Asian Le Mans Series Champions Crowned in Malaysia

Algarve Pro Racing win the 4 Hours of Sepang and United Autosports win the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series!


Second place in the 4 Hours of Sepang was good enough for the #22 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan of Phil Hanson and Paul De Resta to win the outright Championship in the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series. The #24 Algarve Pro Racing team of Andrea Pizzitola, Harrison Newey and Ate Dirk De Jong gave it their all, winning the race and finishing second in the Championship. 
 
In the LMP2 Am Trophy, ARC Bratislava finished 4thoverall and 1stin class in the 4 Hours of Sepang to claim the Championship win. Driving the ARC Bratislava entry were Miro Konopka, Ling Kang and Darren Burke.  Their main title rivals, the #23 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan suffered a gear box problem that saw them retire from the race. The #25 Algarve Pro Racing entry also retired from the race, securing the championship for ARC Bratislava. 
 
The fight for the LMP3 battle was intense throughout the race, but ultimately it was the #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P3 driven Jakub Smiechowski and Martin Hippe that won the race in dominant style to claim the LMP3 Championship title. In 2ndplace was the #7 Ecurie Ecosse / Nielsen Racing Ligier JS P3 and third was the #2 United Autosports Ligier JS P3. Third place was good enough for the team to secure 2ndplace in the Championship for Chris Buncombe, Garett Grist and Wayne Boyd. 
 
In GT Japanese team Car Guy of Takeshi Kimura, Kei Cozzolino and James Calado capped off a fantastic season by making it four race wins from four starts in their #11 Ferrari 488 GT3 to win the GT Championship! It was not a simple exercise as they were forced to withstand significant pressure from the pole sitting #88 TianShi Racing Team Audi R8 LMS. The #88, raced by Xu Wei, Chen Wei An and Dries Vanthoor finished the race second and the #51 Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi, Ozzy Negri Jr and Francesco Piovanetti finished 3rd, and claimed 2ndplace in the Championship. 
 
The GT Am title went to the second TianShi Racing Team Audi R8 LMS, the #66. Their race unfortunately finished in the garage with a DNF. 
 
On top of the added pressure of it being the Championship decider, the race was run in very high temperatures and humidity making for one of the toughest races of the season. This made the success of the winning teams all the more sweet. 
 
Full race results can be found here. 

Championship points can be found here

Champions crowned and four invitations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans confirmed!

2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series Champions: 

LMP2:  #22 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan
Phil Hanson /Paul De Resta
 
LMP2 Am Trophy:  #4 ARC Bratislava Ligier JS P2 Nissan 
Miro Konopka / Ling Kang / Darren Bourke
 
LMP3: #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P3 
Jakub Smiechowski /Martin Hippe 
 
GT: #11 Car Guy Ferrari 488 GT3
Takeshi Kimura / Kei Cozzolino / James Calado
          
These four teams will also receive and invitation to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
 
The full entry list for the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans will be announced by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest on Friday the 1st of March 2019. 

Grid set for the Asian Le Mans Series Finale!

Pole Position for the 4 Hours of Sepang – the final round of the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series.

LMP2
Pipo Derani – #8 Spirit of Race Ligier JS P2 
 
LMP2 Am Trophy 
Anders Fjordbach – #25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd
 
LMP3 
Wayne Boyd – #2 United Autosports Ligier JS P3
 
GT
Dries Vanthoor – #88 TianShi Racing Team Audi R8 LMS GT3 

 

4 Hours of Sepang – Qualifying Report

Derani and Spirit of Race on pole for the 4 Hours of Sepang. 
Drama in LMP3 as pole winner receives a penalty. 
First ever pole position for new Audi.  

The final round of the Asian Le Mans Series is set to be intense, with Championships and invitations to the 24 Hours of Le Mans all still on the line. With every point counting, claiming the point for qualifying in pole position was never more important. 
 
The first qualifying session was for the GT cars and with the possibility of the #11 Car Guy Ferrari winning the Championship by claiming the point for pole position, qualifying became even more important.  It was not to be their day though, with a blistering lap from Dries Vanthoor, in the TianShi Racing Team Audi claiming pole position. 
 
In the week leading into this round, the TianShi Racing Team’s Audis have been updated and are now running the 2019 evolution of the Audi R8 LMS GT3. The pole lap from Vanthoor also gave the new car its first ever pole position globally.
 
