Two R8 LMS On Podium In Sepang's MMER

BY Azfar Hashim

Alexandre Imperatori, Henri Moser and Matt Solomon finish third overall

The Audi R8 LMS ultra #99 of Team Absolute Racing claimed third place at the Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race (MMER), which took place this weekend. After posting encouraging lap times during qualifying on Friday, all three Audi entries of Team Absolute Racing got off to a good start in Saturday’s race at the Sepang International Circuit.

The Audi R8 LMS ultra #99 of the Swiss pair, Alexandre Imperatori and Henri Moser, with Audi Hong Kong driver, Matt Solomon, started from fifth on the grid. They took fourth position in the first couple of laps and managed to push up as high as second in the afternoon. However, they were back in fourth by dusk, and maintained their position with consistent driving throughout the evening.

In the final hour they had managed to close a five-lap gap to take third place and the final spot on the podium. This was an excellent result for youngster Solomon, who was taking part in his first endurance race. This achievement underlines the driver development programme of Audi for the upcoming talent.

The day was frustrating for local Malaysian driver, Ashraff Dewal, Jacky Yeung from Hong Kong, and Audi factory driver Marchy Lee. Their Audi R8 LMS Cup car #69 experienced technical problems throughout the afternoon. Despite the best efforts of the mechanics, they were forced to retire early in the evening, after completing 109 laps. Audi R8 LMS Cup drivers, Jeffrey Lee, Adderly Fong and Massimo Vignali were very unfortunate. Their Audi R8 LMS ultra #101 started from seventh on the grid and were driving well in the afternoon. However, contact with another car forced them off the track and they retired after 43 laps.

The two other Audi R8 LMS entries of B-Quik Racing, from Thailand, and MPC, from Australia, put in good performances with steady driving. B-Quik took second place in the GTC class, the second podium for Audi, while MPC finished the 12-hour race in sixth.