Two of Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS’s most experienced drivers, Sun Jingzu and Franky Cheng Congfu, are returning to the series with Absolute Racing and Audi Sport Asia.
Theirs is the first of two R8 LMS GT3 Evo IIs entered by the Chinese team this year. Its second driver pairing will be confirmed at a later date.
Sun and Cheng contested the series’ maiden season together with Absolute in 2017 before racing separately a year later. Their partnership was then rekindled in 2019 before the global pandemic prevented them from racing internationally until now.
However, Cheng – whose decade within Audi Sport’s ranks has featured Le Mans and DTM appearances – was at least able to compete domestically last season when he won the China GT Championship title with an Absolute-prepared R8 LMS GT3.
“I am really looking forward to this year’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia,” he said. “I expect a big field with very competitive teams and drivers, so myself, Jingzu, and Absolute Racing are trying our best to prepare ourselves for this very tough challenge ahead of us. But we are super excited after three years absent from international races. We are really looking forward to getting ourselves back on the international stage.”
His co-driver has been unable to compete since covid restrictions halted motorsport in China. Finally returning to the regional stage therefore represents a significant milestone.
“I have been away from racing for almost three years, so it will not be easy to come back to such a competitive and high-standard championship,” said Sun. “Although I know it will be tough, I am determined to do well and quickly get back up to speed. I am looking forward to teaming up again with Franky [Cheng Congfu] and having the support of Absolute Racing once more. Above all, the most important thing is to enjoy the championship and the races.”
Absolute Racing team director Ingo Matter added: “We are delighted to have Franky and Jingzu return to our team for Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia. We know that Jingzu hasn't driven much in the past three years, but we hope that with the help of Franky, he will quickly regain his previous level before the pandemic. We look forward to working with them once again and achieving success together.”
Absolute will also run two new 992-spec Porsche 911 GT3 Rs this season. The first of those driver pairings, Bao Jinlong and Alex Imperatori, was announced in March.
The Chang International Circuit in Thailand hosts the opening round of 2023’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS campaign on May 12-14. Further events at Fuji, Suzuka, Motegi, Okayama and Sepang then follow.