Sunday, December 14, 2014

Audi R8 LMS Cup: Alex Yoong champion of the 2014 Audi R8 LMS Cup

Audi R8 LMS Cup Press Release

• Alex Yoong clinches overall title with victory in Round 12
• Andre Couto is second overall ahead of Rahel Frey
• Marchy Lee and Matt Solomon complete Round 12 podium behind Yoong

Abu Dhabi, December 14, 2014 – Alex Yoong has been crowned 2014 Audi R8 LMS Cup champion after securing victory in the final race in Abu Dhabi. The explosive race with lots of back-and-forth between Yoong and close championship rival André Couto underlined the intense drama that has unfolded throughout the season. It took the 12th and final race to decide who would take the championship.

Yoong and Couto were the most dominant drivers and won 10 out of the 12 races in the Cup this season, with five wins each.

In Round 12, Couto started from pole with the maximum weight ballast of 60 kg, meaning Yoong, in position two, had a weight advantage. Both championship contenders stormed ahead as soon as the lights went off, and it was clear that they were both determined to lift the trophy. Throughout the race, Yoong and Couto put their all into the battle for first place, with each taking it in turns to lead. However, Yoong managed to keep just ahead of Couto in the last few laps, and finally took the checkered flag.

Despite finishing in second, Couto was handed a 25 second penalty after the race due to overtaking Yoong while off the track and failing to give the place back in a reasonable time. The penalty means that Couto finished ninth in today’s race, and had to settle for the runner-up spot in the 2014 championship.

“We had a thrilling and dramatic final race to conclude the 2014 season in Abu Dhabi. Alex Yoong and André Couto made the championship exciting right down to the last minute. Both fought hard and well, as they both wanted to win the Cup. Congratulations to Alex for clinching the title in the end. It has been a spectacular season, and we look forward to another exciting series in 2015”, commented Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia.

Indeed, the final race provided a spectacular show, with the top eight all driving close together, with many position changes. “Franky” Cheng Congfu and Adderly Fong battled hard behind the two race leaders throughout the first half of the race before a collision between the two forced them both off the track.

Marchy Lee, Rahel Frey and Matt Solomon continued to storm forward. Towards the end of the race, Lee continuously pressed Couto but could not find a way past the Macanese driver. Behind Lee, Frey ultimately could not hold off Hong Kong youngster Solomon, who finished third ahead of her. Nevertheless, Frey secured the third spot in the overall rankings ahead of Cheng.

Korean driver K.O. You and Chinese driver Sun Zheng mounted late challenges for position, with both driving hard at the end of the race to close the gap at the front. Stefano Montesi drove steadily to finish in eighth, ahead of local Emirati driver Saeed Al Mehairi, and Jeffrey Lee.

Steven Lin won the 2014 amateur category ahead of Ashraff Dewal and Jacky Yeung.

Brothers Racing Team secured the 2014 team championship ahead of Teda Racing Team and Castrol Racing Team.

The 2014 Four Rings Trophy for regional Audi teams and dealerships went to the Audi R8 LMS Cup Team, ahead of KamLung Racing and Audi Korea.

The 2015 Audi R8 LMS Cup kicks off on March 22, 2015 in South China’s Zhuhai.

Alex Yoong:

“I put André under a lot of pressure today. It paid off! I am just happy I won the championship.”

André Couto:

“It was a great season. I gave it everything. I wanted to be champion. I’m happy with my performance.”

Marchy Lee:

“I had a disappointing season – things didn’t go smoothly for me. But every driver experiences ups and downs. This season still provided me with good training opportunities, and I will be back to challenge again in 2015.”

Rahel Frey:

“It was a very eventful race! It was really fun and I’m sure it was great to watch! I’m disappointed I couldn’t win the championship, but I’m happy with getting third overall. Congratulations to both Alex and André – they both drove so well throughout the season and they deserve to be at the top. Well done to Alex for winning it!”

Adderly Fong:

“It was a dramatic way to end the season. There was lots of action, and unfortunately I was caught up in it! It’s a pity I lost out on my third place, and I’m disappointed I couldn’t defend my title this time.”

2014 Audi R8 LMS Cup
Provisional Overall Classification - Top 5

Photo credit: Audi R8 LMS Cup