Audi R8 LMS Cup Press Release
• Young Driver Development Program supports Hong Kong youngster Shaun Thong, who joins the Audi China driver team
• New program builds on existing support for young talents like Audi R8 LMS Cup driver Aidan Wright
• Rene Koneberg: “Young driver support is a key element to further develop motorsport in Asia”
Beijing, October 16, 2014 - Audi has established a new racing program to develop young Asian drivers. Hong Kong youngster Shaun Thong is the first regional talent to join the Young Driver Development Program of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. The 18 year-old started with training at the legendary Nürburgring circuit in Germany during the first half of October. In addition to receiving training, Thong joins the driver team of Audi China.
Since the start of activities in 2012, Audi Sport customer racing Asia has been playing an active role in nurturing local prospects. The Asia-based Audi R8 LMS Cup has attracted some of the hottest talents from the region, including Aidan Wright from Australia. The 2013 champion of the Formula Masters China Series (FMCS) joined the 2014 season of the Audi R8 LMS Cup as a member of the Audi China driver team. With Hong Kong’s rising star Matthew Solomon, who drives for Audi Hong Kong in the first ever brand cup of Audi worldwide, another youngster made the step from Volkswagen Group's FMCS to intense GT3 competition.
Shaun Thong had also made his mark in the Audi R8 LMS race car before. The participant of the new Young Driver Development Program had achieved a fifth place finish in Sepang, Malaysia as a guest driver in the 2013 Audi R8 LMS Cup.
During his first 30 months of competitive racing, Thong, born in 1995, has achieved an impressive 22 podium finishes, including 9 wins. After starting in karting aged 8, he has since competed in various levels of motorsports in Asia. In 2013, he was 2nd runner up in his first ever Formula Master China Series race at the famous and demanding Guia circuit in Macau. He also achieved a LMP2 race win with his team in South China's Zhuhai, and competed in European Formula competitions. In 2014, as a rookie, he won the winter series of the European F3 Open Copa.
Photo credit: Audi R8 LMS Cup