Sunday, March 1, 2015

Blancpain Endurance Series: Asian racing program of Audi partners with Phoenix Racing

Audi R8 LMS Cup Press Release

• Phoenix Racing entry in Blancpain Endurance Series with Markus Winkelhock and Hong Kong drivers Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong
• Rene Koneberg: “Success and experience of Phoenix Racing elevates our driver development program”
• Integration of Audi Sport platforms in Asia and Europe steps up with entries in the Audi TT Cup and the Nürburgring 24h

Beijing, March 1, 2015 – Audi Sport customer racing Asia has formed a partnership with renowned motorsport team Phoenix Racing to compete in the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series in Europe. Phoenix Racing will enter an Audi R8 LMS ultra in the GT3 championship with an Asian-European driver team. Reigning Nürburgring 24h champion, Markus Winkelhock from Germany, will share the cockpit with two drivers from Hong Kong: 2012 Audi R8 LMS Cup champion Marchy Lee and 18 year-old talent Shaun Thong. The Audi R8 LMS Cup logo will be featured on the side livery of the team’s car.

“The entry in the Blancpain Endurance Series is another step in the integration between the Audi Sport platforms in Asia and Europe. Phoenix Racing is one of the most successful and experienced motorsport teams worldwide. The partnership will further elevate our development program for young Asian talents like Shaun Thong”, said Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia.

Over the years, Phoenix Racing has achieved number one positions with Audi in a range of prestigious events, like the German Touring Car Championship (DTM), Nürburgring 24h, Spa 24h and Bathurst 12h.

"Asia, especially China, is one of the largest markets for Audi in the world and there is a constantly growing racing scene there with many young and talented drivers. It's great to have a first step in to such a market with this project and we are very happy to enter the Blancpain Endurance Series in 2015 with Marchy and Shaun alongside our well-known Phoenix Racing driver Markus Winkelhock", commented Ernst Moser, Director of Phoenix Racing.

Hong Kong youngster Shaun Thong will also race in the new Audi Sport TT Cup in Europe, where he will again meet teammate Winkelhock, who is the official Audi Sport TT Cup coach. In 2015, 12 Audi Sport TT Cup races will be held at six DTM race weekends.

Thong will also be part of the first all-Asian team of Audi race experience for the 2015 Nürburgring 24h. For the endurance race in the famous "Green Hell", he will be joined by drivers from the Audi R8 LMS Cup. The final team will be announced soon after more testing during upcoming VLN runs.

In addition to offering opportunities for Asian talents in Europe, Audi is actively developing motorsport activities throughout Asia. The Audi R8 LMS Cup was founded in China in 2012 as the first brand Cup of Audi worldwide and has since expanded all across Asia. In 2015, the sprint race series will visit China, South Korea, Japan and Malaysia. For the first time, the GT competition will also have a stop in Taiwan. The 2015 season kicks off on March 21-22 at South China’s Zhuhai.

Furthermore, Audi Sport customer racing Asia supports entries in a range of regional motorsport events, like the GT Asia series and the Macau GT Cup.

Photo credit: Audi R8 LMS Cup