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TEAM KINGS TAKES BOTH VICTORIES AT CHINA GT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON OPENER

Audi Sport customer racing teams started the 2018 China GT Championship in Zhuhai this weekend in the best way possible, recording wins in rounds one and two. KINGS took both victories, with reigning Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup champion Alessio Picariello and China GT Champion Xu Jia taking a pole-to-flag round one win by an incredible margin of more than 33 seconds. Will Bamber and Wang Liang took the round two win in another dominant display to lead the GT3 standings after the double-header in the Pearl River Delta. 

Rounds three and four of Blancpain GT Series Asia also took place over the weekend at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand, with Audi customers climbing the podium on five occasions across different classes.

“The strength in depth of the Audi customer teams in the Asia region was on show this weekend in China GT and Blancpain GT Series Asia,” said Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “Congratulations to KINGS for their double-victory in Zhuhai and GT3 championship lead.”

China GT Championship

While the ‘Belgian Bullet’ Picariello and impressive Chinese privateer Xu ran away with the round one win, Tianshi Racing Team’s David Chen and Michael Choy joined them on the podium in third, with the Bamber/Wang duo in fourth.

Round two saw a strong opening stint by Wang before handing the Audi R8 LMS GT3 over to Bamber, after Picariello retired early on. With less than 15 minutes of the hour-long race remaining, Bamber had built up an advantage of 12 seconds. However, with just five minutes on the clock, the race was red flagged and subsequently finished behind the safety car. Second across the line were the Tianshi Racing Team pair of reigning Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup Am+ champion David Chen and Michael Choy, who sit second in the GT3 driver standings.

Blancpain GT Series Asia

In round three, Absolute Racing’s Cheng Congfu of China and Estonian Martin Rump secured their first overall podium of the season with third overall. The OD Racing Team WRT pair of Mitch Gilbert and Aditya Patel took the flag in seventh overall, fifth in the Silver Cup.

In the Pro-Am category, teammates Andrew Kim and Adderly Fong finished third, ninth overall, with Josh Burdon and Anthony Liu in the sister car taking the flag one place further back.

Series Silver Cup champion Marchy Lee reunited with long-time teammate and fellow legend of Asian motorsport Alex Yoong for the Thailand weekend, but the pair had a challenging race, with an incident, coupled with a drive through penalty, thwarting their efforts.

Round four saw another strong performance by Cheng and Rump to take third in the Silver Cup, fifth overall. The pair now sit fourth in the overall GT3 standings and second in the Silver Cup.

In the Pro-Am category, Anthony Liu and Josh Burdon took a well-deserved podium after crossing the line third in class, seventh overall. The pair now sit second in the Pro-Am standings, just four points off the lead.

A drive-through penalty for Patel and Gilbert hampered their efforts whilst running fifth, dropping them to 13th at the flag. Likewise, a strong start by Fong hit a setback when a track-limits infringement resulted in a drive through penalty, finishing 15th with teammate Kim, seventh in Pro-Am.

In the Am Cup, KCMG’s Japanese duo of Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka continued their dominance, taking both class victories in rounds three and four and extending their 100% win record in the series.

The Audi Sport customer racing Asia teams will be in action again as the China GT Championship continues at the Zhejiang International Circuit from June 1 to 3, while the Blancpain GT Series Asia continues at Japan’s iconic Suzuka track from June 30 to July 1, with rounds five and six.

Results

China GT Championship

Round one

GT3
1. #1/Alessio Picariello/Xu Jia/KINGS
3. #888/David Chen/Michael Choy/Tianshi Racing Team
4. #8/Will Bamber/Wang Liang/KINGS
DNF #666/Max Wiser/Andrew Lo/Tianshi Racing Team

GTC
DNF #99/Liu Peng/Tianshi Racing Team
DNF #20/Chen Xiao/Guan Fangyuan/Tianshi Racing Team

Round two

GT3
1.#8/Will Bamber/Wang Liang/KINGS
2.#888/David Chen/Michael Choy/Tianshi Racing Team
6.#666/Max Wiser/Andrew Lo/Tianshi Racing Team
DNF #1/Alessio Picariello/Xu Jia/KINGS

GTC
5.#20/Chen Xiao/Guan Fangyuan/Tianshi Racing Team
DNF #99/Liu Peng/Tianshi Racing Team

Blancpain GT Series Asia

Round three
3.#3/Cheng Congfu/Martin Rump/Absolute Racing
7.#86/Aditya Patel/Mitch Gilbert/OD Racing Team WRT
9.#7/Andrew Kim/Adderly Fong/Absolute Racing/Pro/AM
10.#37/Anthony Liu/Josh Burdon/Absolute Racing/Pro/Am
15.#5/Marchy Lee/Alex Yoong/Phoenix Racing Asia
16.#45/Naota Takeda/Takuya Shirosaka/KCMG/Am

Round four
5.#3/Cheng Congfu/Martin Rump/Absolute Racing
7.#37/Anthony Liu/Josh Burdon/Absolute Racing/Pro/Am
9.#5/Marchy Lee/Alex Yoong/Phoenix Racing Asia
13.#86/Aditya Patel/Mitch Gilbert/OD Racing Team WRT
15.#7/Andrew Kim/Adderly Fong/Absolute Racing/Pro/Am
18.#45/Naota Takeda/Takuya Shirosaka/KCMG/Am

Source. Audi

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