Six Audi R8 LMS GT3 cars have been confirmed so far for Blancpain GT Series Asia’s first season. The strong Audi entry list underlines the partnership between SRO Motorsports Group’s flagship series and the Audi R8 LMS Cup. Five of the six cars are also entered into the Cup with teams capitalising on the benefits provided for dual entries in the cross-series collaboration.
The Audi R8 LMS Cup calendar follows a similar route around the region to that of Blancpain GT Series Asia, with teams that compete in both championships receiving transportation support for their vehicles between the race weekends of the two series. Each 60-minute Blancpain GT Series Asia race is split in half by a forced pit-stop and driver change, with the driver pairings this year incorporating a raft of Audi R8 LMS Cup stars past and present.
“The number of teams and drivers to have signed up for full entries in both the Audi R8 LMS Cup and Blancpain GT Series Asia seasons proves the concept of our collaboration”, said Bernd Goeres, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “We will continue our work in making entries into other Asian GT3 series more cost effective for teams. Good luck to all of our teams and drivers for the season ahead.”
Audi R8 LMS Cup champion Alex Yoong will partner with former Am Cup champion Alex Au in a Team Audi R8 LMS Cup emblazoned car for the full Blancpain GT Series Asia season. In a Team Audi Hong Kong car, Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong will renew the partnership that saw them finish second overall in last season’s GT Asia Series. Both cars will be serviced by Phoenix Racing Asia.
Martin Rump will be another to tackle both the Audi R8 LMS Cup and Blancpain GT Series Asia seasons, with the young Estonian joined behind the wheel by last season’s Am Cup competitor Rick Yoon. Their car forms the KCMG by Champion Racing Team entry, with KCMG also fielding a second car in both series. Japanese duo Takeda san and Shirasaka san will compete in four of the six Blancpain events.
Cup newcomer Mitchell Gilbert will be driving the Absolute Racing serviced OD Racing car in both series with his Blancpain teammate to be announced soon. Chinese Audi R8 LMS Cup star Cheng Congfu will also race in the Blancpain GT Series Asia alongside last season’s recipient of the third place Am Cup trophy Sun Jingzu as part of Absolute Racing.
Discussions with additional teams regarding dual-series entries are underway.
April 8-9 marks the Asia launch of one of Europe’s leading GT3 and GT4 championships, Blancpain GT Series, at the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia. The inaugural Asian calendar includes 12 races across six race weekends also including stops in Thailand, Japan and China. The partnership between the series and the Audi R8 LMS Cup culminates with a shared season finale at the newly opened Zhejiang International Circuit on October 20-21.
The Audi R8 LMS Cup’s sixth season kicks off on May 6-7 also at the Sepang International Circuit on the outskirts of Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.