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Audi R8 LMS Cup – Podium for Rahel Frey in Shanghai

201510302302308328_2500Alex Yoong of Audi TEDA Racing Team was crowned the Audi R8 LMS Cup 2015 champion today in Shanghai, making Cup history as the first driver to take two titles in the international sprint race series. Malaysian Yoong, who was also the 2014 Cup champion, sealed this year’s Drivers Classification by a single point ahead of Cheng Congfu of FAW-VW Audi Racing Team. 

The 2015 season was the most closely contested in the Cup’s four-year history. Cheng’s third place finish in today’s final Round 13 wasn’t quite enough to hand the Chinese motorsport star his first championship crown. Hong Kong driver Marchy Lee, the 2012 Cup champion, finished third overall.

While six drivers came to Shanghai in championship contention, as a result of Yoong winning and Cheng finishing second in Round 12, only the two drivers remained in title hunt heading into Round 13. Yoong entered the race with an eight-point lead and just 25 points on offer.

In Round 13, Cheng finished third, and Yoong fell back to sixth, in part due to the extra 50 kgs of weight he carried as a result of winning Round 12. However, sixth was enough and exactly what was needed to secure the title.

The dramatic race was won by pole-sitter Aditya Patel of Team Audi R8 LMS Cup, ahead of Lee and Cheng. Patel, as a result of his maiden Cup victory this afternoon, finished fourth overall in the championship and, in the process, became the Cup’s eighth different winner this season.

Like the championship has been all season long, today’s Rounds 12&13 showcased the intense competitiveness of the series with wheel-to-wheel racing throughout the field.

“Congratulations to Alex Yoong on winning his second consecutive Audi R8 LMS Cup title, to Daniel Bilski on his victory in the Amateur Cup as well as FAW-VW Audi Racing Team for winning the team title and the Four Rings Trophy,” said Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia.  “We had two fantastic races today and in Round 13, there were times when my heart stopped. There were a lot of calculations going on, but with the way the race played out, the drivers made it very difficult for us to guess what was going to happen. Today’s season finale capped off what has been the most competitive season in history.”

In this morning’s Round 12, Yoong won ahead of Cheng and female Swiss GT specialist Rahel Frey of Castrol Racing Team.

From pole Yoong led from Cheng. Behind the leaders, Frey was forced to defend against the duo of Martin Rump, 19, of Audi ThinkPad Racing Team and Alessio Picariello, 22, of ams Racing Team. Both drivers arrived in Shanghai from the Formula Masters China Series, a junior single-seater series which is part of the Volkswagen Group China motorsport family.

As Rump tried to get past Frey, Picariello took advantage to get past Rump and then began to pile the pressure on Frey. The three battled for position, but the experienced Frey defended expertly to take the final podium position.

Meanwhile, Lee and Patel worked their way through the field from the back of the grid, finishing seventh and ninth, respectively. With the fastest lap times from Round 12 setting the grid for Round 13, it was Patel on pole for the final race of the season with Yoong alongside him. Picariello had the third-quickest lap, with Cheng joining him on the second row. Lee qualified fifth fastest.

From pole position, Patel shot off like a rocket and never looked back. Cheng got past Yoong at the start to move into second place, forcing Yoong to defend from a hard-charging Picariello, Rump and Lee.

Lee got past Picariello, Yoong and then Cheng, showcasing his speed and driving his way to third overall in the championship. In the latter stages of the race, Picariello and then Rump each managed to get past Yoong, with the young drivers impressing on their Cup debuts.

905970_965053186866419_1784312527602961856_oFor Frey, Round 13 proved to be unlucky as Stefano Montesi of Team Betterlife made contact on the first lap, ending Frey’s race as well as her fight for third overall. Frey finished fifth in the championship standings.

The fight for the Amateur Cup was no less dramatic. Hong Kong-based Australian Daniel Bilski and his team B-Quik Racing sealed the Amateur Cup title in Round 13, making Cup history as the first private team to take an Audi R8 LMS Cup title. Bilski stayed focused on the championship throughout the weekend and finished six points ahead of CTVS Racing Team driver Alex Au in the Amateur Cup Classification.

