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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

International Motorsport Returns to South Australia!

2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series to feature a round at The Bend!

The Asian Le Mans Series is the Asia Pacific endurance racing series of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, (ACO – the founder and organiser of the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans). The Series will make its first trip down under in early 2020, bringing the thrill of international endurance racing to the South Australian public.

Located approximately 100km from Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, The Bend is Australia’s newest permanent circuit. The Asian Le Mans Series will be the first series to use the full 7.77 km configuration. This configuration makes it the second longest permanent race track in the world, second only to the Nordschleife, Nurburgring. With tight, technical corners, fast flowing sections, and a rise and fall of 85 metres, exciting racing is guaranteed.

With a top speed of 343.4 km/h recorded in the LMP2 class in the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, it is safe to say the lap record at The Bend will be broken. Outside the Formula 1 cars, the LMP2 cars at the front of the Asian Le Mans Series will be the fastest to compete in Australia in 2020.

The Asian Le Mans Series field regularly features some of the biggest names in endurance racing including multiple Le Mans winners (both teams and drivers), multiple FIA World Endurance Champions, and former F1 drivers.

The Asian Le Mans Series is run during the Australian summer (November to February), outside the normal Australian motorsport season. This will allow teams and drivers to compete in both the domestic championships and the Asian Le Mans Series if they wish.

South Australia had a taste of prototype racing when American Le Mans Series teams participated in the once-off Race of a Thousand Years on the Adelaide street circuit on 31st December 2000. This time, 20 years later, the event will be a part of an international Championship, and it promises to deliver thrilling racing.

With a world class live streaming and broadcast package reaching over a million viewers each race, the arrival of the Series is also an opportunity for South Australia to once again be put on the international motorsport stage.

The date of the Australian round will be announced when the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series Season is launched in the coming weeks.

QUOTES:

Cyrille Taesch Wahlen, Managing Director of the Asian Le Mans Series

“We had been considering an expansion into Australia for quite some time, but we needed to find the right opportunity. I visited the Bend last year and was blown away by the high standard of the track and the facilities. This, along with the enthusiasm being shown by the circuit management team, made it an easy decision.

“The feedback from our teams and drivers about the possibility of a trip to Australia was also widely positive – we already have many drivers, engineers and other support crews from Australia!

“Not only it is a very exciting project, it also has the potential to be a really great event and it will be a very nice addition to the Asian Le Mans Series calendar.’’

Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest:

“Australia has an exceptional reputation for delivering world class motorsport events, so we are really looking forward to visiting The Bend with the Asian Le Mans Series. We are used to seeing Australian drivers such as Mark Webber race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Racing with the Asian Le Mans Series will give Australian drivers and teams the opportunity to progress to the highest level in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“The ACO endurance racing formula, combined with what is rapidly becoming one of the top race tracks in the region, should be an exciting prospect for both professional and amateur drivers, as well as the Australian audience.”

Sam Shahin, Managing Director of The Bend Motorsport Park:

“The Asian Le Mans Series is the pinnacle of international endurance racing, and we are very excited and proud to bring the event to Australia and to continue to showcase Tailem Bend and the surrounding region to the world.

“The vision for The Bend Motorsport Park, is to be a world-class facility which hosts international standard events of the highest calibre. Last year with 40,000+ fans attending the inaugural Supercars event, we took a big step forward in establishing our credentials. To be hosting this event in our third year of operation is a testament to the project, and an indication that our ambition has no boundaries.”

An introduction to the Asian Le Mans Series:

A direct pathway to the 24 Hours of Le Mans:

Could this be the start of an Australian team’s journey to the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans? Possibly!

There are four ‘money can’t buy’ invitations to the 24 Hours of Le Mans on offer to the winners of the LMP2, LMP2 AM, LMP3 and GT classes in the four round Championship.

The cars:

The Asian Le Mans Series features a mix of both prototype and GT cars that is synonymous with Le Mans racing.

The LMP2 class will be at the front of the field, with Championships on offer for both professional and amateur drivers. The LMP2 Amateur Trophy will be open to entries featuring all-amateur driver line ups, while the professional trophy will be awarded to the outright class winner.

