Audi R8 LMS Cup Press Release
Ordos, July 7th -- An incident packed round 4 of the Audi R8 LMS Cup saw Alex Yoong take the checkered flag after leading the race with a dominant performance from start to finish. Championship rival Marchy Lee spun out of the race in lap three ending his hopes of adding to his win in Round 3. Yoong’s win make amends for his disappointing round 3 race on Saturday, where he was handed a time penalty for a false start and relegated from first to sixth.
“Today’s action packed race has shown how attractive the sprint race format of the Audi R8 LMS Cup is. The drivers follow their racing instincts and have no time to relax. It’s full on from the start to the finish”, commented Rene Koneberg, Director Audi Sport customer racing China.
At the start of the race Alex Yoong, Marchy Lee and Adderly Fong were all on 51 points in the overall classification.
The race got off to an exciting start with Rahel Frey immediately challenging Marchy Lee. The two came together as they headed into turn one, but Rahel was able to hold the inside line and pushed Marchy out wide taking second position. However, Rahel Frey’s excellent start was not to last as she dropped down to seventh after a nudge by Marchy Lee on lap two.
Marking an incredible fight back, Rahel Frey found herself in the mix of an intense battle that would last until the end of the race between herself, Adderly Fong, “Franky” Cheng Congfu and Earl Bamber. With barely seconds between them, drivers took it in turns to trade positions in what was one of the race’s many highlights.
The intense difficulty of the Ordos circuit saw many drivers make small errors and bring gravel onto the track. On lap 5 Sun Zheng saw his unfortunate race weekend come to an end pulling up on the home straight. With the safety car now on standby, Alex Yoong pushed hard to extend his lead over Cheng Congfu, which had grown to 5.2 seconds. Eventually the safety car came out and bunched the chasing pack and Alex Yoong back together. However, the drama was not to stop there, as second place Cheng Congfu had to pit with a puncture whilst the safety car was out.
On lap 8 the safety car came back in with Alex Yoong leading the chasing pack of Adderly Fong, Earl Bamber and Kyong-Ouk You. Adderly Fong pushed Alex Yoong hard but found overtaking difficult on what is a challenging and technical circuit. On lap ten the intense battle between Earl Bamber and Adderly Fong saw the two talented drivers come together and Earl Bamber take second position.
On the penultimate lap, Earl Bamber had managed to cut Alex Yoong’s lead by 0.8 seconds. However, with laps running out this was to prove inconsequential, as he had to settle for second place as they crossed the line. Adderly Fong came in third after he managed to hold off Rahel Frey, who was capping an amazing comeback for the second time.
After his pit stop, Cheng Congfu underlined his talent by quickly moving through the field. The final lap saw him and Jeffrey Lee come together whilst tussling for sixth, which allowed Massimo Vignali to take advantage and finish a place ahead of both of them.
Alex Au was again the star of the amateur drivers, taking his second win of the race weekend in Ordos. He was followed closely by Naomi Zhang Ran. The female amateur has greatly progressed under the guidance of Marchy Lee, who coaches her as part of the driver development program of the Audi R8 LMS Cup.
Going into the next race weekend in Inje, South Korea (2nd- 4th August), Alex Yoong heads up the overall classification with 77 points, followed closely by Adderly Fong on 69, and in third place is Marchy Lee on 51.
“I was fully aware of what was going on behind me, I just wish I had a bigger rear view mirror so I could see all of the entertainment. I had a very clean race and drove well, so you could say I am happy. By the end I had to nurse my tires but that is not always easy when you have someone closing the gap on you.”
Earl Bamber (Audi Hong Kong Team)
“It was a very entertaining race. I dropped back a little at the start but was able to battle my way forward. The battle with Adderly was great. I felt I was catching Alex (Yoong) by the end but overtaking would have been difficult, and I did not quite get there anyway.”
Adderly Fong (KAMLUNG Racing)
“I was pushing, but it was difficult because there was so much stuff happening all around me. The battle was really intense for position two to six. I have to admit it was a great move that Earl (Bamber) pulled off to get through a gap that I thought would be too tight.”
Alex Au (Wrightspeed)
“My mission this weekend was to take the lead in the overall amateur competition. And I did it. So you could say mission accomplished. However, the race was pretty intense. There were cars flying all around. I had to stay clear professional drivers who fell back only to push again for the top positions again. I was trying to follow Jeffrey Lee and Massimo (Vignali) but had to drop back after a while, I was always mindful, however, as Naomi was pushing hard behind.”
Rahel Frey (Castrol Racing Team)
“I got a good start. I managed to overtake Marchy (Lee) and get close behind Alex (Yoong). Marchy was pushing hard and maybe was a little too optimistic about a gap he thought he saw. He managed to clip me which spun the car. I dropped to seventh and had to fight my way back.”
Audi R8 LMS Cup Official Website: www.audir8lmscup.com
Audi R8 LMS Cup, 2013 race calendar
05–07 July, Ordos International Circuit, China
02–04 August, Inje Auto Theme Park, South Korea
28–31 August, Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
25–27 October, Shanghai International Circuit, China
09–10 November, Guia International Circuit, Macau
Photo credit: Audi R8 LMS Cup