Blogspot: Shanghai showdown incoming as Audi R8 LMS Cup marks sixth visit

09/08/2017

  • Audi R8 LMS Cup prepares to mark 20 races at Shanghai International Circuit
  • Alex Yoong holds record of five Shanghai victories
  • Martin Rump took three wins at home of Chinese F1 Grand Prix in 2016

If the Shanghai International Circuit feels familiar to Audi R8 LMS Cup drivers, teams and fans, it’s because it is: over the past five seasons, the championship has raced at China’s Formula One facility 18 times, with two more races to come on September 9 and 10.

  This year marks the Cup’s sixth consecutive season racing at the technical and challenging Shanghai International Circuit. Over 18 races, the Cup has accumulated a total of 277 laps across both the shorter 4.603km configuration as well as the full 5.451km grand prix track.

In the first generation Audi R8 LMS Cup car, 2012 Cup champion Marchy Lee holds the lap record, having set a 2:07.327 lap in Round 9 that year when racing with team Audi Ultra. For the current second generation Audi R8 LMS GT3, Swiss driver Rahel Frey holds the lap record with a 2:04.219 in the opening round of last year’s championship.

If history does indeed repeat itself, then one man to watch in Shanghai is three-time and defending Audi R8 LMS Cup champion Alex Yoong of Malaysia.  Yoong has stood atop the podium five times in Shanghai, starting in 2012 with the very first race of the Audi R8 LMS Cup. Despite rival Marchy Lee earning the Cup’s first pole position, Yoong took the win. The Malaysian took more race wins in Shanghai in 2013, 2014 and 2015, but last year his streak was halted, in large part due to a young Estonian named Martin Rump. On his Cup debut last year, the Champion Racing Team driver notched up three victories in Shanghai, putting him second to Yoong for the most number of wins at the Hermann Tilke-designed track.

Yoong and Rump are not the only Cup drivers to find success on the 13-year-old circuit, and winners also include: 2013 Cup champion Adderly Fong; Cup guest driver Edoardo Mortara; Swiss ace Rahel Frey; André Couto of Macau; and India’s Aditya Patel. Interestingly, Patel’s victory at the 2015 season finale marked his maiden Cup win and helped him secure fourth place overall in the championship that year.

Over the years, the Shanghai stops in the Audi R8 LMS Cup have provided plenty of drama. The series visited Shanghai three times during its inaugural season in 2012, twice in each 2014 and 2016, and Shanghai has also hosted the Cup’s season finale three times (2012, 2015 and 2016 – all alongside the World Endurance Championship).

What does this year have in store? While it will be a familiar homecoming for the Audi R8 LMS Cup, the highly competitive international field is guaranteed to provide plenty of Shanghai surprise.

Role of Honour

2012
Alex Yoong (Round 1)
Adderly Fong (Round 2)
Darryl O’Young (Round 9)
Adderly Fong (Round 10)
Edoardo Mortara (Round 11)
Edoardo Mortara (Round 12)

2013
Alex Yoong (Round 9)
Rahel Frey (Round 10)

2014
André Couto (Round 7)
Alex Yoong (Round 8)
André Couto (Round 9)
Alex Yoong (Round 10)

2015
Alex Yoong (Round 12)
Aditya Patel (Round 13)

2016
Martin Rump (Round 1)
Rahel Frey (Round 2)
Martin Rump (Round 11)
Martin Rump (Round 12)

Shanghai International Circuit
Audi R8 LMS Cup Stats:

·  # of consecutive seasons: 6
·  Total # of races: 18
·  Total laps (total laps of all races added up)
   o 2012: 103
   o 2013: 32
   o 2014: 66
   o 2015: 24
   o 2016: 52

·  Cup lap records:
   o First generation Audi R8 LMS - Marchy Lee – 2012 2:07.327 Audi Ultra Round 9 WEC
   o 2nd generation Audi R8 LMS – Rahel Frey – 2016 2:04.219 Round 1
   o Most wins (driver)
    § Alex Yoong – 5
    § Martin Rump – 3