At the Zhuhai track, Andre Couto grabbed the fastest lap times during the 2-day event. Sixteen drivers took the opportunity to test in Zhuhai, including some perspective new drivers. Couto, a Portuguese, is raised in Macau, the former Formula 3 champion is one of the most accomplished racers in Asia and joins the cup season for Brothers Racing Team (BRT). “I am very happy to be part of this great championship. The Audi R8 LMS Cup has been growing quite a lot and has clearly raised the level of motorsport in Asia. We race at some of the best circuits in Asia, including many Formula 1 tracks,” Couto expressed. “A new generation of young and talented drivers are joining the cup and I want to be part of that momentum. After we worked together for my home race, the Macau GT, last year, I am excited to now further extend the partnership with Brothers Racing Team. I feel strong and prepared for a successful season.”
Debuting in the Audi GT3 race car were two of Asia’s hottest racing talents: Aidan Wright from Australia, who won the 2013 Formula Masters, and Matt Solomon from Hong Kong, who shared a GT cockpit with former F1 champion Mika Hakkinen last year. In addition, Swiss female racing star Rahel Frey is returning to the Audi R8 LMS Cup for the 12 races of this year’s campaign. She looks forward to meet her former colleagues from the Deutschen Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) during the series’ support race in Guangzhou.
Audi Customer Racing expects the boost button to better the series’ excitement, plus promote a new strategic component, due to the limited number of boost available. By activating a special “push-to-pass” button, drivers are able to temporarily add about 50 horsepower to their engine output. The maximum number of boosts can be adjusted to the different circuit layouts. Another new feature is the weight additions, additional ballast for drivers who score podium spots, to be applied at the next race.
The Audi R8 LMS Cup is the first brand cup of Audi worldwide. The sprint race series premiered in Asia last season. This year the competition is scheduled to visit South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and China, including support races for the DTM in Guangzhou and for the WEC (World Endurance Championship) in Shanghai. The strong field includes star drivers like 2013 cup champion Adderly Fong and Asian veteran and 2012 winner Marchy Lee, both from Hong Kong, as well as Malaysian former Formula 1 driver Alex Yoong and Chinese racer “Franky” Cheng Congfu.