Sunday, March 24, 2013

Int’l race debut for the 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra

By Johan Laubscher

The Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang was the scene for the international race debut of the new 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra. Absolute Racing fielded three of these cars in the Malaysian Super Series (MSS), which was a support event for the Grand Prix this weekend.

The three Absolute Racing entries were for their clients: #99 Jeffrey Lee (J-fly Racing), #98 Philip Ma (Team Hong Kong Racing) and #77 Francis Hideki Onda (Tunewear Racing). The #99 and #77 entries were listed as "Absolute Racing Team" at this event. The weekend got off to a very good start as Jeffrey Lee topped the practice session, highlighting the car’s potential. During qualifying the top spot was lost as Lee qualified in the top five followed by his teammates in eleventh and fifteenth.

Very warm and humid conditions greeted the field for race one of the weekend. Starting from fifth Lee was determined to move forward, however he ultimately finished in sixth. Ma was able to advance through the field and moved from his eleventh place up to seventh behind Lee. Onda also progressed well, from fifteenth he was up to eighth until a spin cost him time. He finished in tenth, rounding out a top ten finish for all three Audis.

The second race took place during the run-up to the Grand Prix on Sunday morning. Very humid conditions greated the field once again. All three Audis finished within the top seven during the race. Lee was the highest placed Audi in fourth (third in the GT Class) followed by Ma in sixth and Onda in seventh.

Absolute Racing’s final 2013 plans have not yet been announced. The team will be involved in running the Chinese Audi R8 LMS Cup and these new Audi R8 LMS ultra cars are expected to be seen in the GT Asia series as well.

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Photo credit: Absolute Racing