Audi R8 LMS Cup Press Release
Swiss driver Rahel Frey makes series history with first female win Rahel Frey made history by becoming the first female driver to win a race in the Audi R8 LMS Cup. Marking her return from competing for Audi in Europe, the win caps an excellent showing across the weekend by the Swiss driver. Championship leader Alex Yoong finishes second ahead of Marchy Lee and extends his lead at the top of the standings. However, Adderly Fong stays in contest for the overall title after his fourth place finish. The series this weekend was part of the Volkswagen Group's Sports Car Champions Festival which was attended by over 26, 000 fans at Shanghai Audi International Circuit.
"Rahel [Frey] is an exceptionally talented driver and it is great to see this rewarded by her win today. Hopefully, this will inspire more female drivers to participate in motorsport across Asia. We are now looking forward to the race in Macau, which will be the deciding weekend for the championship", Says Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. After the race on Sunday, the Audi R8 LMS Cup announced its return to Shanghai in 2014, in support for the World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Starting from the second grid position, Frey got off to an excellent start to round 10. She was able to leapfrog Yoong and hold position coming out of turn one. Behind the front two cars, Marchy Lee and "Franky" Cheng Congfu made contact, which would eventually lead to the Cheng's retirement later in the race. The only driver with a realistic chance of catching Yoong in the driver's championship, Fong, was unable to make significant inroads at the start, coming out of turn one in seventh place.
Rahel Frey was matching Alex Yoong's pace and keeping him at bay. Further down the field, the onus was on Fong to push past the leading cars and keep the championship alive. Lap 3 had already seen Fong take Korean driver K. O. You. By the end of lap 9 he had also found a way past upcoming Chinese talent Sun Zheng. With just three laps remaining, Fong and Lee were battling for the final podium position. Despite Fong's consistent pressure, Lee was able to hold off his Hong Kong compatriot.
With the Swiss driver, Frey, taking first place, Fong's championship dreams are still alive going into the final race in Macau. With 24 points splitting Yoong and Fong and 26 points up for grabs in the final race, the math proves Fong could still take the championship.
The intense rivalry that has marked the amateur battle between Eric K and Alex Au was again on show, with the two battling for much of the race. Eric K was again able to get the better of his fellow gentleman driver, due to Alex's minor collision with Massimo Vignali close to the end of the race. Hong Kong entertainer Aaron Kwok achieved his first second place finish in the amateur class this year ahead of Au.
Rahel Frey: "Before the race I was talking about getting a podium, so to get a win and not just a podium feels great. I was debating how I should start, so I just went for it and got a great start to take Alex. He was driving very well, shadowing me the whole time. I had to make sure to keep my pace and made no mistakes, driving fast and consistent.
"I could see in my mirror that Adderly [Fong] was fifth and after doing a little math, I thought 'Great I am champion.' Then he was fourth and I thought 'No I am not.' My start was not great and I was fortunate not to fall too far behind. I was hoping Rahel [Frey] would make a mistake but she drove too well."
"Alex [Yoong] made a mistake at the start, because I had Adderly [Fong] on my left so I had no choice but to dive inside. Sadly Cheng Congfu and I came together which meant the car did not perform too well on left corners. I calmed down after the initial disappointment and tried to drive as well as possible."