Renowned Hong Kong-based international racing team KCMG will field a pair of Audi R8 LMS GT3s in Blancpain GT Series Asia this season.
Its Pro/Am ‘Champion Racing by KCMG’ entry will be driven at all six rounds by Martin Rump and Rick Yoon, while the R8 LMS of Am/Am pairing Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka is scheduled to appear at four of this season’s events.
20-year-old Estonian Rump has already packed plenty into a short career. His and KCMG’s association continues into a third year after winning the Formula Masters China Series together in 2015 and finishing third overall in last season’s Audi R8 LMS Cup under the same Champion Racing banner that will be used in Blancpain GT Series Asia this term.
“The new Blancpain GT Series Asia is definitely a new challenge with many new aspects for myself and the team,” he said. “It’s already my third year in a row working with KCMG and seeing the passion in the eyes of each team member assures me it’s going to be another good season ahead.
“I’m very excited to get back in the car! We know our way around the Audi R8 since last season so we should be looking strong and the entire team is looking forward to validate this at the first event at Sepang.”
His full-season co-driver Yoon began racing in 2015 but has the added benefit of driving KCMG’s Audi R8 LMS last season. The South Korean is feeling confident about his and Rump’s chances.
“I am very excited ahead of the new Blancpain GT Series Asia’s opening race in Sepang,” he said. “I have raced in two Audi R8 LMS Cup events – one with KCMG during the closing round in Shanghai. Martin and KCMG are the perfect team for me as I take on a higher level of racing as a gentleman driver.
“Audi R8 LMS has been my car of choice since I started in 2015 and Sepang has been one of the circuits where I’ve produced positive results. All these factors make me confident that we will have a strong performance during the season opener at Sepang.”
KCMG’s second entry features its traditional blue and white livery, and will be raced by Japanese Am duo Takeda san and Shirasaka san at four of this year’s Blancpain GT Series Asia rounds, including 2017’s Sepang curtain raiser.
Takeda san competed in last season’s Motul Sepang 12 Hours, while Shirasaka san has raced an array of GT3 machinery in Super GT’s GT300 class since 2013.
“I’m thrilled to participate in the new Blancpain GT Series Asia with KCMG and to share the car with Takuya Shirasaka,” said Takeda san. “I’m also looking forward to working with the entire team and with KCMG’s experience with the Audi R8, I am confident that we will be one of the competitive teams on the grid.”
Shirasaka added: “It’s a great opportunity to be part of KCMG’s Blancpain GT Series Asia campaign. It will be very interesting to race against other top Asian teams around the region and my aim is to produce positive results with my team-mate Naoto Takeda. Looking forward to seeing you all at the first event in Sepang and thank you in advance for your support.”
KCMG is one of Asia’s best known racing teams. As well as competing in regional championships such as Audi R8 LMS Cup, Super Formula, Asian Le Mans Series and Japanese F3, the squad has achieved international success at Le Mans and in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Its pair of Audis join the likes of Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche on the entry list for Sepang, which hosts Blancpain GT Series Asia’s inaugural event on April 8/9.
2017 Blancpain GT Series Asia Schedule
April 8/9 - Sepang, Malaysia
May 20/21 - Chang International Circuit, Thailand
June 24/25 - Suzuka, Japan
August 19/20 - Fuji Speedway, Japan
September 23/24 - Shanghai, China
October 21/22 - Zhejiang, China