Two Audi Sport Asia teams emerged from a challenging round 10 of Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia with overall points-scoring finishes. Audi Sport Asia Team TSRT’s Rahel Frey and David Chen were the big movers during the race at the 5.615km Korea International Circuit, recovering from a starting position of 15th to bring their Audi R8 LMS GT3 home in seventh after strong stints from both drivers.
For Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute’s Martin Rump and Weiron Tan it was a race of what might have been. The team seemed to have called the race strategy to perfection, and Tan emerged from the midrace driver change on new tyres provisionally fourth and clearly the fastest of the front runners.
The Malaysian moved up to second place and had closed a six second gap on the race leader in just one lap to be challenging for the outright lead with 20 minutes of the one-hour race to go. Tan’s pace was such that the lead and overall win seemed a formality, but the Malaysian was penalised for contact made with a competitor who had re-entered the track from pit lane at the exit of turn one as Tan worked his way to the front of the field. The consequential drive-through penalty saw Tan fall to ninth where he crossed the line.
For fellow Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute drivers Cheng Congfu and Sun Jingzu, their rough run of luck continued in round 10. Cheng, who had started as the highest placed Audi R8 LMS in sixth, was caught in the turn one crunch at the start of the race, sandwiched between competitors and making contact with another car. This took the Chinese star down to tenth.
After a good recovery from Cheng, Sun Jingzu took the wheel at the midrace driver change and emerged from pit lane in sixth, but was then hit with a one second stop-and-go penalty for a pit stop time infringement. That saw the Chinese privateer emerge near the rear of the GT3 field, crossing the line 14th, seventh in the Pro/Am class.
After 10 of 12 races, Rump and Tan sit sixth in the overall championship (90 points), fourth in the Silver Cup (120 points). Meanwhile fellow Audi Sport Asia driver Chen is eighth on the overall leaderboard (61 points), seventh in the Silver Cup (99 points).
Cheng Congfu and Sun Jingzu are 12th in the Pro/Am class (50 points) ahead of their home-race season finale in Shanghai.
That double-header will bring down the curtain on the third Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia season on September 27-28 at the home of Chinese motorsport, the Shanghai International Circuit.