Tony Bates will add another Formula 1 World Championship competition venue to his racing resume when the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup resumes this weekend for Rounds 5 and 6 at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Bates is expecting the unique nature of the Shanghai circuit layout to produce some interesting challenges.
“I’ve done some laps around Shanghai on the simulator, and it has a mixture of just about every type of corner you could imagine,” Bates said.
“Turn 1 looks like it will be particularly tricky; it’s a very long right-hander that becomes progressively tighter, and you have to slow the car down and turn at the same time.
“After that, there are some fast, sweeping corners, a couple of slower turns and a long straight with a very tight hairpin at the end. This has proven to be one of the main overtaking positions in Formula 1 races. If you can get a good run onto the straight and a tow from the car in front, it will be a good spot for overtaking in the Audis as well.”
In his first appearance on foreign soil at the Zhuhai International Circuit last month, Bates was immediately on the pace, recording a pair of top-three qualifying performances in his Moveitnet/Local Roadways/C-Tech Laser/AFS/Bryant & Bryant Audi R8, against local drivers with vast experience at the venue. Some minor misfortune prevented Bates from scoring a couple of big race results, and he is determined to rebound this weekend.
“Our pace at Zhuhai was excellent – the Absolute Racing crew gave me a well-balanced car and I was very pleased with my qualifying performances against the local drivers,” he said.
“In the races, a couple of things didn’t quite go my way, but it was a big confidence-booster to learn a new track so quickly, and I know we’re fast enough to race right at the front.”
Practice for the two Shanghai Audi R8 LMS Cup rounds will kick off on Friday, with qualifying and racing on Saturday and Sunday. Once again, the races will be live streamed via the category website and Facebook page – check the schedule and links below for full details.
Audi R8 LMS Cup – Shanghai Schedule
Friday, 31 May
11:50 – Practice 1 (45 min)
14:45 – Practice 2 (45 min)
Saturday, 1 June
13:15 – Round 5 qualifying (15 min)
18:25 – Round 5 (30 min + 1 lap)
Sunday, 2 June
11:05 – Round 6 qualifying (20 min)
17:35 – Round 6 (30 min + 1 lap)