Friday, August 30, 2013

Audi R8 LMS Cup: Alex Yoong wins in front of his home crowd in Malaysia

Audi R8 LMS Cup Press Release

  •          Yoong regained lead after dropping two places at eventful start
  •          Marchy Lee finishes second ahead of Franky Cheng Congfu in third
  •          Adderly Fong narrowly keeps overall lead after fourth place finish

Beijing/Sepang, August 30, 2013 – The Audi R8 LMS Cup debut at Sepang, Malaysia saw Alex Yoong delight his home fans by taking the chequered flag in front of Hong Kong racer Marchy Lee. One of the closest fought races of the season saw 'Franky' Cheng Congfu take the final podium position, with barely a second covering the front three as they crossed the finish line. Finishing fourth, Adderly Fong kept his overall championship lead with a total of 117 points, closely followed by Alex Yoong (115 points) and Marchy Lee (109 points).

"We saw a very close battle at the top, which underlines the truly competitive nature of our brand cup. Congratulations to Alex for the win in front of his home fans. After his promising qualifying, Adderly (Fong) was a bit unlucky. But I am sure he will be back determined tomorrow", says Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia.

The race got off to an exciting start. Whilst pole sitter Alex Yoong was intent on keeping the attacking Adderly Fong wide, 'Franky' Cheng Congfu overtook both at turn one. With the field bunched together, second on the grid, Marchy Lee, was able to take the inside line and come out of turn one as race leader. Alex Yoong's disappointing start was compounded when Korean racer Kyong-Ouk You jumped up to third place ahead of him, while championship leader, Adderly Fong, found himself dropping down to sixth.

By lap seven Yoong had begun to pressure Cheng for second place after he had taken Kyong-Ouk You on lap three. With the two pushing hard for points, Yoong managed to get past Cheng with seven laps to go and give himself a clear run at Marchy Lee.

With three laps to go, Yoong had closed the gap on leader Lee to just half a second, ensuring an exciting finish to the inaugural Audi R8 LMS Cup race in Malaysia. Coming into turns seven and eight, backmarker Benjamin Lee spun in front of the leaders; the front two showed their class by carefully negotiating the difficult situation. By the end of the lap, coming into turn fifteen, Yoong was finally able to dive down the inside of Marchy Lee and take the lead to the joy of his home fans.

With just two laps to go Yoong began to pull away, however on turn fourteen, disaster almost struck when he went wide allowing Lee and Cheng to close the gap once again. But Yoong managed to shut up shop to effectively end the battle by taking the chequered flag ahead of Lee and Cheng. Championship leader Adderly Fong battled back from the disappointment of his unlucky start to finish in fourth place and remain at the top of the leaderboard.

Alex Au from Hong Kong won the amateur competition. His fellow countryman, singer and actor Aaron Kwok, once again showed his racing talent by leading the gentleman class until the very last lap, when a mistake saw him spin off. Kwok was second crossing the line, but was later handed a 30 second penalty for an incident earlier in the race in which his car had contact with the Audi R8 LMS of Naomi Zhang Ran. The penalty meant that Kwok officially finished the race in fourth position. Second place in the amateur competition went to Jacky Yeung, ahead of Ren Wei in third.

Round 8 of the 2013 Audi R8 LMS Cup will start Saturday, August 31, at 10am local time at Sepang International Circuit and – as with all races of the season – will be broadcast live on Starting positions for Round 8 on Saturday are determined by the second fastest time of each driver during qualifying, meaning Alex Yoong will be on pole again. Adderly Fong will start from second place, Cheng Congfu from third.

Alex Yoong:

"The start was interesting, Franky just suddenly appeared. I was really aggressive going into turn one. By turn two I was trying to keep people behind me but found myself dropping down to fifth. Marchy (Lee) was quick all race, which made catching him very hard but the challenging temperatures saw our tires degrade, his more than mine. I want to thank all my friends and family here in Malaysia for the fantastic support they showed - it encouraged me to keep pushing."

Marchy Lee:

"I decided at the start to push to the limit. I was looking for an opportunity and was aware of Franky (Cheng Congfu) pushing Alex (Yoong) wide and took my chance. As you could see, the tires went quickly because of the heat. Alex managed his better than I managed mine. Obviously this made navigating incredibly difficult. I am very happy for Alex to have taken the win in his home country."

'Franky' Cheng Congfu:

"The start was problematic as I was over aggressive but saw my opportunity and took it. I tried to defend the outside line from Alex. Marchy saw this and went inside. After this I tried to calm down and settle into the race but it has been tough so far for me in Sepang. It is good to see Alex win in his home country."

Audi R8 LMS Cup, Round 7, Sepang, Malaysia - Final Results

(Am) Amateur Driver
(D) Dealer Driver

Not classified (90% = 11 Laps)

Overall Classification after Round 7

Audi R8 LMS Cup Official Website:

Audi R8 LMS Cup, 2013, Upcoming Races

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