The Audi R8 LMS GT4 will make its debut in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia next weekend, with reigning Audi Sport R8 LMS GT4 Cup champion Anderson Tanoto of Indonesia and experienced Australian privateer Mark Williamson at the wheel. The pair joins four GT3 Audi Sport customer racing Asia entries contesting the overall, Silver and Pro/Am titles for round three of the championship at the iconic 5.807km Suzuka Circuit in Japan from 22-23 June.
“We are delighted to see two Cup drivers team up to debut the Audi R8 LMS GT4 in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia,” said Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “GT4 competition is rapidly gathering strength across the region, and the addition of Anderson Tanoto and Mark Williamson to our Audi line-up further reinforces our presence in this prestigious championship.”
The Audi R8 LMS GT4 made its debut on the world’s race tracks last season and was immediately successful. Dynamic and powerful, with a normally aspirated V10 engine, the Audi GT4 is a thoroughbred race car designed specifically for privateers. Meeting the highest safety standards, its close-to-production technology means economic maintenance, making it an ideal entry point for newcomers to GT competition. Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup star Alex Au recently drove the Grid Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT4 to victory in the opening round of the Greater Bay Area GT Cup, a qualifier towards the race at this November’s Macau Grand Prix.
Tanoto and Williams join four Audi R8 LMS GT3 entries for what promises to be a thrilling Suzuka weekend. Leading the charge for the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia GT3 Silver title are official Audi Sport Asia drivers Weiron Tan of Malaysia and Estonian Martin Rump with Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute, currently fifth in the standings after two podium finishes thus far this season. Rump recently took the B-Quik Racing Audi R8 LMS Ultra to a podium finish on his Thailand Super Series debut alongside team mate Sandy Stuvik.
Fellow Audi Sport Asia driver David Chen reunites with Japan Super GT star André Couto of Macau on the Audi Sport Asia Team TSRT for Suzuka, and the pair will be buoyed by their phenomenal podium finish in round four in Thailand last month.
Third in the Pro/Am standings after two podiums and three consecutive double-digit point hauls are quick Thai duo Bhurit Bhirombhakdi and Kantasak Kusiri of Singha Plan-B by Absolute Racing. Chinese star Cheng Congfu and rising talent Sun Jingzu team up at Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute to resume their Pro/Am campaign. Despite its reputation as being one of the world’s most unforgiving circuits, Cheng relishes its challenges and holds the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup qualifying record on the famous Japanese circuit.
Rounds five and six of the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia begin on Friday, June 21, with two 45-minute practice sessions. Separate qualifying sessions will be held for the GT4 and GT3 categories, with the first of two, 15-minute GT4 qualifying sessions beginning at 09:40 on Saturday, June 22. The two GT3 qualifying sessions commence at 10:27 the same day, with round five following at 15:10. Round six follows on Sunday, June 23, at 11:10 (all times are UTC +9).
Both qualifying sessions and races will be broadcast live on the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia Facebook page and SRO’s GT World YouTube channel.
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