Championship leader Alex Yoong out of final round after crash. Adderly Fong can clinch the title after his third place in qualifying. Macau veterans, Edoardo Mortara and André Couto, on front row of the grid.
Macau, November 9, 2013 – A gripping qualifying for the final round of the 2013 Audi R8 LMS Cup saw championship leader Yoong crash out and end his chances of competing in the final race of the season. The incident early in qualifying meant that his closest rival, Fong, was able to secure the sole qualifying point by posting the third fastest lap and keep his championship chances alive. The front of the grid will see guest driver's Edoardo Mortara first and André Couto second. However, due to championship regulations for guest drivers, neither is able to score points both in qualifying and round 11.
"I was glad that Alex [Yoong] was not injured. It really shows that our technology and safety innovations such as the space frame are working well. Adderly [Fong] drove well and is now in touch again for the championship. My congratulations go to Edorado Mortara and André Couto, they really showed their racing skills at this challenging circuit" said Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia.
The dramatic qualifying for the final race of the 2013 season was incident packed from start to finish. On only the third lap of the session, Yoong lost control of his car coming out of a turn and hit the wall hard. The serious nature of the crash meant that Yoong's car took a heavy impact and will not be fixed in time for the Malaysian to race on Sunday. After a long suspension the cars came back onto the track, where Mortara and Fong competed for quickest time, before Couto managed to squeeze in between with his fastest time in his final qualifying lap.
Fong is now in an excellent position with third place on the grid. Meaning, if he maintains his position as the best of the regular cup drivers, he will be overall champion ahead of Yoong.
Adderly Fong: "Going into the race I was 24 points behind Alex Yoong and had only a small chance of keeping in touch in the championship. I didn't really think it would happen, so I am happy. I was so nervous all day before qualifying. It is great to be racing with André and Edoardo and also so close to home.
"Qualifying went well for me so I am happy. I pushed hard at the start, maybe a little too hard, so I was not able to improve on my early laps. I was worried Couto would be able to beat me. It is great to come in and both put in a performance for the Brothers Racing Team."
"I was not particularly comfortable all qualifying, especially in the first part. I knew near the end I needed to get a quick lap. I am hoping for a clean and safe race and helping to secure a 1-2 for the Brothers Racing Team."
"This is my first time here so I was trying to learn as much as possible, in a way it was like practice. I was glad to discover I was quickest out of the amateurs, I was concentrating so hard that I did not notice at all."
"I feel ok. It shows the car is very safe. I really wish I could drive tomorrow."
Audi R8 LMS Cup, 2013, Upcoming Races
10 November, Guia International Circuit, Macau
Photo credit: Audi R8 LMS Cup
Audi R8 LMS Cup Press Release