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Audi Victorious in Rain-Affected GT Asia Series

The official Audi R8 LMS Cup entry celebrated its first win of the season in the GT Asia Series, with a lights-to-flag victory in a wet Round 9 at Japan’s 4.673km Autopolis International Circuit.



The pairing of Hong Kong’s Marchy Lee and Jeffrey Lee of Chinese Taipei were at their best as the race programme for the penultimate rounds of the championship had to be changed at the last minute to accommodate the treacherously wet conditions. As a result, both Rounds 9 & 10 were moved to Saturday, with Marchy and Jeffrey celebrating their maiden win together in Round 9, before just missing out on a podium finish with fourth-place in Round 10.


The team now lies third on the championship leaderboard heading into November’s show-stopping season finale held as part of the Macau GT Cup at the 59th Macau Grand Prix.



As the countdown to the conclusion of the season began, the team wasted no time in pushing their Audi R8 LMS ultra to the limits. The team set the quickest time in free practice and, with changes to the race programme seeing those practice times become qualifying for Round 9, Marchy and Jeffrey took pole position.


Marchy maximised their pole advantage, fully utilising his experience and the Audi lightweight technology to pull a gap from the chasing pack. The pit stop and driver change went swimmingly, and Jeffrey roared the Audi R8 LMS ultra back into action, determined to strengthen the team’s lead.


Heavy rain had made the track difficult to navigate and with several cars spinning, the Safety Car was called out two laps later and remained in place for the duration of the race.


Round 10 was moved to Saturday in anticipation of worsening weather conditions on Sunday. On pole again after their Round 9 victory, Jeffrey took the first stint and got off to a strong start, but faced with furious competition, dropped down to fifth.



Following the driver change, Marchy set to work to fight back to podium contention. Demonstrating the speed and agility of the Audi R8 LMS ultra, Marchy set the fastest lap of the race on this charge. With too few laps remaining to catch the race leaders, Marchy did manage to make up a place before the flag.


Commented Director of Audi Sport customer racing in China, Rene Koneberg: “We are thrilled to be celebrating our maiden victory with the official Audi R8 LMS Cup entry in the GT Asia Series, and congratulations to Marchy, Jeffrey and the team for putting together such a strong performance in incredibly challenging track conditions. We have proved the performance and reliability of the Audi R8 LMS ultra in all conditions – not only by recording the fastest lap, but also through the stability and handling of the car in extremely wet conditions.”


Moving next, the Audi R8 LMS Cup entry is the GT Asia Series’ showcase Round 11 season finale as part of the Macau GT Cup at the 59th Macau Grand Prix in November.

Li Zhi Cong Takes A Stunning Victory at Suzuka

Li Zhi Cong completed a superb weekend in Suzuka last Sunday, with his second win of the 2012 GT Asia Series championship. The young Chinese – who was 8th in the starting grid – stormed through the field in his Porsche 911 GT3 R prepared by Asia Racing Team to take a dramatic win in the second race of the weekend.



The Guangzhou native arrived in Suzuka with 80 kg handicap weight onboard and any knowledge of the track. Qualifying didn’t go smoothly as Li was only 6th in Qualifying One. The 19 year-old-driver improved his lap time in Qualifying Two but he overtook on yellow flags and got penalised, dropping three places on the Race 2 grid.


On Saturday afternoon Li picked up good points by finishing 4th in GT Asia Series Round 7, despite a drive-through penalty for pit-stop infringement. After a good getaway, Li managed to climb to the third position but the compulsory pit-stop was 0.2 of a second too short and the Asia Racing Team driver was penalized, and relegated to 4th.


But this is not time to give up. As the lights went out for Race 2 Li made an impressive start, and moved up to fifth. The Yumin Restaurant sponsored Porsche kept the strong pace and soon it was fighting for the lead. Li displayed his resilience and perseverance to overtake his opponent and win again.



Reflecting on his win, Li said, “The weekend was very hard for me because I had penalties in Race 1 and during the Qualifying. From Saturday race to Sunday race we removed 30 kg of weight so I got a better top speed and better performance. We have three races to go and I never raced in Autopolis. But I’ll keep pushing harder all the time and working with the team to achieve the best.”


Team Manager Philippe Descombes added, “We were very unlucky in the Race 1 pit stop. We got a drive through because we went less than 1 second too quickly out of the pit. It cost us a heap of time and a podium position. Li was great in Race 2. He made full advantage of a sensational start and a good move at the first corner, and then he managed his race perfectly. The fight for the championship will be very close until the last race and every point counts.”


