***Bhurit Bhirombhakdi (Race 1) and Andrew Haryanto (Race 2) have scored pole positions for this weekend’s Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup rounds at the Nürburgring. Haryanto took his No. 28 ProMax Team Audi R8 LMS GT3 to a quick lap of 1:42.095 in Q2, which was the fastest lap of the weekend thus far.
***Former Superbike World Champion Carlos Cecha, in his four-wheeled circuit racing debut, meanwhile, claimed GT4 pole honors for Race 1 in his TKL Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT4.
***Cecha is in one of the five Audi GT4 cars this weekend, in a guest appearance coordinated by Audi AG and Ducati. “For us, it’s great,” Head of Audi Sport customer racing Asia Martin Kuehl told Sportscar365. “Also for the other drivers, it’s quite special to be in a race together with him.”
***This weekend marks the first official race for the Audi R8 LMS GT4 in the Cup, following the category’s introduction in Adelaide as an exhibition event for Adderly Fong and Cheng Congfu.
***Kuehl said that he expects a strong number of GT4 cars for the Asian leg of the Cup later this year, with multiple tests with prospective customers in China planned in the coming months. “We’re very confident we will see more and more of these cars on the tracks in Asia,” he said.
***The Cup’s European debut at the Nürburgring marks the 15th different circuit the series has visited since its inception in 2013, with. Germany being the tenth different country/region.
***A total of 16 cars are entered, including several German-based teams making their series debuts, including Montaplast by Land Motorsport, Car Collection Motordport and LMS Engineering.
***Carsten Tilke, son of legendary track designer Hermann, is entered in Land’s No. 42 Audi R8 LMS GT3, while Yasser Shahin, owner of the newly opened The Bend Motorsport Park, near Adelaide, has returned following his initial one-off outing in Australia.
***Shahin is understood to now be set to complete the season in the No. 74 Audi GT3.
***A single previous-generation Audi R8 LMS ultra is also on the grid this weekend, for Bernhard Henzel. The No. 148 entry is understood to be utilizing a larger air restrictor to bring the car’s performance in line with the other GT3-spec Audis.
***Five of the Cup’s Asian drivers were invited to take part in an official VLN driving workshop on Wednesday, which saw each of the drivers turn laps on the famed Nordschleife circuit for the first time. Unlike the Nürburging 24, the Cup is being contested on the GP layout this weekend.
***The name of the Cup has evolved from last year, with the Audi Sport moniker now in the title, to align it with the German manufacturer’s global motorsports activities.
***It’s a busy weekend for Audi Sport customer racing Asia, with supported entries in action in both the Blancpain GT Series Asia round in Buriram and the China GT Championship season-opener in Zhuhai. Absolute Racing, which services the majority of the Asian teams in the R8 LMS Cup, meanwhile, is also pulling double duty between the Nürburgring and Buriram.
***Watch live coverage of Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup on the series’ official Web site, with coverage for Round 3 getting underway Friday at 7:45 a.m ET (1:45 p.m. local time) and Round 3 set for Saturday at 2:10 a.m. ET (8:10 a.m. local time).