Audi R8 LMS Cup 2017 Flags Off at Sepang with Established Stars and New Faces
Sixth season of Audi R8 LMS Cup championship returns to Sepang
International Circuit for season opener
Reigning champion and local hero Alex Yoong renews last season’s
rivalry with Alessio Picariello and Martin Rump
Former Formula 1 driver Will Stevens debuts, representing WRT Asia
Round 1 and 2 of the Audi R8 LMS Cup will be broadcast live on May
6 and 7 respectively at www.audir8lmscup.com
Kuala Lumpur, April 25, 2017 – Asia’s leading motorsport stars will be joined by
some of the world’s hottest young talent in the Audi R8 LMS Cup’s sixth season.
The one-make sprint series is set to cut a swathe across the region with 10
rounds of action across five race weekends.
The series champion for the past three consecutive years, Alex Yoong returns to
defend his title this year, keeping up his record of competing in every Cup season thus
far. He is joined by Alessio Picariello, who enjoyed a hugely successful debut season.
The 23 year-old MGT Team by Absolute driver topped the championship on three
occasions last season but missed out on the trophy after a dramatic season finale in
Shanghai to finish second overall.
Martin Rump of Champion Racing Team was another standout youngster from the
Cup’s 2016 season. His four race victories were the most of any driver and the 20
year-old Estonian will be looking to build on his third place overall finish in the season
Adding to the tussles between youth and experience that played out last season in the
Cup will be former Formula One driver Will Stevens, who joins for a debut season, and
Shaun Thong, who will compete in his first full season.
Will Stevens, British former F1 driver will certainly add to the talent on display at this
year’s Audi R8 LMS Cup. Racing for the Asian arm of the prestigious Belgian team
WRT, Stevens has highly impressive credentials, being runner-up at the 24 Hours of Le
Mans last year, is an FIA World Endurance Championship race winner and managed
18 Formula One grand prix starts.
Shaun Thong, the Young Driver Development Programme participant for the Asian
platform of Audi, will race a full Cup season for the first time with Audi TEDA Racing
Team. As part of his development process the young Hong Kong native took part in the
Audi Sport TT Cup in 2015 as well as being part of the first all-Asian team to enter the
Nürburgring 24 Hours for the past two seasons, along with regular Audi R8 LMS Cup
Audi R8 LMS Cup champion in 2012, Marchy Lee, will also return this season as part
of Team Audi Hong Kong. The co-owner of Cup service provider, Phoenix Racing Asia,
is another who has appeared in every season of the sprint series since its launch.
Cheng Congfu will also return in the FAW-VW Audi Racing Team car for 2017. The
Chinese star closed out a challenging 2016 on a high with a top 10 finish in the FIA GT
World Cup in Macau and will be looking to rediscover the form that saw him finish as
the Audi R8 LMS Cup runner-up in 2015.
As the leading sprint race in Asia, this one-make championship features the Audi R8
LMS, a GT3 car with more than 200 international race victories. It boasts a V10 engine
and a lightweight, aluminium Audi Space Frame (ASF®). Since 2016, the R8 LMS Cup
has featured the second-generation Audi R8 LMS, which shares around 50 percent of
its technical base with the Audi R8 street car.
The Audi R8 LMS Cup is operated by Audi China and is part of the Audi Sport
customer racing Asia programme. Qualifying for Rounds 1 and 2 will begin at 10:35
and 11:00 respectively on Saturday, May 6 with Round 1 of the R8 LMS Cup flagging
off at 16:45 on Saturday, May 6, and Round 2 at 12.50 on Sunday, May 7 (all times
Fans around the world can watch both races live at www.audir8lmscup.com.