Fourteen Audi customer teams will be on the hunt for silverware this weekend in the Four Rings’ largest market: China. GT Masters Asia opens its 2018 season at the Ningbo International Speedpark with rounds one and two, while tensions mount as the China GT Championship reaches its halfway point at Beijing’s Audi Goldenport Motor Park with rounds five and six.
In GT Masters Asia, twelve Audi customer teams will contest the first double-header of the four-stop season across the GT3, GTC and Open 2.0T classes. Reigning Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup team champions Absolute Racing enter three Audi R8 LMS GT3 crews: China’s Sun Jingzu and Audi Sport customer racing Asia driver pool member, Cheng Congfu; Filipino driver Vincent Floirendo, who teams up with another driver pool talent, Adderly Fong at EN Sport by Absolute Racing; and 2018 Cup star Bhurit Bhirombhakdi and fellow Thai, Kantasak Kusiri, at Singha Plan-B by Absolute Racing.
The team of reigning Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup Am+ champion David Chen, Tianshi Racing Team (TSRT), will also be out in force with Chen pairing up with Billy Lo for their assault on the GT3 title behind the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS ultra. Joining them in the class is the TSRT duo of China’s Jiang Xin and former Asian Le Mans Series GT-Am champion Max Wiser of Italy. TSRT completes its three-car entry with Chinese pair Cao Muhua and Wang Yilu in the GTC class.
An all-Chinese, two-car GTC entry from LEO Racing sees Li Lin join Bai Yaxin, while the drivers in the team’s second car are yet to be announced. Rounding out the five-car GTC Audi entry are Zhang Zhingqiang and Xu Lingxiao of Jingwei Yuguo, and One Team’s Zhang Yaqi, driving solo.
In the Open 2.0T class, TCR China Series champions, NewFaster, take up the challenge with a pair of Audi RS 3 LMS entries, featuring Wang Hao driving solo and Andy Yan joining Terry Huang in the second car.
The 2018/19 GT Masters Asia season gets underway with rounds one and two at the 4.015km, 23-turn Ningbo International Speedpark this weekend before moving to Shanghai in August. Racing outside China for the first time in November, the series will make its debut at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit, before closing the season there in January 2019.
As the 2018 China GT Championship season reaches its mid-point with rounds five and six, KINGS driver Xu Jia leads the GT3 drivers’ championship standings (75 points) with a nine-point advantage over his closest title rival. Xu will be reunited in Beijing with reigning Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup champion Alessio Picariello.
China’s Wang Liang – currently fifth in the GT3 standings – and Estonian Audi Sport customer racing Asia driver pool member Martin Rump will also be back in action in Beijing and looking to get their title campaigns back on track after a difficult last outing in Zhejiang.
Two one-hour races will be held on the 2.4km Audi Goldenport Motor Park in China’s capital, Beijing.
GT Masters Asia
Ningbo International Speedpark
Qualifying one: Saturday July 7, 11:00-11:15
Round one: Saturday July 7, 13:55-14:55
Qualifying two: Sunday, July 8, 09:20-09:35
Round two: Sunday, July 8, 13:15-14:15
China GT Championship
Audi Goldenport Motor Park, Beijing
GT3 qualifying one and two: Friday, July 6, 15:50-16:30
GT3 round five: Saturday, July 7, 15:10-16:10
GT3 round six: Sunday, July 8, 14:30-15:30