Published on November 25th, 2019 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Title Fights Go Down to the Wire for Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup Grand Finale
A decisive move by The Bend Motorsport Park’s Yasser Shahin saw the Australian take victory in the penultimate round of the 2019 Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup to move one step closer to clinching the final GT3 title of the championship’s history at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit.
A spirited run to second by Alex Au in the safety car-interrupted, 11-lap night race ensured the CTVS Racers by Absolute driver remains in the title fight. B-Quik Racing’s Daniel Bilski claimed the final podium place.
Defending Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup GT4 champion Anderson Tanoto ensured that the title will also go down to the wire in Sunday’s historic final race, snatching the round nine victory from points-leader Sheng Yanwen of FEA, with Sheng’s teammate Qu Pengfei taking third.
Ensport Motorsport by Absolute Racing’s Vincent Floirendo took the Challenger Trophy win, crossing the line an eye-catching fifth.
The points gap between GT3 leader Shahin and title rival Au stands at 18, and GT4 counterparts Sheng and Tanoto at 16, ahead of the final showdown on Sunday afternoon.
“Overcoming truly challenging conditions, our drivers more than delivered tonight, putting up a clean, hard fight under the lights of Sepang for the final Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup titles,” said Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “The stage is set for a fitting finale to the Cup.”
There was heartbreak for GT3 title hopefuls Andrew Haryanto of Absolute Racing, Bhurit Bhirombhakdi of Singha Plan-B by Absolute Racing and Tony Bates of Tony Bates Racing. The trio all fell victim to the challenging conditions, with defending champion Haryanto the top finisher of the trio in fourth but now out of championship contention, Bhirombhakdi sixth after a trip into the gravel in the dying moments of the race, and Bates losing out on a tyre gamble after picking slicks over wets for the drying track.
The race for the final seat on the Audi Sport Asia team in the 2020 Suzuka 10 Hours is now between four drivers. Combining the total points tally from the opening rounds in Adelaide and this weekend, Shahin now leads with 58 points, 12 points ahead of Au, but with Bates and Bilski still in mathematical contention on 38 and 35 points respectively.