Four Asian teams entering six Audi R8 LMS GT3s have ensured that Audi is the most represented GT3 manufacturer in the second season of Blancpain GT Series Asia. The teams will set off to capture the GT3 Overall, Silver Cup, Pro/Am, Am Cup and Team titles as the 2018 season gets underway this weekend with a double-header of races at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit.
Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia commented: “The Blancpain GT Series Asia is the most competitive multi-marque GT championship in the region. We are delighted that Audi will be represented by such strong driver pairings and customer teams. We are confident that the combination of expertise, experience and talent, coupled with the performance and reliability of the Audi R8 LMS GT3, will be a recipe for success.”
Gunning for overall championship glory, and with a score to settle after missing out on the 2017 title by a single point, is the potent pairing of Malaysia’s Mitch Gilbert and Aditya Patel, the Motorsport Brand Ambassador for Audi India. This season their OD Racing Team car is run by WRT, a team that has enjoyed significant success as an official works team of Audi Sport.
Equally set on the title fight are the Absolute Racing duo of Martin Rump and Chinese star Cheng Congfu. The pairing marks the first time the 22-year-old Estonian and China’s most accomplished circuit competitor have teamed up together.
Absolute Racing is also running two Pro/Am entries. Hong Kong sensation Adderly Fong pairs with fellow former Pirelli World Challenge driver Andrew Kim of South Korea, while exciting 25-year-old Australian Josh Burdon, the 2016 Asian Formula Renault Series champion, shares a cockpit with impressive privateer and former series race winner Anthony Liu.
Phoenix Racing Asia enters three-time Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup champion Alex Yoong and fellow Malaysian Lim Keong Wee in the Pro/Am class. Audi race legend and former Formula 1 star, Yoong, finished in second place in the Pro/Am class in last season’s inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia season.
Aiming for the Am Cup title will be the Japanese duo of Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka with KCMG. Taking two race wins in 2017, the pair came very close to getting their hands on the Am Cup title and will be strong contenders for the category this season.
The Blancpain GT Series Asia gets underway in Malaysia on April 14-15 with rounds one and two, after which it travels to Japan’s Suzuka and Fuji circuits before finishing the season in China at the Shanghai International Circuit and the new Ningbo International Speedpark.