Published on March 5th, 2018 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Tony Bates Takes Emphatic Round 2 Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup Win in Australia
Australian Tony Bates of Tony Bates Racing stormed to victory in round 2 of the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup at the Adelaide Street Circuit. Channelling his frustration at his premature finish in Saturday’s opening round, Bates held a determined JAMEC PEM Racing’s Yasser Shahin at bay in the final laps of round 2 to take his first win in an Audi on the Cup’s Australian debut.
The battle between Bates and Shahin, the latter of whom led most of the race despite carrying 10 kilogrammes of success ballast after his round 1 podium, had the thousands-strong Adelaide crowd on the edge of their seats. ProMax Team’s Andrew Haryanto, carrying the full 30kg of ballast after his opening round victory, stayed right with the leaders until forced to turn his attentions to fighting off ferocious challenges from Theo Koundouris for the final podium place.
After the opening race weekend, it is Haryanto who leads the Cup’s GT3 category on 40 points, with Yasser Shahin – also very impressive on his Cup debut – in second on 34 points. Theo Koundouris sits third on the leaderboard (30 points) after just missing the round 2 podium, with race-winner Bates fourth (26 points).
Haryanto crossed the line in third, his impressive points haul on his Cup debut propelling him to the top of the championship leaderboard. As the highest overall points-scorer in the Australian rounds the Indonesian has secured a berth on the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup team in the 2019 Total 24 Hours of Spa endurance classic – a reward on offer to the highest points-scorer in each country on the Cup’s 2018 calendar.
After missing out on the 24 Hours of Spa drive, race-winner Bates was keen on a rematch. “I’d certainly love to get over and compete in the Cup again, and maybe even get over to Andrew Haryanto’s home turf in Asia to see if we can do to him what he did to us here,” he said.
As in round 1, the new privateer Cup format ensured close-fought racing throughout the field right up to the chequered flag, capping off a memorable first race weekend outside Asia for the sprint series. A total onsite crowd of 265,000 watched the action, strolled around the impressive parklands and soaked up the atmosphere under the scorching South Australian sun over the four-day event.
“We saw two hard-fought races at the Australia debut of the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup. Tony Bates made his experience count today with a deserved win, with Yasser Shahin and Andrew Haryanto impressing again on their circuit debuts. It was a thrilling weekend with this great mix of Australian and Asia-based drivers. I’d like to say a big thank-you to the Adelaide 500 team for hosting this amazing event,” said Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia.