Ground breaking weekend at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the Asian Le Mans Series teams

  • All Asian Le Mans Series runners cross the finish line of the 24 Hour race.
  • Jackie Chan DC Racing win the LMP2 Class & finish 2nd outright in the #38.
  • Clearwater Racing take the lead of the LMGTE Am class in the World Endurance Championship.

Asian Le Mans Series competitors have made a significant impact in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A record number of entrants in the French endurance classic had raced in the Asian Le Mans Series previously, and today all of them crossed the finish line after 24 Hours.

The race proved to be the ultimate test of endurance yet again, with drama hitting every class. For the Asian Le Mans Series teams, including those making their debut such as Tockwith Motorsport and ARC Bratislava, crossing the line at the end was an impressive achievement.

Asian Le Mans Series Managing Director, Cyrille Taesch Wahlen:
Congratulations to all of the Asian Le Mans Series competitors here this weekend! The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the greatest endurance race in the world, and one of the toughest races in motorsport. This year the hot weather all week only made the race more challenging.

It is humbling to see teams that have grown with us through the Asian Le Mans Series, succeed at the highest level, on the global motorsport stage. Some are already competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship – this is a big part of our progression plan up the endurance racing ladder and we hope to see even more of the emerging talent from a fast growing Asian market to join.

Leading the way was Chinese LMP2 team, Jackie Chan DC Racing. Not only did they claim the LMP2 Class victory, they also came home second overall after heavy attrition hit the premier class.

Not only did the team become the first from the Asian Le Mans Series to lead the race outright, Jackie Chan DC Racing team also became the first ever Chinese team, and LMP2 team, to lead the 24 Hours of Le Mans in their Oreca 07 Gibson. In the #38, their driver Ho Pin Tung became the first Chinese licenced driver to win a class at Le Mans. The team has also extended their lead in the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 teams.

It was not only Jackie Chan DC Racing that shone at the iconic endurance race.  Asian Le Mans Series graduates, Clearwater Racing, that are running the full World Endurance Championship, finished strongly in 5th place in the LMGTE Am class. Importantly they were the first of the full WEC season teams to finish. This sees them leave Le Mans leading the LMGTE Am class with their Ferrari 488 LMGTE.

In the Road to Le Mans support races, Hong Kong based WIN Motorsport and Japanese team, TKS debuted in Europe this weekend. For both teams it was a positive weekend. They not only learnt a lot about Le Mans, they also came away with very solid results. Both teams picked up a top ten race finish during the weekend. At Le Mans, the Road to Le Mans series featured a very strong, 48 car grid making these results even more impressive. WIN Motorsports and TKS are both currently racing in the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup and will return to Sepang for the second round in July.

Asian Le Mans Series Celebrating their teams at Le Mans

This week marks a significant milestone for the Asian Le Mans Series – 11 cars from 8 teams that have competed in the series will take part in the premier endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The success of the ACO’s Asian Series as a stepping stone to the premier event is clear with this year seeing the biggest representation of teams competing in the Asian Le Mans Series ever seen, and the Series expects next year to be even bigger.

On the grid this weekend will be all three Championship winners from the 2016/17 season, Algarve Pro Racing (LMP2 winner), Tockwith Motorsports (LMP3 winner) and DH Racing (GT winner). Each received an invitation to take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a result of winning their class in the Asian Le Mans Series.

 

Cyrille Taesch-Wahlen, Asian Le Mans Series Managing Director:
To see a record number of Asian Le Mans Series teams here this weekend is really positive, and we expect the number to be higher next year. The Motorsport industry in Asia is booming and it is our intention to do whatever we can to help drive this growth even further.

We are excited to be able to offer our teams the opportunity to make the step up from Asia to the World Championship. As the reference endurance racing series for prototypes and GT classes in Asia, we offer the only direct pathway into a World Championship and into the world’s most significant endurance race – the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In addition to the 11 entries taking part in the main race, there are also two Asian Le Mans Series teams competing in the Road to Le Mans support race this weekend.

 


Competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans:
Algarve Pro Racing Team – Samantha Cox:
2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series LMP2 Champions.
Competing in the Asian Le Mans Series and gaining an automatic entry by winning the 2016/2017 LMP2 Championship have given the team and drivers confidence for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.We enjoyed a really strong campaign in the Asian Le Mans Series this year, and this was pivotal in helping us prepare for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team put in a lot of work, a lot of effort and everyone played a role in bringing us the success.

The Asian series is getting bigger and stronger all of the time, and we had a great season with many podium positions with both cars. Out Championship success paved the way for us to compete at Le Mans again with the guaranteed entry, and this made it so much easier for us to plan and execute our programme.

