Audi R8 LMS Cup China, Round 4 Zhuhai last-lap drama
Zhuhai, June 3, 2012 – Hong Kong’s Adderly Fong with KLM Racing scored his second Audi R8 LMS Cup victory following a dramatic last-lap coming together between then-race leaders Marchy Lee of Audi Ultra and Audi GQ driver Alex Yoong at the Zhuhai International Circuit.
The 22-year old Fong was lying a distant third before inheriting the lead after Yoong’s attempted overtaking maneuver resulted in heavy contact between the Malaysian and Lee of Hong Kong. Jeffrey Lee won his second straight Amateur Cup victory and finished second overall, with Yoong third. Marchy Lee finished 13th.
Audi Driving Dreams driver Daniel Bilski of Hong Kong finished second in the non-professional class in his debut Audi R8 LMS Cup weekend, while lady driver Zhang Ran with Audi Castrol stood on the podium for the first time, finishing third in the Amateur Cup.
With the win, Fong now leads the drivers classification by 13 points ahead of Yoong, with Marchy Lee a further eight points adrift. Jeffrey Lee continues his lead atop the Amateur Cup leaderboard.
Starting from pole, Marchy Lee got away cleanly and quickly began to create a gap. Fong, who had started second, fell down the order to fourth, with Team Erdos Xinan driver Sun Zheng and Yoong ahead of him. As Marchy Lee pushed, Yoong worked to get by Sun, eventually overtaking the young Chinese driver on the fifth lap.
Yoong then set his sights on Lee, who, by Lap 7 had nearly a five-second lead. Fong continued to pile on the pressure on Sun, who, on Lap 10, dropped down to seventh after spinning on Turn 4, eventually finishing sixth.
The second half of the race saw Yoong close the gap on Marchy Lee, whose tyres had started to affect his pace, while Jeffrey Lee zeroed in on Fong as the Pauian Archiland J-Fly Racing driver fought for the final podium position.
The drama started on the penultimate lap, with Yoong getting by Marchy Lee to take the race lead. However, seconds later, on Turn 1 of the final lap, Marchy Lee grabbed an opportunity and took back the lead. A determined Yoong, however, kept up the fight and on Turn 4 came alongside his rival and the two made contact. Although Yoong went into the gravel, he recovered to finish third. The damage on Marchy Lee’s car meant that the Round 3 winner could not finish the race.
Fong took advantage of the contact between the two front-runners and although he had been a distant third, quickly found himself promoted to the top of the podium.
Team Audi R8 LMS Cup driver Aaron Kwok did not start Round 4 due to the damage to his Audi R8 LMS Cup car during a racing incident in Round 3.
Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing in China: “This was a fantastic race weekend. We experienced great overtaking maneuvers and I’m so excited to see such a competitive field. The championship for the Audi R8 LMS Cup is wide open. This will make Rounds 5&6 in Ordos even more interesting.”
Adderly Fong (KLM Team): “At the rolling start I gave away a couple of opportunities to other drivers. I put a lot of pressure on Sun and he made a mistake. I really used the tyres hard and there was nothing left in them towards the end. Jeffrey put a lot of pressure on me towards the end. When I joined the series I said to myself that I wanted to win a race. But luck is on my side right now. I know that Marchy and Alex are strong competitors and I will always push them as much as possible.”
Jeffrey Lee (Paulian Archiland J-Fly Racing): “After the start I had a lot of pressure from Alex and I knew it was a long race and I had to look after the tyres, so I let him past. I was putting Han Han under pressure on a number of corners and eventually he made a mistake and I was able to pass him. Towards the end, because I had looked after my tyres, I was able to push hard to catch Adderly. But by that time, I was very tired so I held the position.”
Alex Yoong (Audi GQ): “I don’t think I have ever finished a race on three wheels before – I might have, but I can’t remember. I thought it was a fair incident. Marchy left me room, I went into it and we came together. We had side-to-side contact but a little too much as both cars were damaged. I’m happy with third place from a sixth place start, but it could have been first and for that I am a little disappointed right now.”
Marchy Lee (Audi Ultra): “I think I controlled the pace and the rhythm for most of the race and then I could feel my tyres starting to go and I think maybe I pushed too hard in the beginning. It was okay though until one of the backmarkers spun in front of me and I lost my attention, allowing Alex to make his move. I let him past and then told myself I would push on the last lap. On T1 [of the last lap], Alex made a mistake and I passed him back. On T4 he came on the inside of me, but I was already on the inside, there was no gap for him to pass. I’m quite disappointed in this fight.”
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