Published on October 8th, 2018 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Bhurit Bhirombhakdi Seizes Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup Championship Lead in Shanghai
Singha Plan-B by Absolute Racing driver Bhurit Bhirombhakdi thundered to his fourth victory of the 2018 Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup season, winning round seven at the 5.451km Shanghai International Circuit and soaring to the top of the championship leaderboard with three races remaining. Second was KCMG’s Alex Au, the 2013 Am Cup champion making his presence felt on his return to the series, with ProMax Team’s Andrew Haryanto claiming the final podium place.
Cup newcomer Ryan Liu of China, at the wheel of an Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4, made an impressive debut with a class win from points-leader and teammate, Anderson Tanoto of Indonesia and another series returnee, Hong Kong driver Sam Lok of the 852 Challengers. Tanoto was carrying the full 50kg success ballast having taken both class victories in Ningbo last month.
Finishing fourth in the GT4 Cup were FEA Racing, debuting their new Audi R8 LMS GT4 in the series with Wang Dengjia at the wheel.
Spirit Z Racing’s Jeffrey Zee of China took the GTC Cup win, crossing the line sixth overall and ahead of teammate and fellow countryman Jacky Wu.
In an exciting week for Audi Sport customer racing Asia during China’s traditional national day ‘golden week’ holiday, many of the Cup drivers are also taking part in Sunday’s SIC888, the circuit’s first endurance race. The Audi RS 3 LMS was also out on track in Shanghai with Champ x T.A Motorsport for three rounds of the TCR China Series. Having made their championship debut in Ningbo last week, Felipe de Souza took fifth in race one, while teammate Ryan Wong finished seventh in race two. In the final, 60-minute race, de Souza and Wong teamed up together to take a superb second place finish.
“We saw extremely close racing today in the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup, starting from qualifying when only half a second separated the top six,” said Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “Bhurit Bhirombhakdi took round seven glory and the series lead with an impressive drive, but with a lead of just five points, the title race continues to be wide open.”
After round seven Bhirombhakdi sits atop of the GT3 Cup standings (125 points), having overtaken Cup title rival Haryanto (120 points). The BEND – Motorsport Park’s Yasser Shahin, making his debut on the tricky Shanghai F1 track, lies third on 85 points. Absolute Racing’s Sun Jingzu is fourth in the GT3 Cup on 65 points. Four drivers – Bhirombhakdi, Haryanto, Shahin and Sun remain in GT3 title contention as the title stakes rise ever higher.
With three of the four China-rounds of the Cup over, Shahin leads the race for the China Road to Spa seat heading into the final Shanghai race with an eight-point advantage over Sun. The highest points-scorer from the Ningbo and Shanghai rounds will join Haryanto and Bhirombhakdi on the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup team on the 2019 Total 24 Hours of Spa.