PRESS RELEASE/Tony Bates Racing – Photo: supplied
A shattered Tony Bates has missed out on a top-four finish in Round 6 of the Audi R8 LMS Cup at Shanghai today, a broken alternator belt forcing the Moveitnet/Local Roadways/C-Tech Laser/AFS/Bryant & Bryant entry into retirement on the very last lap.
In qualifying, Bates recorded the eighth-fastest time with an improvement of one second compared to Saturday.
Another rapid start saw Bates improving to fourth by Turn 3, a position he held comfortably for the first half of the race, even closing in on the third-placed driver.
“I was really happy with the start, and once I settled into a rhythm, I felt the best I had all weekend,” Bates said.
“I had recovered from the illness I had suffered during Friday and Saturday, I was executing everything I had discussed with my engineer and I was keeping pace with the leaders.”
With just a handful of laps to go, the malfunctioning alternator started playing havoc with the car’s essential systems.
“I knew something was wrong when alarms started appearing on the dash, and then my cool suit stopped working,” Bates said.
“The problems became progressively worse and the car jammed in third gear, and then it finally died on the last lap.”
Bates was still classified in eighth position, scoring valuable points to maintain his top-three position in the standings.
“Considering the challenges we’ve had, fourth would have been an excellent way to finish the weekend; to have that taken away from us is obviously disappointing, but it’s not as disastrous for the championship as it might have been,” he said.
“It’s been a thrill learning a new track, and I’m still well within striking distance of the points lead, so it will be game on in the last four rounds at Suzuka and Sepang,” Bates concluded.
The Audi R8 LMS Cup resumes on August 23-24 at Japan’s famous Suzuka circuit.
Audi R8 LMS Cup Points
1. Yasser Shahin – 81
2. Alex Au – 66
3. Tony Bates – 54
4. Anthony Liu – 52
5. Bhurit Bhirombhakdi – 49
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