LMP3 qualifying was hit by post-race drama with a penalty for Nigel Moore in the #65 Viper Niza Racing Ligier JS P3 for wearing non-homologated boots in qualifying. This handed pole position, and the very important associated Championship point to Wayne Boyd in the #2 United Autosports Ligier JS P3. 
 
The #2 currently sits in 2ndposition, now just 7 points behind the class leader, the #13 Inter Europol Competition who will start 4thin class. The sister United Autosports #3 Ligier JS P3 and the #79 Ecurie Ecosse / Nielsen Racing also still remain in contention for the championship win. The #79 will start at the rear of the grid after a problem saw them miss the qualifying session. 
 
Pipo Derani and his Spirit of Race team missed the 4 Hours of Buriram, but he left a mark on his return. In a tightly fought battle between him, the two Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd entries, and the Championship leading #22 United Autosports Ligier JS P2. It was Derani that put in a last-minute flyer to claim pole position outright. Second fastest was Phil Hanson behind the wheel of the #22 and Andrea Pizzitola in the #24 Algarve Pro Racing. Fourth fastest, and the fastest LMP2 Am Trophy entry was Anders Fjordbach in the #25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier. 
 
Championship battle lines have been drawn. Live coverage of the race will begin on the series Facebook and YouTube pages at 11:30 tomorrow and entry to the 4 Hours of Sepang, including access to the pit walk and autograph session will be free of change. 
 
Full qualifying results can be found here.

 

 

Driver quotes:
 
LMP2: #8 Spirit of Race – Pipo Derani: It is great to be back, unfortunately we had to miss one race, which took us away from the championship fight. The team did a fantastic job to put this car together. We had a small issue in FP2, so we weren’t sure what was going to happen, but we have managed pole, which is a good way to start the weekend! Unfortunately, with all the different line ups, we know it is going to be difficult. One thing for sure, we will fight from the beginning to the end, like we did in Shanghai. If we come out here with a podium, or even a win, it would be fantastic. 

LMP2 AM Trophy: #25 Algarve Pro Racing – Anders Fjordbach: I am pretty happy with my performance. We dedided not to use our second set of tyres and save them for tomorrow. It was a bit tight to use two sets. For tomorrows race, we think we have a good package with our three drivers and are pretty comfortable.

LMP3 #2 United Autosports – Wayne Boyd: I’m very happy to have been promoted to pole position for the final race of the Asian Le Mans Series. We needed that point for the championship challenge. I feel sorry for Nigel obviously as it wasn’t a performance issue, but we will take the results all the same.
 
GT #88 Tianshi Racing Team – Dries Vanthoor: Qualifying went well, we are on pole, so that is always nice. It is a good start for tomorrow, but it is a four race, so anything could happen. Sepang is a tricky circuit, so it took me a little while to get my lap. It is also a very good day for Audi, as this is the first event they have run with the Evo kit in South East Asia, and it will start on pole. Hopefully we will do a good job tomorrow and see where we can end up after the four hours. It is very hot, so it will be quite an intense race. 

4 Hours of Sepang Schedule:
Sunday, 24 February 2019
09:30 – 10:00 Autograph Session 
12:00 – 16:00 4 Hours of Sepang

*Live programme begins at 11:30am local time. 
 

World Class broadcast schedule – live, in full and for free! 
The Asian Le Mans Series will again be broadcasting all qualifying sessions and races in full, on the Asian Le Mans Series Facebook and You Tube pages, ensuring as many people as possible can watch the races. 
 
For the Australian audience, Speedcafe.com will also be streaming both qualifying and the 4 Hours of Sepang race live on their website. 
 
In addition, the coverage will be streamed live on Tencent Sport in China, Set India on SonyLIV, MotorTrend on Demand in the United States and Europe, and through Motorsport.tv.

Up for grabs – four invitations to the 24 Hours of Le Mans: 
In addition to the glory of winning the outright and class championships, the teams will be fighting for an elusive invitation to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 
 
The winners of the LMP2 and LMP3 classes will each receive an invitation to compete in the LMP2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2019.  New for the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series, there will be an added recognition for LMP2 amateur entries – not only will they be fighting for their own Championship honours, they will also be for an invitation. There will also be one invitation to race in the LM GTE Am class for the winner of the GT class.
 
Prestigious partners:
 The Asian Le Mans Series is proud to be run in partnership with the following partners. 
 
Michelin:
Michelin is the world leader, especially in endurance racing where they have dominated for many years. They have tasted unrivalled success in recent years in the 24 Hours of Le Mans where this year they recorded their 20thconsecutive victory.  
 