In Round 12, Andrew Kim of E-Rain Racing Team took the category win and following a second-place finish in the Amateur Cup in Round 13, the Korean finished third in the category in his debut season.

In Round 13, Au took his fourth category victory of the season in a hard-fought race, but with Bilski finishing third, the Hong Kong driver finished runner-up in what was an ultra-competitive season in the Amateur Cup.

With eight different winners, a championship separated by a single point and a host of exciting, new innovations, the 2015 season of the Audi R8 LMS Cup was the most competitive it has ever been. As the sun sets on the fourth season of the first one-make series from the brand with the Four Rings, 2016 is looking to bring even more exhilarating thrills as the championship introduces the new Audi R8 LMS car. Stay tuned for further details regarding the 2016 season.

Quotes after Rounds 12 and 13

Alex Yoong (Audi TEDA Racing Team), 2015 Audi R8 LMS Cup Champion and Round 12 Winner

“Every year the championship becomes more and more competitive and it’s a credit to the way the Audi R8 LMS Cup tweaks the regulations so that the racing is fair, but also close and exciting. I lost a championship by a close margin two years ago, won last year in the final race and won this year by a single point – every year is exciting and it’s a real privilege to be a part of the championship.

Round 13 was a nerve-wrecking race. I was very well aware of the different points configurations during the race. My plan was not to lose a position off the start, but once Cheng Congfu got me off of Turn 1 I knew it was be a difficult race. I knew Martin [Rump] and Alessio [Picariello] would be a factor today and what a great job by them. Once I saw Marchy take Cheng, I thought I was safe at that point, but I still pushed and then of course in the closing stages it was nerve-wrecking hoping that Aditya and Marchy didn’t make a mistake because if they did, then Cheng would’ve gotten another position and that would have changed everything.”

Cheng Congfu (FAW-VW Audi Racing Team), 2nd Audi R8 LMS Cup 2015

“It may take a little bit of time for everything to sink in, but many congratulations to Alex Yoong. Compared to the last two seasons, where I was a bit inconsistent, this year I had the consistency and had the chance to fight for the championship. Losing the championship by a single point is a little bit painful, but this season has been a progression and I’m looking forward to next season.”

Marchy Lee (Audi Hong Kong Team), 3rd Audi R8 LMS Cup 2015

“It’s been a tough weekend. I made a mistake on Friday, but thanks to the team we were able to put the car back together to let me fight again. After this morning’s race, I knew the championship was over for me and so in Round 13 I just tried to put my head down and tried to do the right thing step by step, not get in the way too much but to fight myself as well. The speed was good in this race and I never want to give up until the last corner. Overall it was a fantastic season for me and congratulations to Alex and Cheng Congfu.”

Daniel Bilski (B-Quik Racing), Audi R8 LMS Cup Amateur Cup Champion

“It’s a huge relief to be the first independent team in the Cup and to win the Amateur Cup with B-Quik Racing. I’m very proud at the moment. It’s been a fantastic year. Today wasn’t the fastest race I’ve done, but it was all about playing smart and taking points. It’s a fantastic feeling to be here; my fellow competitors have pushed me all year and have driven well.”

Aditya Patel (Team Audi R8 LMS Cup), Round 13 Winner

“As far as the race was concerned, starting from pole was great and I just kept looking ahead. I knew the guys behind me were fighting for the championship, so I just kept looking in front and never looked back. However, with three laps to go I saw Marchy [Lee] catching me, which gave me a scare, but luckily I had saved some Push-to-Passes in case there was some need for damage control.”

