Published on May 30th, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Challenging Weekend for Asian Audi Team at Nürburgring
Torrential rain, hail and multiple accidents – for the Asian Audi race experience team, the legendary Nürburgring 24 Hours race proved true to its moniker of “the Green Hell”. After Alex Yoong spun into the barriers just after midnight, the race was over for the #10 entry of Audi R8 LMS Cup drivers Yoong, Cheng Congfu, Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong.
It was a difficult race overall for the brand with the Four Rings, with five out of the nine Audi R8 LMS entries finishing the legendary endurance race through the mountain range of Germany’s Eifel region. Car #2 of Belgian Audi Club Team WRT with drivers Robin Frijns, Stuart Leonard, Edward Sandström, and Frédéric Vervisch finished as the highest ranked Audi entry in eighth position.
The Asian team had to endure a series of incidents, which kept them from replicating their strong 12th place result from their Nürburgring debut in the previous year. On Friday, the team’s qualifying session ended early when Yoong touched the barrier after skilfully moving to avoid a spinning car in front of him, resulting in broken suspension.
On Saturday, Cheng started the race from position 37 and quickly made his way up the order when the “Green Hell” let loose. Torrential rain and hail turned parts of the 23-kilometer-long circuit into an ice rink. Dozens of cars slid into other competitors or into the circuit’s barriers. Less than an hour after the race start, the red flag signalled the beginning of a three-hour suspension.
In the pouring rain, Marchy Lee took over the wheel for the restart from position 34. Lee and Thong, who drove the following stint, climbed up the order to position 23 when night fell and the campfires of over 200,000 spectators around the circuit sent sparks up into the dark sky.
Right towards the end of his stint, Thong was hit by an errant competitor in turn one. Fortunately, the #10 Audi R8 LMS was able to continue and Thong handed the wheel over to Yoong. Just two laps into his stint, the reigning Audi R8 LMS Cup champion’s accident marked the end of the team’s 2016 Nürburgring challenge.