Saturday, November 16, 2013

GT Asia: Absolute Racing Audis among the fastest GT Asia qualifiers at the Macau finale

By Johan Laubscher

The 2013 GT Asia Series is hosting the final round on the streets of Macau this weekend. Four Audi R8 LMS and ultra cars have been entered for the season finale.

The GT Asia season finale is being held alongside the Macau GT Cup, running together on track. A number of GT Asia entrants are in the field. Four of the six Audi entries are also entered for the GT Asia finale, which includes: Jeffery Lee (#7), Shim Ching (#78), Francis Hideki Onda (#86) and Philip Ma (#98). The six Audi R8 LMS / ultra entries are listed below: 

The big news this weekend is the return of the reigning two-time Macau GT Cup champion, Edoardo Mortara, in his his #1 Audi R8 LMS Cup backed Audi R8 LMS ultra. He is joined by his teammate, Marchy Lee, in the #38 Audi Hong Kong Audi R8 LMS ultra. Absolute Racing is also present with their regular three-car GT Asia team, along with another private Audi entry from IMS. Absolute Racing, competing with the team name of "Team R8 LMS Ultra," is currently leading the GT Asia teams' championship points standings and they will be aiming to clinch the title this weekend.

Up front in the overall standings all eyes were on the battle between Edoardo Mortara and the leading two Erebus Mercedes-Benz cars. Mortara may have dominated practice and the first qualifying session, but it was Maro Engel who took the overall pole position on Saturday. The leading two Audis were Mortara and Marchy Lee, however neither of them were entered as GT Asia entries.

Further back in the field the GT Asia competitors were battling amongst themselves for qualifying honours in the GT Asia ranks.

The first qualifying session was held on Friday and the session concluded with Jeffrey Lee topping the times as the fastest GT Asia entrant in fourteenth overall. Philip Ma was fourth fastest, followed by Francis Hideki Onda in twelfth and Shim Ching in sixteenth.

The second and final qualifying session took place on Saturday. This session again saw Jeffrey Lee as the fastest GT Asia Audi, but this time he was fourth fastest in the GT Asia standings, followed by Philip Ma in fifth. Francis Hideki Onda had been steadily improving during the weekend and was tenth fastest during the second qualifying session. Shim Ching placed fifteenth.

The final qualifying grid was determined by the fastest times from the two qualifying sessions. The GT Asia 'pole position' went to Mok Weng Sun in his McLaren MP4-12C, who qualified fourteenth overall. Jeffrey Lee was the highest GT Asia Audi qualifier and he will line up in fourth place, seventeenth overall. Philip Ma qualified in fifth, eighteenth overall. Francis Hideki Onda qualified in twelfth, twenty-sixth overall and Shim Ching will be lining up seventeenth, thirty-second overall.

The qualifying results can be seen HERE.

The Macau GT Cup, along with the GT Asia finale, is scheduled to begin at 9:20 local time on Sunday morning. We wish the best of luck to the Audi drivers and teams, especially for Absolute Racing, who are in the fight for the GT Asia teams’ championship title.

Photo credit: Absolute Racing