It was a perfect weekend in southern China for Audi R8 LMS customers as they filled all six GT3 podium spots in rounds three and four of Circuit Hero at Zhuhai International Circuit. On Saturday, Adderly Fong of Zun Motorsport led home Julio Acosta of JY Racing and Max Wiser of Tianshi Racing Team (TSRT), only for Wiser to triumph ahead of Acosta and Fong in Sunday’s race. In the GTC class, there were yet more podiums for the Audi R8 LMS with TSRT’s David Chen and Zun Motorsport’s Shaun Thong twice climbing the steps in Zhuhai.
The success was continued in the TCR class by Filipe Souza and his Champ x TA Motorsport Audi RS 3 LMS, when the Macau-native took victory in both rounds, with fellow Audi TCR competitor, Billy Lo of TSRT, second in round three and fourth in round four. That meant Audi customers claimed an impressive haul of 13 out of the possible 18 podiums in the headline races of the second Pan Delta race meeting of the season.
In total there were nine Audi entries in this special grassroots event from four customer teams, and each of those teams claimed at least one podium in hot, difficult conditions in the Pearl River Delta.
“It was impressive to see Zun Motorsport and JY Racing be highly competitive from the start, after they had just expanded their fleet of R8 LMS GT3 cars, with support from Go Kart Racing. Long-term Audi partner TSRT showed their strength again at this hotly contested Pan Delta race meeting by adding another GT3 victory to their name. Congrats also to Champ x TA Motorsport, who have now taken all four TCR class wins this season,“ said Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “We are extremely happy to have all these highly motivated Chinese teams in the Audi motorsport family.”
Round three report
As track temperatures soared past 50 degrees Celsius, Audi R8 LMS race cars occupied five of the first six starting positions, with Adderly Fong on pole.
The former Formula 1 test driver from Hong Kong got away well at the rolling start and had a relatively untroubled run to the flag, taking Zun Motorsport’s first win of the season.
Behind, Julio Acosta crossed the line second ahead of Max Wiser who had to contend with damage to his diffuser mid-race after he ran wide and got onto the grass. The Italian managed to bring the car home safely without a trip to the pits.
Further back, TSRT team principle Liu Peng was not quite so fortunate, as an early puncture saw him forced into the pits. He recovered well to finish eighth overall.
In the GTC class David Chen won his race-long battle with Shaun Thong for second place, getting by him at turn nine and holding on to take fifth overall – second in class – just half a second ahead of his Audi rival. Further back TSRT’s Guan Fangyuan had a tough outing with a late-race spin taking the female Chinese Am driver down the order to finish 19th overall.
In the Champ x TA Motorsport Audi RS 3 LMS, Macau’s Felipe Souza held off an onslaught from TSRT’s Billy Lo to take the TCR class win by just one-tenth of a second in the 15-lap race.
Round four report
With Sunday’s round four being the shorter of the two races – just 10 laps of the Zhuhai International Circuit – the start was always going to be crucial, and it was Wiser who seized maximum advantage. The TSRT driver stormed from third to first at turn one and did not look back, taking the team’s first GT3 honours of the Circuit Hero season.
Fong had started on pole but did not get away as he would have liked, losing two places to be running third. Round three’s winner piled pressure on to fellow Audi R8 LMS driver Acosta for the whole race, with Acosta defending impressively to claim second once more.
In the GTC class, this time it was Shaun Thong’s turn to triumph as his battle with David Chen resumed in round four. Thong got by Chen – the reigning series GTC champion – late in the race to cross the line fifth overall, second in class.
TSRT’s Liu Peng crossed the line in seventh, with Guan Fangyuan 17th.
Filipe Souza took his second TCR class win of the weekend to continue Champ x TA Motorsport’s dazzling 100 percent record over the season after a post-race penalty against Billy Lo elevated Souza from second to first. After his penalty for jumping the lights at the start, Lo was finally classified fourth in class.
The Circuit Hero series comes to a close with a final double-header at Pan Delta’s season finale at the Zhuhai International Circuit on September 15-16.