For the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series the regulations will all allow the latest generation LMP2 cars to enter in the outright class, with the older generation being eligible for the LMP2 Am trophy class.

The LMP3 class is one of the fastest growing motorsport classes in the region and is the first step on the prototype racing ladder for drivers wanting to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The cars have the power and aerodynamic downforce required to deliver a driving experience that is both thrilling and a good introduction to the performance offered by the larger and faster LMP2 cars.

The GT class is one which the Australian audience will be familiar with as they have raced in Australia for many years. These race cars are based on high performance cars that can be used on the open road. GT3 cars are defined by a set of regulations maintained by the FIA for GT racing cars designed for use in various racing series throughout the world. The performance of all GT3 cars are regulated through a Balance of Performance.

The GT Cup class will continue to be open to cars that have been homologated for various one-make series around the world such as Porsche Carrera Cup, Audi R8 LMS Cup, Ferrari Challenge, and Lamborghini Super Trofeo. The GT Cup class will be reserved for amateur drivers.

United Autosports Wins the 4 Hours of Buriram!

4 Hours of Buriram Winners – By Class:
LMP2:  #22 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan
          / LMP2 Am Trophy: #4 ARC Bratislava Ligier JS P2 Nissan 

LMP3: #2 United Autosports Ligier JS P3 

GT: #11 Car Guy Ferrari 488 GT3
            / GT Am: #66 TianShi Racing Team Audi R8 LMS

Full results can be found here.

The Asian Le Mans Series has again delivered an action packed race up and down the grid. With tens of thousands packing the precinct, and in what was easily the hottest race of the season with ambient temperatures reaching 34 degrees during the race, the battles on track were fierce!  

 
At the start of the race it was an Algavre Pro Racing 1-2 after a fantastic getaway from both of the team’s Bronze drivers, Ate Dirk De Jong (#24) and Christopher McMurry (#25). Phil Hanson in the Championship leading #22 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan was though able to pass them and take the lead early in the race. It was Hanson and his team mate Paul Di Resta that led most of the race before claiming their first Asian Le Mans Series race win, extending their Championship lead to 18 points. Whilst a perfectly timed pitstop when a full course yellow was called helped cement their position, the team ran without fault all weekend. 
 
The #24 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd of Harrison Newey and Andrea Pizzitola came home second, followed by Matthieu Lahaye, Jean-Baptiste Lahaye, and Francois Hériau in the #35 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier JS P2 Judd. The French team picking up its first Asian Le Mans Series podium.  
 
Nursing home the #4 ARC Bratislava Ligier JS P2 in to 4th position was Darren Burke. Due to an engine issue, Burke slowed significantly and lost third position overall to the Panis Barthez Ligier, He was though able to hold on to finish the race. The team also picking up the LMP2 AM Trophy win taking the Class Championship lead by 9 points. 
 
In LMP3 the battle was intense from the start. Once again it was Nigel Moore in the #65 Viper Niza Racing Ligier JS P3 that made a storming start to be up to 4thoutright on the opening lap. His run was cut short after hitting debris and having to hit for new tyres. This left Matt Bell in the #3 United Autosports Ligier JS P3 to pull away at the front of the LMP3 field. As the race went on, it became a battle between the sister United Autosports car, the polesitting Ligier JS P3 of Chris Buncombe, Garett Grist and Wayne Boyd and the #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P3 of Jakub Smiechowski and Martin Hippe. After being forced to pit for loose body work, the #13 dropped out of contention for the win, but fought hard to secure second position and retain the LMP3 Championship lead. They now lead the LMP3 class by 8 points. In third place after the #3 suffered a broken exhaust and got stuck in 4thgear was the #79 Ecurie Ecosse / Nielsen Racing Ligier JS P3 of Tony Wells and Colin Noble. 
 
In GT it was the #66 TianShi Racing Team Audi R8 LMS with Max Wiser that had a stunning start yet again to be comfortable leading the GT Class and running ahead of a number of the LMP3 entries early in the race. Class pole sitter, the #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 dropped back to be 4th in Class in the early running.
 