Eurasia Motorsport – Mark Goddard:
2nd in the 2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series LMP2
Eurasia has competed in Asian Le Mans Series from the first event back in 2013. We felt that it was a great way to prepare the team for racing in the Le Mans 24 Hours, and I believe our record in European Le Mans Series, we finished 5th overall in 2016, demonstrates that Asian Le Mans Series really helps develop world class teams. Last year was our first Le Mans and not only did we finish but we were 9th overall, 5th in the LMP2 class and first non-WEC team home.

As the Asian Le Mans Series grows we will see more Asian based teams compete in the 24H and the WEC. This year we are running a Ligier at Le Mans and we are happy to be running a car from a manufacturer which fully supports the Asian market with on-site spares and technical back up.  Our aim is to finish and to once again reward the faith ACO has put into Asian Le Mans Series teams.

Tockwith Motorsports – Simon Moore:
2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 Champions. They have made the step up to LMP2 this year and in addition to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, are competing in the full European Le Mans Series.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable season in the Asian Le Mans Series and couldn’t have been happier, as we clinched the title with our drivers Nigel Moore and Phil Hanson in our Ligier JS P3. This triumph was the catalyst that provided us with our official entry to Le Mans this week, and it’s our intention to defend our title in the coming Asian series. We are really looking forward to meeting the many friends we made during our last adventure in Asia. All being well we will there.

ARC Bratislava – Miro Konôpka:
Joint 2nd place in the 2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series LMP3
I’m really happy to race in Asia. I love the tracks there, and there is a very welcome friendly atmosphere every time we come there.

Our success in Asian Le Mans Series helped us to start at 24h Le Mans. I will remember it forever.

Clearwater Racing – Weng Sun Mok:
2015/16 Asian Le Mans Series GT Champions
The Asian Le Mans Series is THE reason that I’m at Le Mans again, and now a full time competitor in the WEC. It’s the reason why Clearwater Racing are entering two cars at the 24-Hours this year! Without the experience of participating in the very well run and highly competitive series that the Asian Le Mans Series is, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity, or impetus, to enter Le Mans, let alone the WEC.

I firmly believe that the Asian Le Mans Series is a crucial stepping stone for both Asian teams and drivers who one day wish to fulfil that cherished dream of competing at the world’s premiere endurance racing event.

Spirit of Race – Amato Ferrari:
From the very beginning we believed in the Asian Le Mans Series and in its high potential as shown by our numerous attendances and many investments.

Precisely thanks to our participations we have developed relationships and partnerships  that allow us to be in the FIA WEC with an additional car lined up for Clearwater, and in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with two cars for Clearwater and another one for DH Racing. Soon we will announce the official plans looking at 2017/2018 championship.

Competing in the Road to Le Mans:
WIN Motorsports – William Lok:
WIN Motorsport is delighted to exclusively fly the flag for Hong Kong amongst the prestigious international Road to Le Mans field.

WIN Motorsports arrives in La Sarthe carrying the momentum of two overall victories in the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup opening rounds on our racing debut in Malaysia recently. The Road to Le Mans double-header is an excellent ACO initiative. It represents an ideal showcase for the leading Asian Le Mans Series teams such as WIN Motorsport to compete in Europe on the undercard of the world’s greatest endurance race. WIN Motorsport intends to take this opportunity to make Hong Kong – and Asia – proud.

TKS – Shinyo Sano:
We participated in Asian Le Mans Series GT-Cup class for the first time last year. This year we entered the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup which gave us this great opportunity to participate in Road to Le Mans in LMP3 class, this is new challenge for us.

We will try to do our best, and are hoping we can get an excellent result in the race. I’m excited to fight on the La Sarthe circuit.

24 HOURS OF LE MANS
LMP2

Eurasia Motorsport

33 LMP2 Ligier JS P217 Gibson

Tockwith Motorsports

34  LMP2 Ligier JS P217 Gibson

Jackie Chan DC Racing

37  LMP2 Oreca 07 Gibson
38  LMP2 Oreca 07 Gibson

Algarve Pro Racing Team

45  LMP2 Ligier JS P217 Gibson

ARC Bratislava

49  LMP2 Ligier JS P217 Gibson

GTE AM
Spirit of Race

54  GTE AM Ferrari 488 GTE
55  GTE AM Ferrari 488 GTE

Clearwater Racing

60  GTE AM Ferrari 488 GTE
61  GTE AM Ferrari 488 GTE

DH Racing

83  GTE AM Ferrari 488 GTE

ROAD TO LE MANS
WIN Motorsports
TKS