The Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup will conclude following this month’s season finale in Sepang, it has been announced, making way for a new trophy for Audi privateer drivers across multiple championships in Asia.
Dubbed the Audi Sport Asia Trophy, customers will compete for a total of €100,000 ($110,000) in financial rewards and a fully-funded GT3 entry into the 2021 Suzuka 10 Hours.
In addition, increased support for customers in 2020 includes incentives for fielding newly-purchased Audi R8 LMS GT3, GT2 and GT4 race cars into regional multi-marque championships, access to the Audi Sport Asia professional driver pool for strategic entries, as well as technical and parts support.
The new motorsport strategy of Audi Sport customer racing Asia builds on the success of the one-make Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup.
After eight years of playing a central role in the development of the region’s motorsport industry, the Cup will hold its final event at at Sepang later this month.
“Our new motorsport strategy for Asia reflects the changes in one of the most dynamic motorsport markets in the world,” said Martin Kuehl, director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia.
“Almost every weekend, our customers compete in various championships across Asia. With the new Audi Sport Asia Trophy and our entry incentives we cater towards our customers in this evolved racing landscape.
“When we started the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup in 2012, GT racing in Asia was in its early stages.
“Since then, the Cup has been a powerful catalyst in the development of the GT segment.
“The world’s first and only one-make series for full-spec GT3 race cars has achieved what it set out to accomplish. Now, we turn the page to the next chapter.”
The new Asia Trophy will be open to privateers competing in an GT2, GT3, GT4 or TCR-spec Audis.
Entries and results in the region’s series and events will result in a score that is weighted according to the relative strength and competitiveness of the series and also the car category entered.
Scores over the season will be tallied with all drivers competing for financial rewards totaling €100,000.
In addition, the top three drivers in the ranking who have contested one full GT3 championship in 2020 will each win a seat on a fully-funded Audi Sport Asia privateer team for the 2021 Suzuka 10 Hours.
The successful Audi Sport Asia driver pool program will continue into its third year, with young professional driving talent fulfilling both mentoring and driving roles alongside customers in the region.
This season the program saw official Audi Sport Asia drivers Martin Rump, Weiron Tan, Cheng Congfu and Chen Weian strengthen the campaigns of a number of Audi customer teams in prestigious championships such as the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia and the Thailand Super Series, with Chen set for his Macau Grand Prix GT World Cup debut later this month.
Full details about the respective programs for 2020 will be released shortly.