1.5 hours into the race and there was a full course yellow after the #5 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage had a power steering and brake failure with Johnny Mowlem behind the wheel. The failure caused a scary moment for the Aston driver, but Mowlem did well to scrub off speed through the gravel trap making only light contact with the barrier. He would make it back to the pits where the team opted to retire the car.
 
After the first driver changes, it was GT Class Championship leader, Car Guy that continued their dominant run in the 2018/19 Season, with series newcomer and highly experienced racer, Jean Karl Vernay chasing hard in the #88 TianShi Racing Team Audi R8 LMS.
 
Once James Calado got in the #11 Car Guy Ferrari, he pulled away from Vernay in the #88 TianShi Racing Team Audi R8, and pole sitter, Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3. Despite a number of driving infringements that saw Calado receive multiple penalties, he pushed hard and ensured the Japanese team won their third race of the season to extend their lead in the Championship to 24 points. 
 
Full results can be found here

Next up is the season finale, in 4 Hours of Sepang on Sunday, 24th of February. 

Current Championship standings:

LMP2 & Outright Championship 
62 points – #22 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan 
44 points – #24 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd
39 points – ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissan
 
LMP2 Am Trophy 
69 points – ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissan 
60 points – United Autosports #23 Ligier JS P2 Nissan 
48 points – Algarve Pro Racing #25 Ligier JS P3 Judd 
 
LMP3
62 points – Inter Europol Competition #13 Ligier JS P3 
54 points – United Autosports #2 Ligier JS P3 
43 points – United Autosports #3 Ligier JS P3  

GT 
76 points – Car Guy #11 Ferrari 488 GT3 
52 points – Spirit of Race #51 Ferrari 488 GT3 
39 points – TianShi Racing Team #66 Audi R8 LMS – they are also the lead GT Am entry

Harrison Newey Claims Pole for the 4 Hours of Buriram!

After winning the previous round of the Asian Le Mans Series, Algarve Pro Racing will start in pole position in Thailand.

Pole Position – by class:

LMP2: Harrison Newey #24 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd
/ LMP2 Am Trophy: Darren Burke #4 ARC Bratislava Ligier JS P2 Nissan
LMP3: Wayne Boyd, United Autosports, Ligier JS P3
GT: Alessandro Pier Guidi #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3
/ GT Am: Max Wiser #66 TianShi Racing Team Audi R8 LMS

After the very cold temperatures the teams experienced in the opening two rounds of the Asian Le Mans Series, the air temperature was in the low 30’s as qualifying got under way for the 4 Hours of Buriram.

First up was the GT qualifying. Setting the fastest time of the session was Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3. Making it an all Ferrari front row was James Calado in the Car Guy Ferrari 488 GT3. Third fastest was Series debutant, Jean Karl Vernay in the TianShi Racing Team Audi R8 LMS.

Max Wiser in the #66 TianShi Racing Team Audi R8 LMS was the fastest GT AM, followed by Bonamy Grimes in the #5 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage.

As the sun slowly set, qualifying for the LMP2 and LMP3 cars got underway. In a high paced 15 minute session, it was reigning Champion Harrison Newey in the #24 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd that claimed the outright pole position. In second place was Phil Hanson in the #22 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan, just 0.385 seconds behind him. In third place was the leading LMP2 Am Trophy entry, the #4 ARC Bratislava Ligier JS P2 Nissan with Darren Burke behind the wheel.

Second fastest in the LMP2 Am Trophy was the Class leader, the #23 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 with Guy Cosmo behind the wheel. In third place was Anders Fjordbach in the #25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd.

The battle for LMP3 pole was claimed by Wayne Boyd in the #2 United Autosports Ligier JS P3. Second fastest in the session was Nigel Moore in the #65 Ligier JS P3 from Malaysian team Viper Niza Racing. In third place was current LMP3 Championship leaders Inter Europol Competition, with Jakub Smiechowski behind the wheel of the #13 Ligier JS P3.