TOTAL:
Total is a highly experience fuel supplier, with leading-edge technology. The French petroleum company will exclusively supply the Asian Le Mans Series teams with 102RON fuel specially developed by Total additives and special fuels.

 

2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series Calendar announced!

A trip to Australia, night racing in Malaysia, and a return to China and Thailand!

After experiencing strong growth this season, the Asian Le Mans Series is set to offer teams and drivers new challenges and exciting firsts in the 2019/20 Series.

With an increased audience, particularly in China, growing engagement and reach online, as well as a grid that has grown in depth and quality, the Asian Le Mans Series is cementing its position not only in Asia, but globally.

 

New Calendar:

Just as it did this season, the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series will feature four races each of four hours in length, and it will again start in China at the Shanghai International Circuit on the final weekend of November. The opening race will continue to be run in conjunction with the China Touring Car Championship (CTCC).

As was recently announced (see here) 2020 will see the Series’ first visit to Australia. The second round of the Championship will be held on the 12th of January 2020 at The Bend. The Bend is Australia’s newest permanent circuit and is located approximately 100km from Adelaide in South Australia. The Asian Le Mans Series will be the first series to use the full 7.77km configuration of the circuit.

In a change to their traditional season ending date, the third round of the Championship will be held at the Sepang International Circuit. The race will be held on Saturday the 15th February in 2020.

In another first for the series, the 4 Hours of Sepang will finish at night with the second half of the race being run after sunset.

The final round of the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series will be held at the Buriram International Circuit on the 23rd of February 2020. Moving away from the traditional mid January date, the Thai circuit will instead host the final round of the Championship.

The 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series calendar has been designed to ensure it avoids clashes with other Asian series and major events in the region, whilst also allowing for transport times for those teams from around the world wishing join the Series.

 

2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series Calendar details:

Round 1: 22 – 24 November 2019
Shanghai International Circuit, China

Round 2: 10 – 12 January 2020
The Bend, South Australia

Round 3: 14 – 15 February 2020
Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

Round 4: 21 – 23 February 2020
Buriram Chang International Circuit, Thailand

 

 

24 Hours of Le Mans – Four invitations:

The four invitations to the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans will be awarded in the same way they were for the 2018/19 season. The winners of the LMP2, LMP2 AM Trophy, LMP3 and GT classes will each receive an invitation to compete in the iconic race.

 

Class structure:

The Class structure of the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series will only see one change from the 2018/19 season. The Series will continue to provide a mix of both prototype and GT cars that is synonymous with Le Mans racing.

The only change will be to the cars eligible in the LMP2 and LMP2 Am categories. From the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series, the latest generation LMP2 cars will be eligible to race in the outright class.The older generation cars will continue to be eligible within the Series, however from the 2019/20 season they will be limited to just the LMP2 Am Trophy class.

The full details will be released as a part of the technical and sporting regulations for the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series.

 

Global Broadcast Reach:

The current Asian Le Mans Series has seen significant growth in the audience, particularly in China. The engagement and reach of the Series social media accounts have also grown considerably through increased and improved social content.

For the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series the coverage will again grow, boosted by additional content, to deliver a world class broadcast programme. The highly popular live streams of all qualifying sessions and races will continue, as will the comprehensive global tv broadcast coverage programme.

The full details of the growth in coverage will be released after the final round of the season, and the full broadcast programme will be announced closer to the start of the season.

Championships up for grabs in Asian Le Mans Series Finale!

4 Hours of Sepang Preview

The final round of the Asian Le Mans Series will be held this weekend at the Sepang International Circuit. After a season full of close and exciting racing, all four championships, and their respective invitations to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, remain up for grabs!

The 4 Hours of Sepang, will see the arrival of an additional LMP3 entry from the ARC Bratislava team, and the return of both the #8 Spirit of Race LMP2 entry and the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing LMP3 entry.

The R24 LMP3 entry will see and all new driver line up including Katherine Legge. Dries Vanthoor will return in the #88 TianShi Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3, and series new comer Qi Peiwen (Aven) will be in their #66 Audi.

Entry list for the 4 Hours of Sepang

 

LMP2

After missing the previous round in Thailand, the #8 Spirit of Race Ligier JS P2 will be back with Côme Ledogar, Alexander West, and Pipo Deranifor the 4 Hours of Sepang. While the #8 is expected to be fighting for the race win, the Championship battle is now down to just three teams, series debutants, United Autosports, 2016/17 Champions Algarve Pro Racing and ARC Bratislava.

