Sunday, July 7, 2013

Audi R8 LMS Cup: Marchy Lee wins round 3 of the 2013 Audi R8 LMS Cup

Audi R8 LMS Cup Press Release

Ordos, July 6th, 2013 - Marchy Lee won Round 3 of the Audi R8 LMS Cup in Ordos, Northern China. Malaysia’s Alex Yoong took the checkered flag but after an inquiry concerning the start of the race, he was given a twenty second penalty for a false start and ended sixth overall.

Rene Koneberg, Director, Audi Sport Customer Racing China:

“We have a very strong driver line up, the competition at the top of the field is very intense. Therefore, every second counts during starting procedures today.”

Starting the race in seventh position, Adderly Fong took what was thought to be the final podium place after a close fought battle saw him edging out cup debutant “Franky” Cheng Congfu, before the decision to give Alex Yoong a twenty second penalty and move both up by a place.

The race got off to a controversial rolling start. At the green light Alex Yoong in position two was quick of the grid ready to challenge Marchy Lee who was starting from pole. Alex had a clear lead into turn one, followed by Marchy Lee who had secured pole position in qualifying earlier in the day. With few overtaking opportunities on a tight and technical track, this start was thought to prove decisive.

Third on the grid at the start, Rahel Frey battled hard and maintained a very close gap to the leaders and was looking very comfortable for the final podium position. On lap seven the front three were separated by merely a second as they maneuvered for first place. However, a mistake at turn five on lap nine saw her spin out and drop down to sixth, which she maintained until the stewards decision concerning the start of the race moved her up to fifth.

Despite Alex Yoong’s performance Marchy Lee settled into a very close second and used all his patience to wait for an opportunity whilst lapping traffic. Marchy made a lunge for first position on Lap 10 and came very close to pulling it off but Alex closed the door firmly and ended up first across the line.

Adderly Fong took second place overall; waiting patiently for any errors, he managed to capitalize on Rahel’s spin on lap 10. Adderly consolidated his place and this allowed “Franky” Cheng Congfu to close the gap and challenge for third all the way to the checkered flag.

Sun Zheng, a recent British F3 podium finisher, was unlucky to retire with a technical issue and unable to build on his excellent recent form. Also retiring through technical problems was Ren Wei.

The winner of the Amateur cup was Alex Au, after a close battle with Hugues Ripert.

Tomorrow round 4 of the 2013 season of the Audi R8 LMS Cup will take place at Ordos International Circuit. Round 4 will see Alex Yoong on pole ahead of round 3 winner Marchy Lee and Rahel Frey. Starting positions were determined by the second fastest times by each driver during qualifying on Saturday morning.

Alex Yoong
“I am disappointed to be penalized, I felt I kept a steady pace during the rolling start and I think that I had a very good race. Anyway I will go for a win tomorrow, of course.”

Marchy Lee
“I had a great race and I am glad about the steward’s decision to review the start of the race.”

Adderly Fong
“It was an event filled race for me. I had an ok start, but when I saw the cars in front of me bunch at the first corner I made my move and managed to take forth position. I was following Rahel closely but with the nature of Ordos I knew it would be difficult to pass. Fortunately for me Rahel made a mistake on the same corner I did last year, and I was able to take the place from her.”

Alex Au
“My main aim in the race was to go as fast as I can but also to be aware of those professional drivers that were faster. Obviously for the team scoring points is the priority. I was happy that I was able to keep pace with some of the professional drivers during the race.”

Rafel Frey
“I found keeping up with the guys in front of me was not a problem but I also realized it would be very hard to take them at this circuit so I wanted to at least try to push for the fastest lap. Unfortunately I made a mistake and lost the opportunity.”

Audi R8 LMS Cup Official Website:

Audi R8 LMS Cup, 2013 race calendar

05–07 July, Ordos International Circuit, China
02–04 August, Inje Auto Theme Park, South Korea
28–31 August, Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
25–27 October, Shanghai International Circuit, China
09–10 November, Guia International Circuit, Macau

Photo credit: Audi R8 LMS Cup