop their careers.” The one-make series, the first of its kind in the world for Audi, is structured to nurture up-and-coming young talent and showcase the region’s leading professionals. Three titles will be up for grabs in 2012: The Audi R8 LMS Cup overall title, an Amateur category, and a Teams award, with each round points-scoring.
The Audi R8 LMS Cup is set for its spectacular debut at the Shanghai International Circuit this weekend, after which it will travel to Zhuhai, Ordos in Inner Mongolia, returning to Zhuhai in September and then Shanghai for the trimphant grand finale of the inaugural season. Audi R8 LMS Cup Official Website at: www.audir8lmscup.com