4 Hours of Buriram race winners, Phil Hanson and Paul di Resta in the United Autosports #22 Ligier JS P2 Nissanhold a commanding lead of 18 points in the 2018/19 season. Currently second are the 4 Hours of Fuji winners, Harrison Newey and Andrea Pizzitola in the #24 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd. For the final round they will again be joined by Ate Dirk De Jong.

The #4 ARC Bratislava Ligier JS P2 Nissan being driven by Miro Konopka, Kang Ling and Darren Burke are also still in with a chance. To win, they must win the race, the #22 DNF, and the #24 finishes 2ndor worse.
 

LMP2 Am Trophy

The ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissanalso comes into the final round of season with a 9-point lead in the LMP2 Am Trophy class. Their closest rivals are the #23 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan, Guy Cosmo, Patrick Byrne and Salih Yoluc who are 9 points behind them.
 

LMP3

The LMP3 Championship has been intense this year and going into the final round there are four entire still in contention for the win.

With a race win and two second place finishes the Class, LMP3 Championships leaders, Jakub Smiechowski and Martin Hippe inthe #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P3 have an 8-point lead.

In second place is the United Autosports #2 Ligier JS P3 Nissan, driven by Chris Buncombe, Garett Grist and Wayne Boyd, and 9 points behind them is the sister United Autosports, Ligier JS P3 Nissan, the #3 driven by Matthew Bell, and Kay van Berlo. While it is a long shot, the #79 Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen Racing Ligier JS P3 Nissanis 20 points behind the Class leaders. With 26 points on offer for pole and the race win, it is still possible.

The 4 Hours of Sepang will see the welcome return of the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry. Racing for the team will be Rick Yoon, Jake Parsons and James Winslow.

As previously announced, the line-up of the R24 entry will feature Katherine Legge, Margot Laffite, and Michelle Gatting for the 4 Hours of Sepang.

 

GT

Series new comers, Japanese team Car Guy have dominated the GT class this season winning every race in the 2018/19 Season, with their #11 Ferrari 488 GT3. In the 4 Hours of Sepang, drivers Takeshi Kimura, Kei Cozzolino and James Calado will again come under intense pressure from the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 being driven by Alessadro Pier Guidi, Ozzy Negri Jr and Francesco Piovanetti. The #51 can still win the Championship, but they must win and the #11 not score any points.

Official Audi Sport driver Dries Vanthoor will return with the TianShi Racing Team (TSRT) in the #88 Audi R8 LMS GT3. He will be racing with Xu Wei and (David) Chen Wei An.

Joining the #66 entry will be new driver Qi Peiwen (Aven) who has previously race in the teams SEAT TCR entry. He will join Zhang Yaqi (Dennis), and Max Wiser.

 

4 Hours of Sepang Schedule:

Friday, 22 February 2019

08:15 Full grid photo
15:10 – 16:40 Free Practice 1

Saturday, 23 February 2019

10:45 – 12:15 Free Practice 2
15:35 – 15:50 GT Qualifying
16:00 – 16:15 LMP2 & LMP3 Qualifying

Sunday, 24 February 2019

09:30 – 10:00 Autograph Session
12:00 – 16:00 4 Hours of Sepang

World Class broadcast schedule – live, in full and for free!
The Asian Le Mans Series will again be broadcasting all qualifying sessions and races in full, on the Asian Le Mans Series Facebook and You Tube pages, ensuring as many people as possible can watch the races.

For the Australian audience, Speedcafe.com will also be streaming both qualifying and the 4 Hours of Sepang race live on their website.

In addition, the coverage will be streamed live on Tencent Sport in China, Set India on SonyLIV, MotorTrend on Demand in the United States and Europe, and through Motorsport.tv.

 

Current Championship standings:

LMP2 & Outright Championship

62 points – United Autosports #22 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Phil Hanson & Paul Di Resta)
44 points – Algarve Pro Racing #24 Ligier JS P2 Judd (Harrison Newey and Andrea Pizzitola)
39 points – ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Miro Konopka, Ling Kang & Darren Burke)

LMP2 Am Trophy

69 points – ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Miro Konopka, Ling Kang & Darren Burke)
60 points – United Autosports #23 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Guy Cosmo, Patrick Byrne & Salih Yoluc)
48 points – Algarve Pro Racing #25 Ligier JS P2 Judd (Mark Patterson, Anders Fjordbach & Christopher McMurry)

LMP3

62 points – Inter Europol Competition #13 Ligier JS P3 (Jakub Smiechowski & Martin Hippe)
54 points – United Autosports #2 Ligier JS P3 (Chris Buncombe, Garett Grist & Wayne Boyd)
43 points – United Autosports #3 Ligier JS P3 (Matthew Bell & Kay van Berlo)

GT

76 points – Car Guy #11 Ferrari 488 GT3 (Takeshi Kimura, Kei Cozzolino, James Calado)
52 points – Spirit of Race #51 Ferrari 488 GT3 (Alessandro Pier Guidi, Ozzy Negri Jr & Francesco Piovanetti)
39 points – TianShi Racing Team #66 Audi R8 LMS (Xu Wei & Max Wiser) – they are also the lead GT Am entry.

