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GT Asia: Audi Stands on Suzuka Podium


• Official Audi R8 LMS Cup entry reaches podium in Round 7
• Jeffrey Lee now third in GT Asia Series championship standings
• Suzuka races support Japan Super GT

Suzuka, August 19, 2012 – 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.

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.

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.

QUOTES:
Jeffrey Lee
“We’re pleased to have reached the podium in Round 7, although we are also disappointed that we didn’t get the win. Round 8 was a bit more challenging and with the series as competitive as it is, there is no room for error. I’m looking forward to getting back in the Audi R8 LMS ultra and racing in Autopolis next month.”Alexandre Imperatori
“Today was not as close as we had hoped.  We were definitely in a position to challenge for a podium spot in Round 8, if not for the pit lane penalty. We had a bit of bad luck this weekend. I feel like we could have won in Round 7, but that’s racing for you!”

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


GT Asia Series 2012 – Provisional Calendar

Date Event Circuit Rounds
May 26-27 Malaysian Super Series Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia 1 & 2
June 9-10 Super GT Series Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia 3 & 4
July 14-15 Formula Nippon Fuji International Speedway, Japan 5 & 6
August 18-19 Super GT Series Suzuka Circuit, Japan 7 & 8
September 29-30 Super GT Series Autopolis International Circuit, Japan 9 & 10
November 16-18 59th Macau Grand Prix (Macau GT Cup) Guia Circuit, Macau, China 11

About Audi
The Audi Group delivered 1,302,659 cars of the Audi brand to customers in 2011. In 2011 the Company posted revenue of €44.1 billion and an operating profit of €5.3 billion. Audi produces vehicles in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm (Germany), Győr (Hungary), Changchun (China) and Brussels (Belgium). The Audi Q7 is built in Bratislava (Slovakia). In July 2010, CKD production of the Audi Q5 was added to the existing Audi A4 and A6 manufacturing operations in Aurangabad (India). At the Brussels plant, production of the Audi A1 has been running since 2010, while production of the new A1 Sportback began in 2012. The Audi Q3 has been built in Martorell (Spain) since June 2011. The Company is active in more than 100 markets worldwide. AUDI AG’s wholly owned subsidiaries include AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft. (Győr/Hungary), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (Sant’Agata Bolognese/Italy), AUDI BRUSSELS S.A./N.V. (Brussels/Belgium), quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm and the motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (Bologna/Italy). Audi currently employs around 65,000 people worldwide, including around 48,000 in Germany. Between 2012 and 2016 the brand with the four rings is planning to invest a total of €13 billion – mainly in new products and the extension of production capacities – in order to sustain the Company’s technological lead embodied in its “Vorsprung durch Technik” slogan. Audi is currently expanding its site in Győr (Hungary) and will start production in Foshan (China) in late 2013 and in Mexico in 2016.

Audi has long been fulfilling its social responsibility on many levels – with the aim of making the future worth living for generations to come. The basis for Audi’s lasting success is therefore formed by environmental protection, the conservation of resources, international competitiveness and a forward-looking human resources policy. One example of AUDI AG’s commitment to environmental issues is the Audi Environmental Foundation. Within the context of “Vorsprung durch Technik,” which extends far beyond its products, the Company is directing its activities toward a major goal – comprehensive CO2-neutral mobility.

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