Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka of KCMG wrapped up a perfect weekend in the Am Cup of Blancpain GT Series Asia, taking two class wins to leave them just two more victories away from the title. For the other five Audi R8 LMS customer teams, the double header at the Fuji International Speedway in Japan was a challenging one, with only four points-scoring finishes across rounds seven and eight.
“It was great to see KCMG close in on the Am Cup with their seventh class victory of the season. Overall, however, it was a challenging weekend for Audi customers – Fuji has been tough on us this weekend,” said Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “All eyes are now set on the next rounds in Shanghai and we are confident that we will come back strongly.”
Despite finishes of sixth in round seven and 12th in round eight, Martin Rump and Cheng Congfu remain within striking distance in both the overall GT3 championship (74 points) and the Silver Cup (109 points). They sit fourth in both categories – 38 points off the overall lead and just 14 points off the pace in the Silver Cup.
The silver-ranked Phoenix Racing Asia duo of Alex Yoong and Shaun Thong were the only Audi customer team to record top 10 finishes in both rounds at the unforgiving Fuji International Speedway, finishing seventh in Saturday’s round seven and 10th in Sunday’s round eight.
Absolute Racing’s Pro/Am pairing of Josh Burdon and Anthony Liu were unfortunate to miss out on a class podium in round seven by just three-tenths of a second, taking the flag 12th overall, fourth in class. Liu then crossed the line in 13th place overall in the weekend’s second race.
Adderly Fong and Andrew Kim in Absolute Racing’s third Audi R8 LMS GT3 were able to improve on their starting positions in both races, with privateer driver Kim’s pace catching the eye. Likewise, OD Racing Team WRT’s Aditya Patel and Mitch Gilbert advanced through the mid-pack in each race, notably taking a top 10 finish in round seven.
The Blancpain GT Series Asia closes out the season with two double-headers in China, first at the Shanghai International Circuit on September 22-23 with rounds nine and 10, ahead of the season finale at the Ningbo International Speedpark on October 13-14.
Blancpain GT Series Asia
6. #3/SC/Absolute Racing/Martin RUMP (EST)/CHENG Congfu (CHN)
7. #5/SC/Phoenix Racing Asia/Shaun THONG (HKG)/Alex YOONG (MAL)
10. #86/SC/OD Racing Team WRT/Mitch GILBERT (MAL)/Aditya PATEL (IND)
12. #37/Pro/Am/Absolute Racing/Anthony LIU (CHN)/Josh BURDON (AUS)
13. #7/Pro/Am/Absolute Racing/Andrew KIM (KOR)/Adderly FONG (HKG)
18. #45/Am/KCMG/Naoto TAKEDA (JPN)/Takuya SHIRASAKA (JPN)
10. #5/SC/Phoenix Racing Asia/Shaun THONG (HKG)/Alex YOONG (MAL)
12. #3/SC/Absolute Racing/Martin RUMP (EST)/CHENG Congfu (CHN)
13. #37/Pro/Am/Absolute Racing/Anthony LIU (CHN)/Josh BURDON (AUS)
14. #7/Pro/Am/Absolute Racing/Andrew KIM (KOR)/Adderly FONG (HKG)
16. #86/SC/OD Racing Team WRT/Mitch GILBERT (MAL)/Aditya PATEL (IND)
21. #45/Am/KCMG/Naoto TAKEDA (JPN)/Takuya SHIRASAKA (JPN)