Published on September 29th, 2019 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Martin Rump and Weiron Tan Take Second Win of the Season
Audi Sport Asia drivers Martin Rump and Weiron Tan have stormed to a dominant win from pole in the penultimate round of the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia.
Continuing their consistent run together, Chen Weian and Rahel Frey of Audi Sport Asia Team TSRT took their fourth top-five finish in the last five races. Rounding off a successful day for Audi Sport in China, Cheng Congfu and Sun Jingzu in the second Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute entry took their first Pro/Am podium of the season.
“Congratulations to Martin, Weiron and Absolute Racing for their second win of the year. It was a very happy day for Audi Sport customer racing Asia in Shanghai. A race win, a hard-earned top-five finish and a Pro/Am podium,” said Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia.
“All of the drivers and teams proved what they are capable of in the region’s leading multi-marque GT championship.”
Rump and Tan’s second victory of the season takes them to 115 points, fifth in the overall championship. Chen Weian sits ninth overall on 71 points ahead of Sunday’s season finale.
Rump lined up at the head of the 29-strong GT field at China’s Formula 1 circuit for round 11 of Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia. Chen was fifth, while a strong qualifying from privateer, Sun, saw him start 11th, fourth in the Pro/Am class.
When the lights went out to start round 11, the three Audi R8 LMS drivers got away well. Rump was already starting to pull a gap out of turn three, with Chen up to fourth and Sun moving up to 10th on lap one of the 60-minute sprint.
An incident on that first lap saw the safety car called out before the field had got through the last of the circuit’s 16 turns.
With the safety car called back in to the pit lane and the race restarted two laps later, Rump was once more away like a rocket. The Estonian very quickly settled into a rhythm, clocking laps that were regularly over a second faster than his competitors and building a gap ahead of the mid-race driver change.
When the pit window opened mid-race, Rump dived in for the driver change early with a gap of 7.1 seconds ahead of his closest rival.
Sun was also in early handing the car over to long-time friend, mentor and teammate Cheng Congfu. Cheng continued the strong pace he had shown across all of the weekend’s sessions at his home track, taking the car home a comfortable eighth overall for the duo’s highest finish of the season – third in the Pro/Am class.
Further up the road Audi Sport Asia driver Chen came in for the driver change right at the end of the 10-minute window, with Audi Sport counterpart Frey emerging from pit lane in fourth.
The Swiss driver fell to fifth with 20 minutes left on the clock and was then under fire first from a Ferrari snapping at her heels and then a Porsche. Frey used every ounce of her experience to defend, slamming the door on her rivals and taking another top five finish for Audi Sport Asia Team TSRT.
Up ahead, Tan had taken over from Rump and with the pit window closed had a lead of 9.5 seconds. The Malaysian was pushing hard on new tyres, and had built the gap to 11.7 seconds with 17 minutes remaining.
It was to prove an unassailable advantage, with Tan taking the flag for a well-deserved second victory of the season.