 

Full championship points here.

 

Up for grabs – four invitations to the 24 Hours of Le Mans:

In addition to the glory of winning the outright and class championships, the teams will be fighting for an elusive invitation to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The winners of the LMP2 and LMP3 classes will each receive an invitation to compete in the LMP2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2019. New for the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series, there will be an added recognition for LMP2 amateur entries – not only will they be fighting for their own Championship honours, they will also be for an invitation. There will also be one invitation to race in the LM GTE Am class for the winner of the GT class.

 

Prestigious partners:

The Asian Le Mans Series is proud to be run in partnership with the following partners.

Michelin:

Michelin is the world leader, especially in endurance racing where they have dominated for many years. They have tasted unrivalled success in recent years in the 24 Hours of Le Mans where this year they recorded their 20thconsecutive victory.

TOTAL:

Total is a highly experience fuel supplier, with leading-edge technology. The French petroleum company will exclusively supply the Asian Le Mans Series teams with 102RON fuel specially developed by Total additives and special fuels.

The new-look LMP3 for 2020!

The LMP3 class was introduced by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) in 2015 and the next generation of cars will make its competition début in 2020. Four manufacturers have been selected to help ACO take the class forward. Here we present the 2020 version of LMP3, with some key figures and comments from Vincent Beaumesnil, Sports Director.

LMP3 is a feeder series and forms the first tier of the ACO’s endurance pyramid. The class was introduced by the organisers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015 and will enter a new phase in 2020.

The second-generation chassis will race from 2020-24, fielded by teams and drivers looking to gain a footing in the endurance discipline. The class has been a resounding success with, to date, 170 LMP3 cars entered in various racing series. Several drivers have used the class as a springboard, including Thomas Laurent, LMP3 winner of the 2016 Road to Le Mans who took the LMP2 crown at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans (finishing second overall) and came third at Le Mans in 2018. LMP3 is also popular with amateur drivers.

Competitive cars, a top-flight sporting programme, an affordable budget, a straightforward mechanical set-up and technology within everyone’s reach will continue to form the backbone of the series. LMP3 was designed as a training ground for endurance racing, an arena in which drivers, team members, engineers and mechanics can hone their skills and prepare for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship.

HOW LMP3 WILL LOOK IN 2020-2024 :

-The four manufacturers selected are Ligier, Duqueine Engineering, Ginetta and Adess.

-Oreca remains the exclusive powertrain (engine, gearbox and electronics) supplier.

-The car will be an upgrade of the manufacturers’ present vehicles, not an entirely new car. An upgrade kit has been defined, covering safety, performance and design.

-The costs stipulated in the regulations are €4,900 to upgrade the current engine, and €50,000 for the chassis upgrade kit (technical passport included), making a total €54,900 to upgrade the current car for 2020. A new 2020 car will cost a maximum €239,000 (technical passport included).

-Customer quality will be a prime concern with technical support at circuits, a spare parts service and a technical passport.

KEY TECHNICAL INFORMATION FOR LMP3 IN 2020-24 :

-Engine power has been increased by 35 hp, to 455 hp.

-The new Nissan VK56 engine will be introduced. The current engines (Nissan VK50 V8) will be adapted to deliver the same power and performance as the VK56. Competitors can thus keep their current engines until they come to the end of their useful life and then acquire the new one.

-Introduction of traction control.

-As for the chassis, some safety-related changes have been approved for the driver’s headrest structure and the driver’s seat, and Zylon side panels will be introduced.

-A bodywork upgrade kit and mechanical modifications are also permitted, provided costs do not exceed the price of the kit indicated in the regulations

WHEN WILL THE 2020-24 LMP3 BE INTRODUCED?

– 2020 season: European Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup, Road to Le Mans, Ultimate Cup, V de V

– 2020-21 season: Asian Le Mans Series

– 2021 season: All other competitions