2015 Audi R8 LMS Cup Final Championship Standings – Top 10 1. Alex YOONG – 161 2. Franky CHENG – 160 3. Marchy LEE – 134 4. Aditya PATEL – 119 5. Rahel FREY – 110 6. Thomas FJORDBACH – 110 7. Kyong-Ouk YOU – 76 8. Stefano MONTESI – 58 9. Edoardo MORTARA – 42 10. Jeffrey LEE – 38 Final Amateur Cup Standings – Top 3 1. Daniel BILSKI – 186 2. Alex AU – 180 3. Andrew KIM – 131 Final Team Cup Standings  – Top 3 1. FAW-VW Audi Racing Team/4R – 192 2. Castrol Racing Team – 162 3. Audi TEDA Racing Team – 154 Round 12 Results 1. 1/Alex YOONG/MAL/Audi TEDA Racing Team/25:46.418 2. 99/CHENG Congfu/FAW-VW Audi Racing Team/+1.328 3. 66/Rahel FREY/SUI/Castrol Racing Team/+4.813 4. 44/Alessio PICARIELLO/BEL/ams Racing Team/+5.578 5. 4/Martin RUMP/EST/Audi ThinkPad Racing Team/+7.365 6. 11/Kyong-Ouk YOU/KOR/4R/Audi Korea/+9.885 7. 88/Marchy LEE/HKG/4R/Audi Hong Kong Team/+11.160 8. 39/Stefano MONTESI/ITA/4R/Team Betterlife/+11.786 9. 8/Aditya PATEL/IND/Team Audi R8 LMS Cup/+12.368 10. 5/Andrew KIM/KOR/Am/E-Rain Racing Team/+20.857 11. 54/Thomas FJORDBACH/DEN/Federal-Mogul Motorparts Racing/+20.903 12. 10/YUAN Bo/CHN/Am/Team Cedar Fund/+28.225 13. 24/David CHENG/USA/Miqqchelin Racing Team/+35.010 14. 13/SUN Jing Zu/CHN/Am/Z Racing/+45.496 15. 12/Alex AU/HKG/Am/CTVS Racing Team/+46.435 16. 59/Daniel Bilski/AUS/Am/B-Quik Racing/+51.008 17. 38/Rick YOON/HKG/Am/Team Chengdu New Elements/+1:16.153 18. 33/Tommy WONG/HKG/Am/Starspeed Racing/2 Laps DNF. 7/Jeffrey LEE/TPE/4R/Team Audi Volkswagen Taiwan DNF. 65/Vincent WONG/HKG/Am/Starspeed Racing Round 13 Results 1. 8/Aditya PATEL/IND/Team Audi R8 LMS Cup/25:38.969 2. 88/Marchy LEE/HKG/4R/Audi Hong Kong Team/+1.276 3. 99/CHENG Congfu/FAW-VW Audi Racing Team/+7.388 4. 44/Alessio PICARIELLO/BEL/ams Racing Team/+7.612 5. 4/Martin RUMP/EST/Audi ThinkPad Racing Team/+11.224 6. 1/Alex YOONG/MAL/Audi TEDA Racing Team/+12.561 7. 11/Kyong-Ouk YOU/KOR/4R/Audi Korea/+16.010 8. 54/Thomas FJORDBACH/DEN/Federal-Mogul Motorparts Racing/+18.483 9. 12/Alex AU/HKG/Am/CTVS Racing Team/+25.401 10. 5/Andrew KIM/KOR/Am/E-Rain Racing Team/+25.687 11. 24/David CHENG/USA/Miqqchelin Racing Team/+32.031 12. 10/YUAN Bo/CHN/Am/Team Cedar Fund/+32.345 13. 59/Daniel Bilski/AUS/Am/B-Quik Racing/+59.953 14. 33/Tommy WONG/HKG/Am/Starspeed Racing/+1:07.951 15. 38/Rick YOON/HKG/Am/Team Chengdu New Elements/+1:26.079 16. 65/Vincent WONG/HKG/Am/Starspeed Racing/+1:57.357 17. 7/Jeffrey LEE/TPE/4R/Team Audi Volkswagen Taiwan/+1 lap DNF. 13/SUN Jing Zu/CHN/Am/Z Racing DNF. 66/Rahel FREY/SUI/Castrol Racing Team DNF. 39/Stefano MONTESI/ITA/4R/Team Betterlife Press release Audi R8 LMS Cup]]>

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