German luxury carmaker Audi kicked off the 2014 season of the Audi R8 LMS Cup at the 5.62 km Korea International Circuit in Yeongam this weekend. The season opener was clinched by Chinese driver, Cheng Congfy who successfully led from start-to-finish, after having started at the front of the pack with the fastest lap time in qualifying. Adderly Fong from Hong Kong and former Formula One driver Alex Yoong from Malaysia finished in second and third position respectively.
Commenting on his win, Cheng Congfu said, “It was an eventful start to the race, but lucky for me I managed to avoid it. It was all smooth for me, and I was able to hold on to the lead from the start and control the race. It’s nice to start with a win. I’m happy.”
The Saturday’s season opener marked the debut of new features like the push-to-pass engine boost function for easier overtaking and weight additions for podium drivers. The race leader Cheng Congfu too, made use of the said boost engine function during the first lap and held on to it with strong and consistent driving.
“With the temporary engine boost of the push-to-pass function, the Audi R8 LMS Cup sets a new benchmark in GT racing worldwide. The drivers not only need to handle the very demanding Korea International Circuit well, but in order to fully utilize the boost and to choose the right moment to activate it, they need to continuously monitor the other competitors and think strategically. More multitasking is required. I expect drivers who are mentally strong and able to concentrate over a long period to benefit the most”, remarked Rene Koneberg, director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia.
In the Amateur class, Steven Lin of Brothers Racing Team took the top spot with a whole 20 seconds ahead of his rival, Ashraff Dewal. Both entered the Audi R8 LMS Cup for the first time this year. Sun Jingzu from China secured the third place.
The Yeongam racetrack features a 1.2 km straight - the longest in Asia, a series of tight switchbacks between turns four and six and a section, which is modelled after a street circuit, with a series of labyrinth-like left and right-hand bends from turns 10 to 18.