Full results can be found here:

 

 


Driver quotes:
 
LMP2 – Harrison Newey: I am very happy with pole. It came quite late in the day and took two sets of tyres to do it. In the end we had a good margin, and it went better than we thought it was going to. Really looking forward to tomorrow, and it is nice to have the one point for pole, after the woes in Shanghai. Ate will also be back in the car, so hopefully he can keep the lead, and me, and Andrea, will bring it home. 

LMP2 Am Trophy – Darren Burke: I was a little bit conservative with track limits, while on the first set of tyres. I think it was the same for everybody. The number one priority was to make sure we put a banker lap in to actually get us into the race. The second set of tyres was a chance to push a little bit harder and explore the limits of the car a little bit more. I think our race set up will be better than the qualifying set up, but it was great fun being out there. 

LMP3 – Wayne Boyd: It was really good for us, with P1. We were really hoping to get the extra point, as our last race didn’t go quite to plan for us, especially in terms of the championship. We did a first run, just to get a banker lap in, then we came in and took another set of tyres, and pushed a bit harder, and it was worth it. Very pleased.

GT – Alessandro Pier Guidi: We did a very good job on the car, it was important for us to score the point to keep the Championship alive. It will be a tough race tomorrow, with the Championship battle, but we will try our best. We have finished second twice, so we will try to win. I know it will be difficult, but we will try.

4 Hours of Buriram:11:45 – 15:45 
Live broadcast schedule:

Saturday: 11:15 – 16:30 
 
Links to live coverage:
 
English commentary: 
https://www.facebook.com/AsianLMS/videos/2169712840010215/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzCLPYsazK8
 
Thai commentary:
https://www.facebook.com/AsianLMS/videos/2057842124283196/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz6uuaHuOOc
 
 
World Class broadcast schedule – live, in full and for free! 
The Asian Le Mans Series will be broadcasting therace in full, on the Asian Le Mans Series Facebook and YouTube pages, ensuring as many people as possible can watch the races. 
 
The coverage will be streamed live on Tencent Sport in China, Set India on SonyLIV, MotorTrend on Demand in the United States and across Europe, and through Motorsport.tv.

Asian Le Mans Series to Celebrate Children’s Day in Thailand!

4 Hours of Buriram – Preview 

Round 3 of the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series

After two thrilling races, and with all Championship Class battles incredibly tight, the Series makes the trip to the Chang International Circuit in Buriram this weekend. One of the most popular and well attended races of the 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series, the race in Thailand is set to be just as popular this year!
 
The round will again be held on Children’s Day in Thailand, with the race forming an important part of the celebrations occurring in Buriram. The circuit will be open to everyone as a part of the celebrations, with children under 15 getting access to the grandstand for free if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. 
 
Children’s Day has been celebrated in Thailand on the second Saturday of January every year since 1955 and is designed to celebrate the role children play in the development of the Country. It is a day for family fun and adventure – and the Asian Le Mans Series offers them exactly that! 

4 Hours of Buriram entry list – view here. 

LMP2
Fresh from taking the win in Round 2, the #24 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd driven by Harrison Newey and Andrea Pizzitola, are aiming to close the gap to the Championship leaders. Last round in Japan, the battle between the #24 and the current leaders, Phil Hanson and Paul di Resta in the #22 Ligier JS P2 Nissan was incredibly close and the battle is expected to pick up where it was left off. Unfortunately, due to family commitments the #8 Spirit of Race entry will not be on the grid in Buriram, however they will be back for the final round in Sepang. 
 
LMP2 Am Trophy 
Miro Konopka, Kang Ling and Darren Burke in the ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissan not only won the LMP2 Am Trophy class in the 4 Hours of Fuji, they also claimed an outright podium position. This saw them close the gap to Class leaders in the #23 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan, Guy Cosmo, Patrick Byrne and Salih Yoluc. With just two points between them, the battle is set to be intense in Buriram! 
 
