The Audi R8 LMS Cup has announced that Italian tyre giant, Pirelli, has become the GT3 sprint series’ exclusive tyre partner. This week’s official pre-season testing for privateers at the Sepang International Circuit – aimed at introducing new drivers to the Audi R8 LMS – represented a successful first outing for the new cooperation.
The partnership builds on Pirelli’s reputation as a tyre manufacturer synonymous with motorsport. Along with its long-standing partnership with Formula One, the list of Pirelli-supplied events and races has a strong GT focus including the FIA GT World Cup in Macau, which was won by Audi at the end of last season.
Audi R8 LMS Cup drivers will also now be vying for a new honour on race days: the Pirelli Best Lap trophy will be awarded for the quickest single lap recorded in each race of the Cup’s sixth season. As the season progresses, the number of Pirelli Best Lap awards will be tallied to result in an overall category winner at the end of the 10-race season.
Furthermore, the 2017 season of the Cup sees the introduction of a new tyre regulation. Each driver will receive three sets of new Pirelli P Zero tyres for each race weekend – one more than in previous seasons – giving teams greater flexibility to test their car set-up ahead of races.
The previously announced partnership between the Audi R8 LMS Cup and Blancpain GT Series Asia – another GT series supplied by Pirelli – is further underlined. Teams competing in both series will benefit from not having to recalibrate different tyres between races. Further synergies between the two series include an aligned calendar, fully subsidised costs for transporting cars between both series and the incentive of a free entry into the Total 24 Hours of Spa for the Amateur Cup champion’s team.
The Audi R8 LMS Cup’s sixth season will begin with Rounds 1 and 2 at the Sepang International Circuit on 6-7 May. The 10-race, five-stop season will see the exciting return of the push-to-pass feature, which temporarily unlocks additional horsepower in the car with the push of a button. Amateur competitors will also receive a number of benefits including a full reimbursement of the season’s tyre costs for the classification champion, plus twice the amount of push-to-passes for each race than their professional counterparts.
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 Sport customer racing Asia. For additional details, visit the website at www.audir8lmscup.com.