Text: Brent Co / Photos: Audi R8 LMS Cup Press | posted September 18, 2013 22:45
Alex Au secures Amateur Class championship with double victory
Alex Yoong raced to a back-to-back victory for Rounds 7 and 8 of the Audi R8 LMS Cup in front of his home crowd in Sepang, Malaysia to retake the championship lead in the 2013 Audi R8 LMS Cup. Alex Au meanwile secured the Amateur Class Championship with his double victory.
Yoong drove the Audi TEDA Racing car and clocked the fastest lap for the field in qualifying with a 2:06.769 as the only driver breaking the 2:07 barrier. Adderly Fong of Kamlung Racing followed in second with 2:07.107, while 2012 champion Marchy Lee qualified third with 2:07.468, and Audi Ultra Team driver Cheng Congfu took fourth with 2:07.678.
It was an exciting opening lap with Cheng making a great start from fourth taking the lead into the first corner while Yoong was busy trying fending off Fong. The defending champion Lee, managed to take the clean inside line coming out of the first corner as the race leader. To make things worse for the Malaysian, Korean driver Kyong-Ouk You even managed to get ahead of him for third position; points leader Fong however found himself sliding down to sixth.
Yoong slowly managed to claw his way back up the order overtaking the Korean and eventually closing in on Cheng on the seventh lap. With enough pressure, the more experienced Yoong got ahead with seven laps to go charging ahead to catch up to the race leader. The Malaysian eventually closed the gap of Lee to nearly half a second with three laps to go sending the home crowd up their seats as they cheered their local hero on. To much of the fans delight, Yoong managed to find an opening going into turn fifteen and overtook Lee for the lead.
Disaster nearly struct towards the next of the next lap as Yoong made a miscalculation and went a bit wide nearly spinning out allowing Lee and Cheng to catch up. However the Malaysian maintained his composure for the next lap to take the checkered flag in front of his home crowd ahead of Lee and Cheng, who came in second and third, respectively. Points leader Fong managed to stay on top of the charts with a fourth place finish.
In the Amateur Class, it was Alex Au from Hong Kong ahead of celebrity Aaron Kwok and Jacky Yeung. However, officials handed Kwok a 30-second penalty for a incident with Naomi Zhang Ran early on in the race. The penalty demoted Kwok down to fourth, upgrading Yeung and Ren Wei to second and third, respectively.
Yoong made sure not to make the same mistake as the previous round for the start of the race. A tenacious Cheng however made a bold move on the inside of Fong into turn one advancing to second. Lee closely followed in fourth. The top four managed to open a good gap from the rest of the pack as they pushed their cars to the limit.
Despite setting the fastest lap, Cheng was still unable to catch Yoong in his home turf. The top four positions remained the same for the whole race, giving Yoong a back-to-back win in his home country and putting himself back on top of the leaderboard. An exciting battle for fifth ensued behind the leaders with Sun Zheng challenging the Korean driver You; this gave eighteen year-old Wei Fung Thong an opportunity to grab fifth ahead of the two. The young Wei managed to extend his margin to finish in fifth ahead of the Korean.
In the Amateur Class, Kwok made a great showing at the start overtaking Au going into turn one. The two fought hard with Au retaking the lead on the sixth lap as Kwok continued to fight on. Au eventually managed to create a good gap to safely take a double win closing the class championship with a clear 90 point lead. Kwok finished in second ahead of Zhang Ran.
The Audi R8 LMS Cup moves to Shanghai for Rounds 9 and 10 on October 26-27 to be run in conjunction with the Sports Car Champions Festival which features the VW Scirocco R-Cup, Lamborghini Super Trofeo Cup, Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, and Formula Masters China Series.