Will Stevens is facing a hectic, near 40-race season in Europe and now Asia after joining Audi Sport customer racing Asia and Team WRT Asia to contest the Blancpain GT Asia Series and the Audi R8 LMS Cup. The 25-year-old ex-Formula One driver gets his exciting Far East campaign underway at Sepang next weekend (8-9 Apr) when Will shares an Audi R8 LMS with Taiwanese Jeffrey Lee in the two, one-hour races in Malaysia.
Stevens, who is undertaking only his second season of GT3 racing after a successful 14-year motor racing career in karts and single-seaters, will miss one event in each of the Blancpain Asia and R8 LMS Cup due to clashing Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup (Brands Hatch) and Endurance Cup races (Paul Ricard).
Will’s Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup season began in unfortunate circumstances at Misano (IT) last weekend (1 Apr). Starting Saturday evening’s qualifying race from 11thposition – the best-placed Audi – Will’s R8 LMS was hit from behind at Turn 6. The Stevens Audi was spun around with the race being stopped after the multi-car pile-up. Six cars were not able to re-start including the Stevens/Markus Winkelhock R8 LMS which was too badly damaged to start Sunday’s Main Race.
2017 Blancpain GT Series – Asia
8-9 Apr: Sepang (MAL)
20-21 May: Chang (THAI)
24-25 Jun: Suzuka (JAP)*
19-20 Aug: Fuji (JAP)
23-24 Sep: Shanghai (CH)
21-22 Oct: Zhejiang (CH)
(2 x 1hr races each event)
*Will not enter
2017 Audi R8 LMS Cup
6-7 May: Sepang (MAL)*
10-11 Jun: Suzuka (JAP)
15-16 Jul: Korea (KOR)
9-10 Sep: Shanghai (CH)
20-21 Oct: Zhejiang (CH)
(2 races each event)
*Will not enter
Will Stevens (GB): Lives: Surrey, England. Aged 25.
“I’m delighted to join Audi Sport customer racing Asia and Team WRT Asia to compete in Asia. I’m already racing for WRT in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint and Endurance Cups in Europe. Contesting the inaugural Blancpain GT Series in Asia, combined with the hugely popular and competitive Audi R8 LMS Cup for WRT, is a good additional opportunity for me. I made the decision this year to concentrate on GT racing and race the Audi R8 LMS as much as I can to forge stronger links with Audi. I’m looking forward to getting this new Asian programme underway and returning to some tracks that I know from my days in Formula One. Asia is a fast-emerging market and I’m happy to be a part of both series.
“Misano was hugely disappointing. The Audis looked to be at a disadvantage generally in Italy but I was the fastest of those in Qualifying 3 so to that extent, I was happy with that. Then in the race, after only a couple of corners, I was hit hard and spun around. The [chassis] damage was too severe to repair for Sunday’s race.”
Source. Martyn Pass Public Relations