Audi customer teams set for Suzuka showdown in Blancpain GT Series Asia
Six Audi R8 LMS customer entries as title chases resume at iconic Japanese circuit
- Absolute Racing’s Cheng Congfu and Martin Rump second in Silver Cup
- KCMG’s Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka lead Am category
Audi customer teams and drivers will be gunning for glory as the Blancpain GT Series Asia heads to Japan’s iconic Suzuka Circuit for rounds five and six this weekend. Six Audi R8 LMS GT3s are set to line up on the grid, as the teams relaunch their title tilts during the highly-anticipated double-header, which marks the halfway point of the 2018 season.
Leading the charge are Audi Sport customer racing Asia driver pool members Cheng Congfu of China and Estonia’s Martin Rump of Absolute Racing as the highest placed Audi customer team. A podium finish last month at Thailand’s Chang International Circuit left the pair fourth in the overall standings and second in the Silver Cup title chase, just five points off the category lead.
OD Racing Team WRT drivers Aditya Patel and, Audi Sport customer racing Asia driver pool member, Mitch Gilbert will be on the hunt for their first success of the season at Suzuka after a challenging start to their campaign. The pair were unlucky not to win in last year’s corresponding round six when they suffered a tyre blowout late in the race whilst leading.
Also looking to launch an assault on the leaderboard are the Phoenix Racing Asia silver-graded pairing of former Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup champion Alex Yoong and Shaun Thong, who makes his first appearance in the series this season. Thong, another member of the Audi Sport customer racing Asia driver pool, was a race winner at the circuit in 2017 alongside teammate Marchy Lee on their way to winning the Silver Cup in the series’ inaugural season.
Absolute Racing drivers Anthony Liu and Josh Burdon will be back in the hunt for Pro-Am points with the duo currently second in the class standings. With just four points separating them from the classification’s top-spot, the stakes are high in Suzuka.
Also in the chase for the Pro-Am title and having scored a top 10 finish last month in Thailand, the Absolute Racing pair of Andrew Kim and Adderly Fong will be looking to build upon that success this weekend.
Racing in their native Japan, KCMG’s Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka are hoping to not only take the chequered flag on home soil, but to further build upon their impressive 33-point lead atop the Am standings having taken all four class wins thus far this season.
Round five of the Blancpain GT Series Asia gets underway at 14:20 on Saturday 30th June, while the lights go green on round six at 10:50 on Sunday 1st July (all times (UTC+9).