Li currently leads the GT Asia Championship by seven points to Mok Weng Sun (Ferrari 458 GT3).


The GT Asia Series will continue with Rounds 9 & 10 held at the Autopolis International Circuit on 28-30 September before heading to be a part of the Macau Grand Prix at the Circuito da Guia for the Series’ Season Finale on 16-18 November.

GT Asia Rounds 7 & 8 Round Up for Audi R8 LMS Cup in Suzuka

The official Audi R8 LMS Cup entry reached the podium in Round 7 of the GT Asia Series, with the pairing of Shanghai-based Swiss Alexandre Imperatori and Jeffrey Lee of Chinese Taipei earning some crucial championship points in the two races at Suzuka Circuit. 


With regular partner Marchy Lee of Hong Kong away in Inner Mongolia for Rounds 7 & 8 of the Audi R8 LMS Cup in Ordos, exciting young talent Imperatori was drafted in to partner Lee as the two flew the flag for the Audi R8 LMS Cup in Suzuka. 


Qualifying got the weekend off to a strong start, with Imperatori recording the second fastest time of the first qualifying session in his Audi R8 LMS Cup ultra. Lee put in a strong performance in the second qualifying session, resulting in the team starting from the fourth row for the second race of the weekend.


Audi R8 LMS Cup - GT Asia Rounds 7 & 8 Round Up


With a third-place finish in Round 7 and a fifth-place finish in Round 8, Lee is now third in the championship standings, 19 points out of second place.


Imperatori started Round 7 from second on the grid and set off to catch the race leader and, in the process, set what would be the fastest lap of the weekend – a 2:05.390 – showing the speed and the benefits of Audi lightweight technology. 


After 10 laps, Lee took over driving duties and when the race leader got stuck in the gravel, Lee moved into the lead with six laps remaining.


Lee fended off the competition and kept the field at bay, but unfortunately on the last lap, the second-place driver made an overtaking manoeuvre and touched Lee. Both drivers spun, with Lee recovering to finish third and take the final podium position.


Audi R8 LMS Cup - GT Asia Rounds 7 & 8 Round Up


In Round 8, Lee started from seventh, holding his position on the 5.807-km circuit. However, the team’s podium hopes were challenged after a pit lane error resulted in a drive-through penalty. 


A determined Imperatori set off to work his way up the grid and made up a few crucial positions, before crossing the finish line fifth. 


An ideal platform to showcase Audi lightweight technology against other leading automotive marques, the GT Asia Series is further enhanced by a mandatory pit stop and Balance of Performance success ballast regulations.


Commented Director of Audi Sport customer racing in China, Rene Koneberg: “Although we had a bit of a challenge this weekend in Suzuka, there are also many positives. We were in the lead in Round 7 and only a bit of bad luck cost us the win, and a mega lap by Alexandre Imperatori in Round 7 proved to be the fastest lap of the weekend, showing the speed of the Audi R8 LMS ultra.” 


Rounds 9 & 10 of the GT Asia Series will take place in September, before the showcase season finale as part of the Macau GT Cup at the 59th Macau Grand Prix.


Photo Gallery: GT Asia Rounds 7 & 8 Round Up

Audi R8 LMS Cup Entry Returns to GT Asia Podium in Round 6

Good news to Audi R8 LMS Cup fellows as the official Audi R8 LMS Cup entry of Chinese Taipei driver Jeffrey Lee and Hong Kong’s Marchy Lee returned to podium form with a third-place finish in Round 6 of the GT Asia Series at the Fuji International Speedway.


Following a challenging start to both Jeffrey and Marchy’s Fuji debuts in Round 5, the Pro/Am pair made sure to use their Audi R8 LMS ultra to the max in Round 6 as they recovered from a spin on Lap 2 to take the final podium position.



With six rounds of the 11-race series complete, the entry – which showcases the Audi R8 LMS Cup, the brand’s first one-makes series – is now just shy of second place in the standings, with Marchy in third place and Jeffrey, two points behind in fourth.


