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Audi R8 LMS Cup: Marchy Lee Clinches Championship for Inaugural Season


Shanghai, November 11, 2012 – Hong Kong driver Marchy Lee has become the first ever Audi R8 LMS Cup Champion after crossing the line second in today’s twelfth and final round at the Shanghai International Circuit. The winner’s honours went to Audi Driving Dreams team guest driver Edoardo Mortara who took a confident lights-to-flag victory, giving him two race wins this weekend. Third across the line and sealing his second place overall in the championship was Adderly Fong driving for the KLM Team. Malaysia’s Alex Yoong was fourth in the Audi GQ car, confirming his third place in the overall points’ standings.

The Amateur Cup had already been taken by Jeffrey Lee in Saturday’s Round 11 but second and third places in the Amateur’s Cup were confirmed respectively today for Alex Au of AK Racing and top celebrity and accomplished driver Aaron Kwok of Team Audi R8 LMS Cup. The Teams’ championship was also wrapped up today with Audi Ultra taking top honours on 229 points ahead of Audi GQ on 193 points and KLM Team on 186 points.

An exciting mix of professionals, rising stars and passionate enthusiasts, the Audi R8 LMS Cup has seen 16 drivers compete against each other in identical cars. Racing across the region with rounds at Zhuhai, Shanghai and Ordos, the series is an optimum showcase for Audi lightweight technology. Along with partner, Michelin, who introduced a first in Asian motorsport – a long life tyre which lasts over the course of an entire weekend, Audi sees the Cup as the perfect opportunity to nurture motorsport talent and demonstrate its commitment to China and its customers in the region. As a further sign of this commitment it was announced today that Audi Korea will enter an official team in the Audi R8 LMS Cup for 2013.

Commented Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing China: “Audi is proud to have completed such a successful first ever single-make championship. Next year, we will go from strength to strength supporting motorsport across Asia.”

Today’s final round took place in cool but sunny conditions, a welcome contrast to the damp track of Saturday’s Round 11. As the field got away from the grid in the finishing order of the previous day’s race, it was clear that Mortara had the advantage from a clean rolling start. Determined not to interfere in the main battle for the Cup standings the Italian found himself under pressure to keep clear of the charging Audi Ultra of Marchy Lee. Lee meanwhile had the determined Fong and Yoong hot on his heels.

Further down the field, American amateur driver Dino Crescentini of Spark Motorsport spun at the start of lap 2. He rejoined at the back of the field but his chances of a second Amateur Cup win had slipped away. This left already crowned Amateur Cup Champion Jeffrey Lee and AK Racing’s title runner up Alex Au to enjoy a battle royale for podium honours.

Team Erdos Xinan’s Sun Zheng meanwhile had a storming start. The Chinese driver had received a late penalty after Saturday’s race and found himself at the back of the grid with a monumental task ahead of him. It was a challenge he seemed to relish as one by one he picked off his rivals. By lap six he was in seventh place overall and closing fast on Wang Jian Wei in the Team Betterlife car. Wang proved a tougher opponent but Sun Zheng eventually took him on lap 12, putting him in sixth place behind Team Zhe Jiang Aotong’s David Zhu whose solid race skills placed him fifth.

With the race entering its closing stages the back markers began to make their presence felt, enabling Fong to have a final but unsuccessful attempt at overhauling Lee. So as the cars took the final chequered flag of the season the top six finishers were Mortara followed by Marchy Lee, Fong, Zhu and Sun Zheng. The top Amateur Cup finishers were Jeffrey Lee, Au and star driver and personality Aaron Kwok in the Team Audi R8 LMS Cup car. Final placings for the Amateur Cup standings therefore confirmed Jeffrey Lee as Champion with runners up places going to Au and Kwok.

 

Quotes after Round 12:

Rene Koneberg (Director of Audi Sport customer racing China)
“We have seen some hard, close and fair racing this weekend, which is a testament to the quality of drivers and machinery in the Audi R8 LMS Cup throughout this inaugural season.  Audi is proud to have completed such a successful first ever single-make championship. Next year, we will go from strength to strength supporting motorsport across Asia. To underline that, we are pleased to announce today that Audi Korea will enter an official team in the Audi R8 LMS Cup for 2013. We look forward to welcoming them to the championship and for even more close racing than we have seen this year.”

Edoardo Mortara (Audi Driving Dreams)
“The start was good and I really wanted to disappear from the others so they could have their own battle.  But I think the advantage may have been a little too big.  Marchy was pushing hard mid-race and then we had a few back markers to deal with but overall it was a very smooth race.  Congratulations to Marchy (Lee), Adderly (Fong) and Alex (Yoong) on a great championship.”

Marchy Lee (Audi Ultra) – Audi R8 LMS Cup Champion
“Overall it was a very difficult race. Edoardo had a good start and I tried to follow but he was very fast. There was a bit of a gap between myself and Adderly but he was pushing all the time. Then we came up against a back marker and all I wanted to do was be safe so I didn’t try and go through on the first corner. They really closed the door and I tried to keep calm inside the car.  Then I had Adderly right up behind me and I had to fight to keep calm and maintain control. I tried and pushed really hard for two laps to open up a gap – when I did I had to work to maintain the gap at around one second. I knew Adderly was going to push all the way and that is what he did to the end. I could see him in my rear view mirror on the last corner really pushing. It has been a very close and competitive season and to be fighting for the championship with Adderly on the last day has been exciting. I know it would have been much tougher if Alex (Yoong) had not missed a couple of races and it would certainly have been a three-way battle for the title. I’m really pleased for the team and grateful to everyone involved for making it a very special championship.”

