Published on June 28th, 2017 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Joy and heartbreak for Audi at Blancpain GT Series Asia Suzuka Rounds
It was a weekend of celebrations and tears for Audi drivers in Rounds 5 and 6 of the Blancpain GT Series Asia at the iconic Japanese Suzuka Circuit. Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong took their maiden series victory for Audi Hong Kong after a storming drive in Round 5 to lead the championship, while Alessio Picariello and Jeffrey Lee’s impressive Pro-Am teamwork secured them a podium finish in Round 6. However after a top three finish in Round 5, Sunday brought heartbreak for the OD Racing Team pair of Aditya Patel and Mitch Gilbert when victory was cruelly snatched from their grasp in a race-ending tyre blowout.
“The Audi R8 LMS showed excellent pace at Suzuka this weekend. Congratulations to all our drivers, and particularly Audi Hong Kong’s Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong on their maiden Blancpain GT Series Asia victory,” commented Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “Alessio Picariello and Jeffrey Lee have proved to be the ideal Pro/Am pairing, showing just how competitive this driver combination can be.”
At the season mid-point and having topped the championship leaderboard after Round 5, Marchy Lee and Thong leave Suzuka second in the title chase, just eight points from the top of the leaderboard, while Gilbert and Patel remain very much in contention, 13 points adrift of the Audi Hong Kong pair.
Rounds 3 and 4 of the Audi R8 LMS Cup, held at Suzuka just two weeks ago, had given the Audi teams a well-received opportunity to get to grips with the technical track, and the Blancpain weekend got underway with strong qualifying for the Audi teams, with seven occupying the top 10 after the second session.