Automotive

Published on June 11th, 2017 | by Amirul Mukminin

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Peerless Picariello tames Suzuka

The Audi R8 LMS Cup made a dramatic debut at the iconic Suzuka Circuit today, where MGT by Absolute’s Alessio Picariello stormed to a dominant victory from pole on one of the most demanding and unforgiving race tracks on earth. Despite carrying 35kg of success ballast, the 23-year-old Belgian rocketed over the line more than seven seconds ahead of closest challenger, 22-year-old OD Racing Team driver Mitch Gilbert.

Earning the final podium place after the 12-lap race on the 5.807km track was Stéphane Richelmi of Castrol Racing Team.

“Today, almost all the drivers raced for the first time at this iconic and very technical Suzuka Circuit. This is what the Audi R8 LMS Cup is all about – providing premium opportunities for our customers at the highest level of motorsport in Asia,” said Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “Congratulations to Alessio Picariello for a very strong race against a fiercely competitive field.”

Absolute Racing took the win in the Am+ category, courtesy of Chinese driver Anthony Liu, making a welcome return to the Cup. Second was fellow countryman David Chen of Tianshi Racing Team, an impressive debut for both driver and team, ahead of Team Audi Volkswagen Taiwan’s Jeffrey Lee.

Thailand’s Bhurit Bhirombhakdi took the Am win with his Singha Plan-B Motorsport team ahead of China’s Sun Jingzu of Milestone Racing. It was a disappointing Round 3 for KCMG’s Rick Yoon, whose race ended prematurely on lap two after an early spin.

Picariello’s win and pole position take his championship points tally to 71, extending his lead at the top. Cup triple champion, Alex Yoong of Team Audi R8 LMS Cup is in second place on 37 points, 34 behind his Belgian rival, with Gilbert in third on 33 points. Shaun Thong of Audi TEDA Racing Team is on equal points with Gilbert and fourth in the standings, one point ahead of FAW-VW Audi Racing Team’s Cheng Congfu of China.

Team Audi Volkswagen Taiwan driver Jeffrey Lee leads the Am+ standings after three rounds on 42 points, while Rick Yoon of KCMG continues to lead the Am category with 28 points in total.


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