Adderly Fong (KLM Team) – Audi R8 LMS Cup, 2nd place
“I think Marchy (Lee) and myself had a lot of pressure on the grid and we could really feel some tension. I was certainly pushing for the whole race and I had my traction control setting at two so I could keep some life in the tyres. But with 11 laps to go I turned it right down to one which made the car quite difficult in the high speed corners. I was trying to catch Marchy throughout the race but I could see he was on the edge a couple of times, as was I. Both Marchy and I were blocked by back markers during the race, but we had one each so that seemed fair. Overall, it has been great racing and I think I have been very lucky to be here competing for the championship with these great drivers.”

Alex Yoong (Audi GQ) – Audi R8 LMS Cup, 3rd place
“I have enjoyed everything about this year and if I hadn’t missed a couple of races then I may well have been in contention for the title, but we will never know. The Audi R8 LMS Cup is a great car and it has provided us with some very close racing this year.”

Jeffrey Lee (Pauian Archiland J-Fly Racing) – Audi R8 LMS Cup, Amateur Champion
“Because I won the Amateur title I will be racing as a Professional driver next year, but I don’t mind at all. Driving as Amateur or Professional there will be some fierce competition in the Audi R8 LMS Cup championship next year. There was some pressure on myself and Alex (Au) because of the leader board and through the race yesterday, and again today, there was some contact between us. But that contact only made the racing more exciting and I hope we can both race together again in the future.”

Alex Au (AK Racing) – Audi R8 LMS Cup, 2nd place Amateur
“I was expecting a nice relaxing weekend but there was some contact between Jeffrey (Lee) and myself in the first race. I was expecting it to be easier today, but Jeffrey (Lee) told me he was being easy on me! Jeffrey and I traded places but then my car started to feel quite bad. I lost another place and then had a spin. It wasn’t until we got back to the pits at the end of the race that I found out I had a puncture on my front right tyre.”

Aaron Kwok (Team Audi R8 LMS Cup) – Audi R8 LMS Cup, 3rd place Amateur
“This first season has been exciting for me and every part of it has been a highlight.  If I am spinning, overtaking or going off onto the grass, it has all been an experience to enjoy. It has also been a good opportunity to learn more about driving by being with such great drivers who have helped me improve and become a better driver. I hope Audi and I can work together again next year.”

Audi R8 LMS Cup Official Website at: www.audir8lmscup.com

 

Round 12– Results

Pos

Comp No

Name

Class

Entrant

Time

1

27

Edoardo MORTARA (G) (I) Audi Driving Dreams 32:46.891

2

1

Marchy LEE (HK) Audi Ultra 32:48.910

3

68

Adderly FONG (HK) KLM Team 32:49.351

4

8

Alex YOONG (MAL) Audi GQ 32:56.914

5

6

David ZHU (CN) Team Zhejiang Aotong 33:09.584

6

33

SUN Zheng (CN) Team Erdos Xinan 33:22.509

7

9

WANG Jian Wei (CN) Team Betterlife 33:27.555

8

77

SUN Chao (CN) PD Group Team 33:39.110

9

7

Jeffrey LEE (TPE)

AM

Pauian Archiland J-Fly Racing 34:02.312

10

99

Massimo VIGNALI (I) Team Chengdu New Elements 34:04.788

11

88

Aaron KWOK (HK)

AM

Team Audi R8 LMS Cup 34:36.486

12

23

Alex AU (HK)

AM

AK Racing +1 lap

13

66

ZHANG Ran (CN)

AM

Audi Castrol +1 lap

14

13

Adrian FU (HK)

AM

FuSpeed Racing +1 lap

15

75

Clifford CHEN (TPE)

AM

J-Fly Racing +1 lap

16

3

Dino CRESCENTINI (USA)

AM

Spark Motorsport DNF

(AM)      Amateur Cup Competitor

(G)          Guest Driver

 

Fastest Lap: Edoardo Mortara/Audi Driving Dreams/1:48.476

 

Overall Classification (top 10)*

1 Marchy LEE (HK) 229
2 Adderly FONG (HK) 217
3 Alex YOONG (MAL) 167
4 SUN Zheng (CN) 115
5 WANG Jian Wei (CN) 84
6 Jeffrey LEE (TPE) 77
7 David ZHU (CN) 60
8 SUN Chao (CN) 41
9 Charlie-Ro CHARLZ (AUS) 30
10 Kyong-Ouk YOU (KOR) 27

 

Amateur Cup Classification (top 5) *

1 Jeffrey LEE (TPE) 197
2 Alex AU (HK) 156
3 Aaron KWOK (HK) 129
4 ZHANG Ran (CN) 118
5 Adrian FU (HK) 111

 

*              Full classifications available on the Audi R8 LMS Cup website.

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