In its fifth season, the Audi R8 LMS Cup offers a novelty to its participants: For the first time, the race drivers have the opportunity to compete in the second generation of the Audi R8 LMS. At the same time, the owners of the previous version continue to have the chance of battling for points and trophies.
In the 2016 season, the Audi R8 LMS Cup features twelve rounds in five countries: China, Thailand, Malaysia and Korea – and is thus once more focused on the Pan-Asian region. For the first time, the entrants are competing in an overall classification and an amateur cup in the new Audi R8 LMS that sets standards in terms of lightweight design, safety and aerodynamic efficiency. In addition, drivers without professional experience are able to contest the Masters Cup, which is being held for the first time, in the previous model of the race car.
Prospects can choose from a wide range of fielding partners as well. While Absolute Racing has been the central service provider up to now, Phoenix Racing Asia and KC Motorgroup (KCMG) are additionally responsible for the preparation, fielding and maintenance of the race cars starting with the 2016 season.
Audi Sport customer racing Asia has attracted a high level of attention within just four years. While Audi, before 2012, had not been present in Asian motorsport except for individual GT, sports and touring car races, the brand with the four rings today has an Asian motorsport platform with several tiers. From supporting young drivers, to the Cup commitment, to further involvement in events in Asia and Europe, Audi Sport customer racing Asia has evolved into one of the top choices for racers.
Young race drivers benefit from the brand’s commitment as well. The “Young Driver Development Program” encompasses a partnership with the Formula Masters China Series (FMCS). 18-year-old Jeffrey Ye, for instance, enjoys support by the internationally experienced race driver Congfu Cheng from the FAW-VW Audi Racing Team. The first young driver in the program, Shaun Thong, was active in the 2015 Audi Sport TT Cup and celebrated a race victory at the Norisring.