Asian Le Mans Series Makes Significant Changes for 2017/2018 Season

A Fourth Automatic Entry for Le Mans, a New Amateur GT sub-class and 6 Hour Race For Buriram

Good news for the GT class
There’s good news for the Asian Le Mans Series and its GT class today as the ACO have confirmed a fourth automatic entry for the Le Mans 24 Hours to be awarded for success in the Series.
The current three auto entries are made to the overall Champions (in LMP2) to the LMP3 Champions (again in LMP2) and the GT Champions (in LM GTE AM). The fourth entry will also go to a GT team with the Series currently developing an ‘Am’ sub-class to accommodate demand in the region for an opportunity to compete in endurance racing amongst gentleman drivers, the detailed regulations of which will be released shortly.
If the new sub-class attracts sufficient numbers of entries the auto entry will go to the winning team, if not then the second placed team in the GT class Championship will receive the invitation. Should the auto entry be awarded to the first runner-up of the GT class, the winner of the Am class will receive a free entry in the 2018/2019 Asian Le Mans Series. The decision will be taken prior to the start of the season when the full season entry is known.

Buriram to host the 6h race.
As previously announced, the Series will keep a four-event format but include a longer race.
The 2017/2018 Asian Le Mans Series calendar will see the debut of a new six hour race at Buriram in Thailand joining the four hour races scheduled for China, Japan and Malaysia.
The 6 hour of Buriram event will coincide with Thailand’s National Children’s Day on Saturday 13th January 2018.  The race welcomed a 100,000 plus crowd when it was held on the same weekend in 2016.
With early entries already coming in, the 2017/18 grid look set to be strong in every class, the LMP2 class entry already set to exceed last season’s total and with both LMP3 and GT interest looking very strong too.

The Series continued efforts to ensure no significant calendar clashes with the other major series in the region is yet further evidence of the importance of operating in the interests of the teams and their drivers to help build this exciting new marketplace. Asia is already a major player on the world motorsport field, and its importance is growing fast. Further news in LMP2 is that the current rule to allow the previous generation of LMP2 cars to compete up to the 2019 season is set to be extended beyond the introduction of the newer, Gibson engined for the 2019/2020 season, the older cars accommodated within the full Bronze LMP2 Gentlemen Trophy class.

Asian Le Mans Series Managing Director Cyrille Taesch Wahlen said:
“The Asian Le Mans Series is moving forward very quickly with the support of the ACO, and of our customers.  We never stop talking to them, finding out what they need to build their businesses, and to build the motorsport industry in the Asia-Pacific region.The attraction of the mixed class long-distance format is already drawing huge interest with a record Asian Le Mans Series representation at the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours, and some of our newer teams taking part in the Road to Le Mans support races too. A longer race, and more potential to earn an entry to the biggest endurance race in the world, the Le Mans 24 Hours, as well as additional opportunities for gentleman drivers to compete against their peers are all responses to the dialogues we have with the teams.”

2017/ 2018 Asian Le Mans Series Calendar
October 27-29 2017 – Zhuhai (China) – 4 Hour race
December 1/3 2017 – Fuji (Japan) – 4 Hour race
January 11/13 2018 – Buriram (Thailand) – 6 Hour race
February 2/4 2018 – Sepang (Malaysia) – 4 Hour race

First entries come in for the 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series

Three months before the start of the 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series season, the first four entries – three in LMP2 and the first in the GT class – have already been received.

2016/17 LMP2 Champions, Algarve Pro Racing were among the first of a flurry of teams to confirm their entries in the new season. The team has confirmed they will be returning to the LMP2 class with a Ligier that will be driven by Dutch driver Ate de Jong and Korean driver Tack Sung Kim. As a result of winning the 2016/17 Championship, the team received an invitation to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – an invitation they took up in June this year.

Joining them in the LMP2 class will be ARC Bratislava. The Slovak team came second in the LMP3 class of the 2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series with their #4 Ginetta LMP3. This year has already seen the team make the step up from the LMP3 Class in Asia, to LMP2 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

For the 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series, ARC Bratislava will race a Ligier JSP2 that was previously owned by Krohn Racing. Miro Konopka will again be behind the wheel and he will be joined by two other drivers that will be confirmed at a later date.

Team BBT, and driver Anthony Liu, have confirmed they will make the step up from GT racing into prototype racing for the 2017/18 season. The team finished 3rd in the GT Class in the 2016/1 Asian Le Mans Series, racing the #37 Ferrari 488 GT3.

After spending seven years racing in the GT class, Team BBT will, for the first time, run a Ligier JSP2 in the LMP2 class for the 2017/18 season, and will again receive support from AF Corse. They will run with a yet to be confirmed pro driver racing alongside Liu.

Spirit of Race were the first GT team to get their entry in for the 2017/18 season.  Nasrat Muzayyin and FIA gold rated driver, Rui Aguas will once again join forces behind the wheel of the Team’s Ferrari 488 GT3.

The Team finished 5th in the 2016/17 Championship, and joined Algarve Pro Racing and ARC Bratislava, in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The trio were part of a strong contingent of teams that had raced previously in the Asian Le Mans Series.

These entries are a clear indication of the strong interest already being shown by teams and drivers in the Asian Le Mans Series. The interest in part is thanks to the ACO Series demonstrating that it is a strong stepping stone into the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship.