Published on October 12th, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Championship Hangs in the Balance as Cup Returns to Taiwan
As the Audi R8 LMS Cup heads into the penultimate race weekend of the season, an array of drivers are lining up for a tilt at the title. Alex Yoong of Audi TEDA Racing Team tops the overall standings on 120 points coming into Round 9, but the Malaysian will be carrying 50 kilogrammes of success ballast in the first race, giving his championship rivals the chance to capitalise and close in on his slender lead. The action will take place at the Penbay International Circuit on October 15-16.
Just behind Yoong in the overall championship are Marchy Lee of Team Audi Hong Kong (109 points) and Alessio Picarellio of MGT Team by Absolute (108 points), who are second and third, respectively. Champion Racing Team’s Martin Rump (95 points) stands fourth. The young Estonian recorded the track record lap time at the Penbay International Circuit last season on his way to winning the Formula Masters China Series title. Swiss GT specialist Rahel Frey of Castrol Racing Team (94 points) rounds out the top five.
“There have been five different winners in the eight races so far this season – a testament to the close competition in the Audi R8 LMS Cup,” said Bernd Goeres, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “The coming Taiwan double-header will be crucial for drivers to position themselves for a push for the championship at our fast-approaching season finale.”
Looking to turn around challenging seasons so far will be Cheng Congfu of FAW-VW Audi Racing Team and Team Audi R8 LMS Cup’s Aditya Patel, both of whom entered last season’s final weekend with a chance to win the championship. Joining them in the chasing pack are Jan Kisiel of KCMG and Team Audi Korea’s K.O You. Having both climbed the podium steps this season, neither can be counted out in Taiwan.
In the Amateur Cup, Jeffrey Lee of Team Audi Volkswagen Taiwan still maintains his stronghold on the classification despite a difficult weekend last time out in Korea. With 168 points heading into Round 9, double-victories on his home turf in Taiwan would secure him the Am Cup title with two races still to go in the season. Standing in his way are Sun Jingzu of Absolute Racing, who is ranked second on 110 points, Vincent Floirendo of EN Sport by Absolute, who is third on 97 points and returning Cup competitors Kevin Chen of KCMG, Phoenix Racing Asia’s Rick Yoon and Johnson Huang of Absolute Racing.
After a successful debut at the Penbay International Circuit in 2015, the Audi R8 LMS Cup’s return this season will see the international line-up of professionals and privateers take on the 3.5 kilometre track – the only international circuit on the island.
The first qualifying session starts at 15:00 on Saturday, October 15, followed by Superpole. Round 9 will kick off at 10:20 on Sunday, October 16, with Round 10 taking place at 14:00 (all times UTC+8).