It was a successful weekend of racing for Audi customers across two countries and three series in Asia. Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup driver Bhurit Bhirombhakdi and Singha Plan-B by Absolute Racing teammate Kantasak Kusiri won round two of the GT Asia Series at the Sepang International Circuit. The result capped off the weekend in Malaysia, which saw three Absolute Racing-serviced Audi R8 LMS GT3s claiming four of the six available podiums across two races.
B-Quik Racing was also in action in Sepang in the Thailand Super Series Super Car GTM Plus class, with the category running on a shared grid with the GT Asia Series. Henk Kiks and Daniel Bilski secured sixth and fifth in class in rounds one and two respectively in their newly acquired Audi R8 LMS Ultra, marking a strong showing for the only FIA-ranked bronze-bronze driver pairing in the field.
At the iconic Suzuka Circuit in Japan, Phoenix Racing Asia fielded three Audi R8 LMS GT3s in the Super Taikyu Series. In the five-hour season-opening race, Shaun Thong, Alex Yoong and Alex Au crossed the line in fourth, just missing out on the podium on the team’s series debut.
“Congratulations to Bhurit Bhirombhakdi and Kantasak Kusiri for their race win and to all of the Audi customers for their strong showings in their respective series,” said Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “To have seven Audi R8 LMS race cars competing across three series and two countries on the same weekend shows the growth of motorsport in the Asian region.”
GT Asia Series round one
Sun Jingzu and Cheng Congfu of Absolute Racing crossed the line in second as the highest placed Audi R8 LMS GT3 after Sun won a see-saw battle with Bhirombhakdi in the dying stages of the race. The Thai privateer lost second place with just one full lap remaining, but set the fastest lap of the race among a strong field of FIA-ranked gold and silver drivers, crossing the line in third.
Adderly Fong and Vincent Floirendo of EN Sport by Absolute Racing crossed the line in sixth. Fong had started in pole, but lost two places when the lights went green, before clawing back a position to be running second. After the driver changeover Floirendo battled well in his first race back after more than a year out of motorsport.
In the Thailand Super Series Super Car GTM Plus class, Kiks and Bilski improved on a starting position of ninth to finish sixth in class.
GT Asia Series round two
With Bhirombhakdi and Kusiri converting their second row start into a race win, it was Fong and Floirendo who claimed the fourth podium of the weekend for Audi customers, bringing their Audi R8 LMS GT3 home in third.
Cheng Congfu crossed the line just behind in fourth following strong stints again from himself and compatriot Sun.
Bilski and Kiks improved once more on their starting position of ninth in the Thailand Super Series Super Car GTM Plus class, this time going one better, bringing their Audi R8 LMS Ultra home fifth in class.
Super Taikyu Series round one
Thong, Au and Yoong had started as the highest placed of the Phoenix Racing Asia cars in fifth. After early contact with another car the team chose to pit during a full course yellow flag that followed. However, the team lost time as the race was green flagged as they entered the pit lane. The trio battled back strongly to take the flag in fourth in a mixed-class field of over 50 cars.
Jeffrey Lee, Andre Couto and Shintaro Kawabata of J-Fly Racing by Phoenix Racing Asia started the endurance race in seventh place, but a strong stint from Couto put them in fourth at the one-hour mark.
After Lee had then taken the reins, Kawabata had the team running third with just minutes of the race remaining, however, their final pit stop to refuel put the team back into fifth, where they finished.
In the other Phoenix Racing Asia Audi R8 LMS GT3, Marchy Lee, Lim Keong Wee and Melvin Moh were on driving duties. An incident in Friday’s free practice had threatened to derail the weekend for the team, with the car unable to take part in qualifying.
However, their engineers and mechanics worked tirelessly over the following 48 hours to make the eye-catching pink-liveried car race-ready and they succeeded, with the team coming home in eighth overall.