Saturday’s Round 5 proved a challenge for the pairing, with Jeffery racing the first stint, starting from ninth on the grid. After nine laps, Jeffrey handed over driving duties to Marchy. The pair’s efforts to reach the podium were further complicated with a drive-through penalty for driving too fast through pit lane. Still, Marchy continued to push, showing the speed of the Audi R8 LMS ultra with the fastest lap of the race, to finish ninth overall.


Determined to end the weekend on a high note, Marchy started a wet Round 6 from third on the grid, having qualified third quickest in the Saturday’s second qualifying session. Off the start, Marchy quickly moved up to second on Turn 1 and by the end of the first lap was leading the field.



However on Lap 2, as Marchy pushed to increase his lead, he spun and fell back to fourth position. From there, he steadily chipped away at the lead, demonstrating the capabilities of the Audi lightweight technology. On Lap 11, Marchy grabbed an opportunity to overtake for third place.


Following the driver change, Jeffrey maintained the position, working hard to keep the pace, bring the car home and return the pair to the podium.



Said Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing China: “We are delighted to return the podium this weekend and get our championship goal back on track in Fuji. It has been a pleasure to introduce the Audi R8 LMS Cup entry to Japan and we look forward to racing at Suzuka next month.”


Jeffrey Lee: “It’s great to stand on the podium again! We had a couple of errors, but I’m happy that we were able to achieve a strong result today. This weekend has been a good experience for us. It’s my first time driving the Audi R8 LMS ultra in the rain and it’s good to know what we can achieve in the wet.”


Marchy Lee: “The spin on Lap 2 was a big mistake but this is a competitive championship and you need to push. After the mistake I tried my best to recover and the car did a great job. The Audi R8 LMS ultra is very balanced and showed great pace in this weather. This is my first weekend at Fuji and if I come back next time, I know I will be stronger.”


The Audi R8 LMS Cup entry will be back in action next month in Suzuka for Rounds 7 & 8 of the GT Asia Series from August 18-19, 2012.

Audi R8 LMS Cup Ready For GT Asia Series Rounds 5 & 6 @ Fuji International Speedway

Rounds 5 & 6 of the GT Asia Series at the Fuji International Speedway will be happening on this weekend, 14-15 July 2012. Also, it’s back to business for the intriguing pairing of Chinese Taipei driver Jeffrey Lee and Hong Kong’s Marchy Lee as the official Audi R8 LMS Cup entry readies to do battle.


After a dramatic and challenging weekend last month here in Sepang, which saw the powerful duo slip down the leaderboard despite a valiant effort, the Pro/Am pair will look to use their Audi R8 LMS ultra to power them back into the lead of the 11-race series.



Both drivers will make their Fuji debuts with the team which is flying the flag for the first ever one-make championship created by the brand, the Audi R8 LMS Cup. The championship burst onto the Asian motor racing scene in April this year, and immediately raised the bar for the sport in the region.


As the GT Asia Series lands in Japan for the next six races before concluding as part of the Macau GT Cup at the 59th Macau Grand Prix in November, Rounds 5&6 present a crucial opportunity to get the team’s championship aspirations back on track. The combination of an intensely-competitive field and the series’ Balance of Performance success ballast regulations make outright victory all the more difficult to attain, but the taste of victory sweeter.


Watching the highly-successful Audi R8 LMS ultra pushed to the max is an opportunity to see the revolutionary Audi lightweight technology in action. Audi has reversed the weight spiral in GT competition, and the benefits of the ground-breaking technology used in its competition cars translate directly to the consumer as improved efficiency. In motorsport, the lightweight Audi R8 LMS ultra creates room for ballast which can be used to improve the car’s balance.


The two qualifying sessions and Round 5 of the GT Asia Series will be held on Saturday, July 14, while Round 6 will take place on Sunday, July 15.


Jeffrey Lee: “We definitely faced a challenge in Rounds 3&4, but the fight to claw back as many points as possible showed both the speed we have as a team and our determination as drivers to win the championship. The whole team is continuing to work really well together, and with the competition as tight as it is, team work is going to be one of the crucial factors. I’m really looking forward to racing at Fuji for the first time and Marchy and I are excited for the opportunity to demonstrate our full potential as a team.”


Marchy Lee: “We’re thrilled to be heading to Japan and resuming the fight for the championship. We had a bit of bad luck last month in Sepang, but with the weekend well behind us, we’re looking ahead and focused on earning our first GT Asia Series win in the Audi R8 LMS ultra. It’s always exciting to race on a new circuit and I can’t wait – let’s go racing!”