Published on June 11th, 2017 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Cheng Congfu dazzles in Japan
Cheng Congfu put in a wheel-perfect performance on Japan’s legendary Suzuka Circuit today, sweeping to victory in Round 4 of the Audi R8 LMS Cup. The FAW-VW Audi Racing Team driver, who had been fast all weekend on the technical 5.807km track, took his first victory of the season from pole.
Crossing the finish line just behind him were overall championship leader Alessio Picariello of MGT by Absolute and Mitch Gilbert of OD Racing Team, who was third. It was a clean sweep of the podium for Cup service provider, Absolute Racing.
“It’s great to see Cheng Congfu back to his best, throwing down a strong marker for the remaining Cup races,” said Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “Alessio Picariello is clearly the man to beat. We have just seen an extraordinary debut for the Cup in Suzuka.”
With two victories and two second places, Picariello maintains his grip at the top of the overall standings (89 points), but Cheng’s superb Round 4 result propels him into second on the leaderboard (58 points). Just 10 points covers the next four drivers in the title chase: 22-year-old Gilbert (48 points), Champion Racing Team’s Martin Rump of Estonia (42 points), 21-year-old Shaun Thong of Audi TEDA Racing Team (41 points), and 2012 Cup champion Marchy Lee of Audi Hong Kong (38 points).
The famously unforgiving Suzuka Circuit won praise from the drivers as the Audi R8 LMS Cup made its debut this weekend, but it also lived up to its punishing reputation with several drivers dealt unlucky hands. A coming together involving Team Audi R8 LMS Cup’s Alex Yoong, Anthony Liu of Absolute Racing and Castrol Racing Team’s Stephane Richelmi meant none could collect Round 4 points.
New Cup driver David Chen rounded out an impressive series debut with his Tianshi Racing Team by taking the Am+ win ahead of class points leader, Team Audi Volkswagen Taiwan’s Jeffrey Lee and another cup newcomer, Kane Jiang of KCMG. Thailand’s Bhurit Bhirombhakdi took his second Am victory of the weekend for Singha Plan-B Motorsport from KCMG’s Rick Yoon and Milestone Racing’s Sun Jingzu of China. Bhirombhakdi’s double gives him the Am lead, with a three point advantage over Yoon.