Home challenge for Absolute Racing in Blancpain GT Series Asia
Absolute Racing competes on home ground this weekend when the Blancpain GT Series Asia makes its annual trip to China for the Shanghai International Circuit rounds.
– Rump and Cheng on GT3 Overall and Silver Cup titles chase
– New team-mate for Anthony Liu
– Singha Plan-B by Absolute Racing joins the trio
Absolute Racing aims to bounce back from a tough Fuji meeting last month and close the gap to the Championship leaders as the Blancpain GT Series Asia enters the final two meetings of 2018. Shanghai has been a happy hunting ground for the team in the past, with Absolute Racing celebrating many victories and podiums on the “home of Chinese Motorsport” in recent years, including two podium finishes here in 2017.
Cheng Congfu and Martin Rump are leading the team’s charge, and the two official Audi Sport Asia drivers are confident they can bounce back from a tricky second weekend in Japan. The #3 Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS Cup pair crossed the line in fifth and sixth at Fuji and has not stood on the podium since securing a superb win in the first race at Suzuka. They lie fourth in the GT3 Drivers’ Championship standings with two victories and further two podiums to their names, occupying the same position in their class – 38 points off the overall lead and just 14 points off the pace in the Silver Cup.
Andrew Kim and Adderly Fong are also hoping to build on their performance too. The #7 Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS duo will be hoping to repeat the Thailand’s Round 3 podium finish efforts on team’s home soil.
Last year’s pole sitter Alessio Picariello is set to make his Blancpain GT Series Asia return this weekend. 25-year-old Picariello will join Anthony Liu aboard the #37 Paragon Water Systems Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS for the two Chinese events. 2017 Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup Champion climbed on the Pro-Am class podium five times last season and will bring with him a huge amount of racingexperience with Absolute Racing. It will be ‘Belgian Bullet” first outing with the team in 2018.
Joining the Absolute Racing squad this weekend will also be Singha Plan-B by Absolute Racing R8 LMS. Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup front-runners Thailand’s Bhurit Bhirombakdhi and China’s Jingzu Sun will team up together for the first time with serious ambitions to be the best in the GT3 Am-Am category.
Team Manager Michael Schneider said, “I’m looking forward for our home race at Shanghai. Usually home races are the most difficult ones, but we are well prepared and will try to fight back in the championship like we did last season. This weekend we will also welcome Singha Plan-B by Absolute Racing with Bhurit Bhirombakdhi and Jingzu Sun in the AM-AM category!”
Team Director Ingo Matter added, “We are all fully motivated and ready for this race. We are looking forward to being in another close fight here. Shanghai is a great circuit, which we know really well and should suit the Audi R8 LMS. We’re confident to get our Blancpain GT Asia Series campaign back on track. We reshuffled the #37 car driver line up as Alessio Picariello is coming back in the team to substitute for Josh, who is now focus on preparing a soon-to-be-announced event with the team. Singha Plan-B by Absolute Racing is also joining us this weekend and we hope to bring home some more silverware.”
This weekend’s qualifying session and two hour-long races will be shown live on the Blancpain GT Series Asia website and Facebook page, as well as SRO’s GT World Youtube channel.
Friday 21 September
12:30 – 13:15: Free Practice 1
16:00 – 16:45: Free Practice 2
Saturday 22 September
08:20 – 08:50: Official Practice
11:10 – 11:25: Qualifying 1
11:35 – 11:50: Qualifying 2
15:30 – 16:30: Race 1
Sunday 23 September
13:00 – 14:00: Race 2
– End –