A proven platform for international motorsport talent and a powerful career launch pad, Formula Masters China Series (FMCS) unveiled on Tuesday, an impressive swathe of new initiatives to turbocharge the careers of its drivers in partnership with the Audi R8 LMS Cup and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.
The region’s leading junior single-seater championship and the two prestigious one-make sportscar series form part of the influential Volkswagen Group China motorsport family. With the common goal of developing motorsport in China and the region, FMCS, together with its sister championships, continues to build upon the vast array of unmatched opportunities it brings its drivers. For the Audi R8 LMS Cup and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, the expanded partnership in 2016 broadens the two championships’ commitment to young driver development.
Truly international and fiercely competitive, over the past three seasons top FMCS talents have gone on to compete in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, the GP3 Series, in the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix and the LMP2 category of the European Le Mans Series. FMCS drivers have also been awarded opportunities to compete in the Audi R8 LMS Cup, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia.
This season, the region’s brightest talents will not only be fighting for the FMCS Drivers Classification but also the chance to impress in both the Audi R8 LMS Cup and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.
Building on the successes of last year, three FMCS drivers will take part in a one-day exclusive Audi R8 LMS Cup test. In 2015, eventual FMCS champion Martin Rump was chosen for the test, and the Estonian’s performance earned him a seat in the Audi R8 LMS Cup season finale.
On top of the chance to earn guest drives in the Audi R8 LMS Cup, Audi Sport customer racing Asia and FMCS plan to grow their collaboration further this season to offer even greater opportunities in Asia and beyond.
Selected FMCS drivers will also gain experience of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia this season. At the respected GT series’ test day later this month, current FMCS drivers Kim Jeong Tae of South Korea, Australian Aidan Read and young Chinese talent James Yu, as well as 2015 FMCS Best Chinese Driver Trophy winner Yuan Bo, will each receive a comprehensive introduction to the championship from Porsche factory driver Earl Bamber. Bamber, reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans champion, began his meteoric career ascent after winning the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia in 2013 and 2014.
One FMCS driver will receive an exclusive Porsche Carrera Cup Asia test in 2017, while a coveted entry to the end-of-season Porsche China Junior Programme 2017 shootout has also been earmarked for one exceptional FMCS driver.
In addition to opportunities to test and race, both the Audi R8 LMS Cup and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will offer FMCS drivers a taste of life at the pinnacle of the Audi and Porsche global motorsport programmes. A number of FMCS drivers will be chosen to attend the 6 Hours of Nürburgring in July courtesy of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, while others will receive invitations from the Audi R8 LMS Cup for the Nürburgring 24 Hours in May.
Following the impressive class win by the all-FMCS line up at the 2015 Sepang 12 Hours, long-time FMCS tire partner Giti will again reward selected drivers with entry to a prestigious endurance race later this season.
“We are delighted to continue our partnerships with the Audi R8 LMS Cup and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, and we welcome their increased involvement in the Formula Masters China Series,” said Dominic Lyncker, Head of Group Sports Car, Motorsport and Car Culture, Volkswagen Group (China).
“In striving to achieve our common goal of developing motorsport in China and the region, we believe there is a natural progression from the FMCS platform and the region’s leading sportscar series. We are proud that so many of our alumni have taken the professional motorsport foundation they built with us in FMCS and used it to further their careers. With these expanded partnerships, we are able to offer the region’s brightest motorsport talent career advancement opportunities that are unmatched anywhere in the world.”
Formula Masters China Series 2016 Provisional Calendar:
|21-22 May||1-3||Shanghai International Circuit, China|
|18-19 June||4-6||Zhuhai International Circuit, China|
|23-24 July||7-9||Chang International Circuit, Thailand|
|13-14 August||10-12||Kuala Lumpur Street Circuit, Malaysia|
|8-9 October||13-15||Penbay International Circuit, Chinese Taipei|
|29-30 October||16-18||Zhejiang Circuit, China|