Audi R8 LMS Cup Rounds 9 & 10 held in support of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the Shanghai International Circuit from 26-28 October 2012. FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) regular Darryl O’Young will make his debut in the Audi R8 LMS Cup in two races this weekend. Besides, South Korean Kyoung Ouk You (known as K.O.), who also makes his debut in the series and is the first Korean driver in the series. For the Audi R8 LMS Cup regulars though, the battle for the championship resumes in Shanghai this weekend. While Hong Kong’s Marchy Lee leads the charge for Audi Ultra, Adderly Fong is just eight points adrift in the KLM Team entry.
The two races this weekend are held in support of the finale of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Two Audi driver teams will be battling for the world champion’s title in Shanghai. Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer, the 2011 and reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans winners with Audi, improved their chances of clinching the title when they finished runner-up at the Fuji 6 Hours in Japan. They are 16.5 points ahead of their team-mates Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish.
According to Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing China said, “We are delighted to welcome Darryl O’Young and K.O. You to the Audi R8 LMS Cup. The FIA WEC weekend gives us an opportunity to introduce our talented Asian drivers to the Audi global motorsport family, and to show just how high the standard of racing in the region has become. As well as proving the power, performance, agility and reliability of the Audi R8 LMS Cup, as a one-makes championship, it is the ideal way to showcase the skills of our drivers.”
O’Young is no stranger to Audi. He has twice won the famed Bathhurst 12 Hours in an Audi R8 and was part of the GTC Class winning Audi China team at the 2011 International Le Mans Cup race in Zhuhai. Currently contesting his third season in the FIA WTCC, O’Young took victory in the Macau GT Cup in 2008. However, one man’s gain is another’s loss, and O’Young will be standing in for Audi GQ regular driver and championship contender Alex Yoong of Malaysia. Yoong is committed to broadcast duties at the Indian Formula 1 Grand Prix, so will miss out on the two Shanghai races. Korean K.O. You, meanwhile, won a Formula BMW Asia scholarship in 2003, going on to become Rookie of the Year that season and championship runner-up in 2004. He is a two-time Korean GT Masters champion, won the 3800 Class in the CJ Super Race series in 2011, and has twice been the recipient of Korea’s ‘Racing Driver of the Year’ award.
While Marchy and Adderly may lead the points charge, with a total of 102 points still up for grabs before the season’s closer, the championship remains very much open. Sun Zheng of China, in the Team Erdos Xinan entry, and Team Betterlife’s Wang Jian Wei will be glad of the additional two races in which to make their mark. Either could potentially pull off a late-season charge to snatch the title from the two front-runners. Exciting young driver David Zhu returns to the Audi R8 LMS Cup for the Shanghai races having impressed on his series debut in Zhuhai last month. The former single seater driver just missed out on a podium in his first career sportscar races and will be one to watch in Shanghai.
The Audi R8 LMS Cup made its worldwide debut in Shanghai in April then headed to China’s Pearl River Delta and the Zhuhai International Circuit and Inner Mongolia’s Ordos track, before returning to Zhuhai in September. The FIA WEC-supporting rounds this weekend will set the stage for November’s Shanghai double-header season finale.