Audi Motorsport Newsletter 41/2016

Yoong achieves title hat trick in the Audi R8 LMS Cup

Alex Yoong (Audi TEDA Racing Team) from Malaysia crowned himself Audi R8 LMS Cup Champion for the third time in a row. As a result, the title in Audi’s first one-make cup went to Phoenix Racing Asia for the first time. The season finale at Shanghai could not have been more dramatic. In the first race, Yoong finished second behind race winner Martin Rump from Estonia and ahead of Belgian Alessio Picariello. At this point, Yoong had a one-point advantage over Picariello in the standings. In the final race, it was once again Rump who emerged victorious, while Yoong retired after a collision with Picariello. The stewards of the meeting retroactively imposed a 30-second penalty against Picariello. Consequently, Picariello slipped out of the points and Yoong won the title.

The joys of fatherhood for René Rast

Audi driver René Rast is proud of the birth of his son. His partner, Diana, brought the pair’s first child into the world on October 28. Liam James weighs 3,100 grams and is 50 centimeters tall. Both mother and son are doing well. Audi Sport sends congratulations to the new parents.

Team Rosberg thrills children at “Orange House”

Audi Sport Team Rosberg paid a visit, including an exclusive pit stop demonstration, to “Orange House” in Peissenberg, Upper Bavaria, a therapy and creativity center that has been developing and running programs for children and youth in difficult family circumstances since 2010. The contact between the team and the center had been established by the Hoffmann Group, their joint partner. “It was great to see how much fun the children had,” enthused Team Director Arno Zensen, announcing that: “We’ll definitely be back next year.” In addition, a return visit by the young people to a race is planned for the new DTM season.

A word from … Alex Yoong

Congratulations on winning your third consecutive title in the Audi R8 LMS Cup! How difficult was clinching it?

My first title in 2014 was really special. All three championships were hard-fought ones, but this year, the competition was even more intense than before. Many times, there’d be ten or eleven cars within a second of each other and you couldn’t afford to make a single mistake. It was great to see two young, very fast drivers – Alessio Picariello and Martin Rump – establish themselves among the front runners in the Audi R8 LMS Cup. They raised the bar and all of us had to respond accordingly. Our finale at Shanghai was extremely thrilling. I entered the last race with only a one-point advantage. Following a safety car period, Alessio Picariello launched an attack. Had I been in his situation, I might have ventured a similar assault. Unfortunately, he hit my car and I retired. Afterwards, he received a penalty. As a result, I won the title with a one-point advantage due to an armchair decision, even though I’d have preferred winning it on track.

This year, the new generation of the Audi R8 LMS was fielded in the Cup for the first time. How does the new car feel?

It’s even more fun than its predecessor. It’s a successful evolution. The brakes are better, the transmission is more precise, aerodynamics is more efficient and downforce higher. The way it handles almost reminds me a little of a single-seater race car. 

You won a race each in Thailand, Malaysia and in Korea. Which success was the most important one for you this year?

My first victory in Thailand. The Audi R8 LMS Cup rules include ballast weight being added following a previous success. I acted tactically in the Shanghai season opener in order to start the second race weekend in Thailand without ballast. That paid off because we were on a roll ever since the Thailand weekend.

What are the hallmarks of the Audi R8 LMS Cup that has been setting standards with numerous ideas in Asia?

We deliver thrilling races to the spectators. Interest, particularly in social networks, is huge. The race cars are excellent and absolutely identical. Nobody can complain about being disadvantaged. That’s very important in a one-make cup and the Audi R8 LMS Cup is arguably the world’s fastest GT one-make series. I really enjoy racing for the Audi brand.

Coming up next week

10/11 Timo Scheider’s 38th birthday
11–12/11 Highlands Motorsport Park (NZ), round 6, Australian GT Championship
12–13/11 Motegi (J), Super GT
12/11 Marrakesch (MA), round 2, FIA Formula E
13/11 Highlands Motorsport Park (NZ), round 4, Australian Endurance Championship

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