Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Taiwan: Audi teams 2013 season review

By Johan Laubscher

Absolute Racing was also seen in action in Taiwan this year. They competed at three Taiwanese events with the team names of Audi Chinese Taipei Team and J-Fly Racing.

Three different events were the scenes of Audi R8 LMS participation during 2013. Absolute Racing fielded an Audi R8 LMS at one round each of the Option Cup and the Taiwan Speed Festival. They also fielded four cars at the year-ending TSF Asia All Star Challenge.

The season review has been compiled from the 2013 Audi Motorsport Blog Weekend Round Up posts. Each round has been added as was seen in the individual Weekend Round Up posts during 2013, which can be accessed via the links throughout the review below:

Option Cup Round 2: PIC

Absolute Racing entered a single Audi R8 LMS in the Option Cup. The series is based in Taiwan and this event was hosted at the Penbay International Circuit. The R8 LMS was driven by Jeffrey Lee and competed in the GT Challenge. He qualified on pole position and won the event.

TSF Round 3: PIC

The Taiwan Speed Festival is a four round series held at the Pen Bay International Circuit in Taiwan. Round three of the series was held this weekend and it was dominated by an Audi R8 LMS. The Audi Chinese Taipei Team (Absolute Racing / J-Fly Racing) entered one Audi R8 LMS driven by J-Fly Racing regulars: Marchy Lee and Jeffrey Lee. They were the only car entered in the GT-A class for this weekend. The Audi R8 LMS proved to be the class of the field as they topped qualifying and the race overall.

TSF Asia All Star Challenge: PIC

The TSF Asia All Star Challenge was hosted at the Penbay International Circuit in Taiwan this weekend. It was a very strong event for the J-Fly Racing Audi R8 LMS squad.

J-Fly Racing, prepared and run by Absolute Racing, entered four Audis this weekend, three older Audi R8 LMS cars in the GTM class and one Audi R8 LMS ultra in the GT3 class.

The big news this weekend was the addition of Audi Sport factory driver, Rahel Frey, who joined Jeffrey Lee in the #77 J-Fly Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra. The first of the three R8 LMS cars was driven by the 2013 Audi R8 LMS Cup champion, Adderly Fong. The second car had Carlo Van Dam and Benjamin Lee behind the wheel. The third car was driven by Alex Chang and Evan Chen.

The first official practice session was held on Friday afternoon and the Audis topped the times sheets. The #77 Audi R8 LMS ultra of Jeffrey Lee and Rahel Frey set the fastest time within the one minute forty second lap time bracket. It was an Audi 1-2 at the top, as Adderly Fong set the second fastest time with his #068 Audi R8 LMS. The #017 R8 LMS of Carlo Van Dam and Benjamin Lee set the fourth fastest time of the session. The #666 R8 LMS of Alex Chang and Evan Chen did not take part in this session.

Qualifying was scheduled for Saturday afternoon. The qualifying was split into two separate sessions, one each for the two drivers of the cars. The highest Audi during the first session, the Driver A session, was the #068 R8 LMS in fourth. The #77 Audi R8 LMS ultra was fifth fastest, followed by the #017 R8 LMS in seventh and the #666 R8 LMS in ninth.

The second qualifying session, the Driver B session, saw the #77 Audi R8 LMS ultra topping the time sheets. The #666 Audi R8 LMS qualified third, followed by the #017 Audi R8 LMS in fourteenth.

The three races were scheduled for Sunday. One fifty minute GT Master Cup race and two shorter GT Master Challenge races of ten laps each (for each of the two drivers). The aggregate results from the two qualifying sessions were used to determine the starting order for the GT Master Cup. The four Audis started in positions four through seven. The starting order for the J-Fly Racing Audis saw the #068 in fourth, ahead of the #77, #017 and #666.

The fifty minute GT Master Cup was up first on Sunday. The #77 R8 LMS ultra was able to move up to fourth and maintained that position until moving up to third during the closing stages, ensuring a strong podium result for Lee, Frey and the team. Adderly Fong brought his #068 Audi R8 LMS across the line in fourth place. The #017 R8 LMS of Benjamin Lee and Carlo Van Dam finished fifth, rounding out three Audis within the top five. The #666 Audi R8 LMS of Alex Chang and Evan Chen finished twelfth. These results were enough to claim an Audi 1-2 in the GTM class with the #068 winning ahead of the #017.

The second race was the first of two ten lap GT Master Challenge races. The GT Master Challenge AM (Driver B) race was up first. Jeffrey Lee started from pole position in his #77 R8 LMS ultra and led the field to race victory. Alex Chang finished sixth in the #666 R8 LMS, taking victory in the GTM class, and Benjamin Lee finished thirteenth in the #017 R8 LMS. Adderly Fong and the #068 R8 LMS did not take part in the AM race

The third and final race was the GT Master Challenge PRO (Driver A) race. Adderly Fong was the highest Audi qualifier starting in fourth, ahead of Rahel Frey in fifth. Frey was able to progress well during the ten lap race and moved up from fifth to finish in a well deserved second position, ensuring that the #77 J-Fly Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra finished on the podium in all three of the day’s races. Carlo Van Dam piloted the #017 Audi R8 LMS to fourth place, taking the GTM class victory. Adderly Fong finished in sixth place with the #068 R8 LMS and Evan Chen finished tenth with the #666 Audi R8 LMS.

This concluded an exciting day’s racing at the Penbay International Circuit in Taiwan. It was a very strong day for J-Fly Racing and their Audi squad. The #77 Audi R8 LMS ultra finished on the podium in all three of the races and J-Fly Racing also won the GTM class throughout the day as well.

Photo credit: J-Fly Racing