Beijing, March 13, 2019 – Chinese racing outfit Tianshi Racing Team (TSRT) has announced an Audi R8 LMS GT3 entry for this year’s Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia. The Audi Sport Asia Team TSRT entry reflects the close cooperation between Audi Sport customer racing Asia and the China-based customer team. TSRT driver David Chen has been appointed as an Audi Sport Asia driver for the 2019 season with more additions to the Audi Sport Asia driver pool to be announced soon.
Newly-crowned GT Masters Asia champion and former Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup Am+ title holder Chen is joined by Japan Super GT star and former F3 Macau Grand Prix winner André Couto for the team’s Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia campaign.
“TSRT has quickly earned a reputation as a highly-professional and successful Chinese outfit. We are excited to have them in the Audi motorsport family. David Chen is a very focused, up-and-coming Chinese driver and André Couto a proven professional with lots of Audi R8 LMS GT3 experience. It is good to see such a capable entry for Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia,” said Martin Kuehl, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia.
Chinese racing team TSRT has been a strong force in the China GT Championship and Asian Le Mans Series over the last season, also clinching the 2018/19 GT Masters Asia GT3 title with Chen and Billy Lo.
Chen won the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup Am+ title in 2017 at the age of just 21, becoming the first-ever amateur class driver to win a Cup race outright in the process. He also won the 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series Am title and is the reigning Circuit Hero One GTC class champion. Japan Super GT star Couto, meanwhile, has also featured in the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup, finishing second overall in 2014. The Macanese driver has two decades of professional motorsport experience under his belt, including a wealth of experience with Audi race cars. In 2018, Couto competed in an Audi R8 LMS GT3 in Japan’s Super Taikyu Series with Phoenix Racing Asia.
The Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia gets underway in April for the opening rounds at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit. Audi Sport Asia Team TSRT will contest all 12 races with the 2019 evolution of the championship-winning Audi R8 LMS GT3.
Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia 2019 calendar
Rounds 1&2, April 6-7, Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
Rounds 3&4, May 11-12, Buriram International Circuit, Thailand
Rounds 5&6, June 22-23, Suzuka Circuit, Japan
Rounds 7&8, July 6-7, Fuji International Speedway, Japan
Rounds 9&10, August 3-4, Korea International Circuit, South Korea
Rounds 11&12, September 27-28, Shanghai International Circuit, China