Audi’s R8 LMS Cup series have just announced their 10-race, 5-stop, pan Asian calendar for 2017. The sprint series will enter its sixth season and will debut from Sepang F1 Circuit in Malaysia. Official testing will commence in April 2017, with Rounds 1 and 2 kicking off on May 6-7.
Right after Sepang, the race will make its way to the Suzuka F1 Circuit for Rounds 3 and 4 in June, then on towards Korea for Rounds 5 and 6 in August, with the exact date yet to be released. The final two race weekends will take place in China, the largest global Audi market and steadily growing Asian motorsport hub. Rounds 7 and 8 will take place at the Shanghai Audi International Circuit on September 9-10 and the newly opened Zhejiang International Circuit in the city of Shaoxing will play host to the season finale on October 20-21.
“Our 2017 calendar provides teams with the flexibility to fully utilise their Audi R8 LMS race car by entering additional racing series,” said Bernd Goeres, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “Audi continues to play a leading role in accelerating the development of motorsport in Asia.”
The Audi R8 LMS Cup has formed a partnership with SRO Motorsport Group’s new Blancpain GT Series Asia. Both series follow a similar route around Asia, allowing for full participation in both events. Additional logistics costs incurred through the double participation will be fully subsidised. Additionally, the 2017 winner of the Audi R8 LMS Cup amateur classification will receive a free 2018 entry into the highlight of the European Blancpain GT Series, the iconic Total 24 Hours of Spa for his team.
New features and strong focus on amateurs
Amateurs are the backbone of the customer racing programme of Audi in Asia. The amateur classification winner will be awarded with a complimentary tyre supply for the whole season, with a full refund given after the final race.
A raft of exciting changes to the Audi R8 LMS Cup will also be introduced in 2017. ‘Push-to-pass’ – the technology whereby a push of a button on the steering wheel unlocks additional horse-power for the car for a limited period – will return. Privateers will have double the number of push-to-passes for each race. To visualise the remaining number of push-to-passes for the fans, all cars will feature a digital LED-display on the side window.
The Cup’s sixth season will also see the introduction of a standalone qualifying session for each race.
Three pre-season test events
To give drivers the chance to practice with the Audi R8 LMS ahead of the season, Audi Sport customer racing Asia will offer three pre-season on-track test events at the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia. The first two will take place in January and February, with the official pre-season testing in April to be held ahead of the season opener.
Drivers can enter the Cup with their own teams or choose from a variety of race packages including arrive-and-drive options. The service providers for the Audi R8 LMS Cup are Absolute Racing, Phoenix Racing Asia and KC Motorgroup (KCMG).
The Audi R8 LMS Cup is operated by Audi China and is part of the Audi Sport customer racing Asia programme.
For additional details, please check at www.audir8lmscup.com
2017 Audi R8 LMS Cup calendar
Official Test / April / Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
Rounds 1&2 / May 6-7 / Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
Rounds 3&4 / June 10-11 / Suzuka International Racing Course, Japan
Rounds 5&6 / August / Korea – further details TBC
Rounds 7&8 / September 9-10 / Shanghai Audi International Circuit, China
Rounds 9&10 / October 20-21 / Zhejiang International Circuit, China