LMP3 
With the biggest lead of all the Class Championships, Jakub Smiechowshi and Martin Hippe in the #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P3 have an 11-point lead in the LMP3 class. Behind them are 4 Hours of Fuji Class winners, Matthew Bell, Kay van Berlo and Christian England in the #3 United Autosports, Ligier JS P3 Nissan. Just 5 points behind them is the sister United Autosports #2 Ligier JS P3 Nissan, driven by Chris Buncombe, Garett Grist and Wayne Boyd.
 
GT
As the only entry to have two race wins in the 2018/19 Season, Japanese team Car Guy with their Ferrari 488 GT3 are aiming to make it three from three in Thailand. Drivers Takeshi Kimura, Kei Cozzolino and James Calado will not have it all their own way, with the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 being driven by Alessadro Pier Guidi, Ozzy Negri Jr and Francesco Piovanetti will be aiming to cut their lead. 
 
Both of the TRST Audi R8 LMS’ will have slight changes to their driver line ups. In the #66 GT Am entry will be Lo Kai Fung, Max Wiser and Zhang Ya Qi. In the #88 will be Alex Au, Chen Wei An and new driver Jean Karl Vernay. The 2017 TCR International Champion was also the highest finishing Audi Sport driver in last season’s WTCR.

Tickets:
Tickets for the 4 Hours of Buriram, Asian Le Mans Series will be free for all children (under 15 years of age). Grand Stand Ticket Price: 300 baht (1 day) / 500 baht (2 days) and they can be purchased online here – https://www.allticket.com/#/event/ASIANLEMANS2019R3
 
Schedule:
Friday, 11 January 2019
08:40 – 10:10 Free Practice 1
12:40 – 14:00 Free Practice 2
16:35 – 16:50 GT Qualifying
17:00 – 17:15 LMP2 & LMP3 Qualifying
 
Saturday, 12 January 2019
09:20 – 09:50 Autograph Session 
11:45 – 15:45 4 Hours of Buriram
 
Current Championship standings:
LMP2 & Outright Championship 
37 points – United Autosports #22 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Phil Hanson & Paul Di Resta)
34 points – Spirit of Race #8 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Alexander West, Côme Ledogar & Pipo Derani)
27 points – ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Miro Konopka, Ling Kang & Darren Burke)
 
LMP2 Am Trophy 
45 points – United Autosports #23 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Guy Cosmo, Patrick Byrne & Salih Yoluc)
43 points – ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Miro Konopka, Ling Kang & Darren Burke)
30 points – Algarve Pro Racing #25 Ligier JS P3 Judd (Mark Patterson, Anders Fjordbach & Christopher McMurry) 
 
LMP3 
44 points – Inter Europol Competition #13 Ligier JS P3 (Jakub Smiechowski & Martin Hippe)
33 points – United Autosports #3 Ligier JS P3 (Matthew Bell & Kay van Berlo) 
28 points – United Autosports #2 Ligier JS P3 (Chris Buncombe, Garett Grist & Wayne Boyd)
 
GT 
51 points – Car Guy #11 Ferrari 488 GT3 (Takeshi Kimura, Kei Cozzolino, James Calado) 
36 points – Spirit of Race #51 Ferrari 488 GT3 (Alessandro Pier Guidi, Ozzy Negri Jr & Francesco Piovanetti)
27 points – TianShi Racing Team #66 Audi R8 LMS (Xu Wei & Max Wiser) – they are also the lead GT Am entry.
 
For full standings – click here 
 
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. 
 
The coverage will be streamed live on Tencent Sport in China, Set India on SonyLIV, MotorTrend on Demand in the United States and across 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.

Latest Generation LMP2 cars Eligible in 2019/20

Two years ago it was announced that, as a part of the natural evolution of the LMP2 category, the latest generation LMP2 cars will be eligible to race in the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series.

This will not mean the end of the older generation cars within the Series. 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 decision was made after close consultation with the teams proved that there was demand for both the old and the new generation LMP2 cars to be run in the Series. The teams unanimously support the decision as the right way forward for the series.

As in the 2018/19 Series, there will continue to be an invitation to the 24 Hours of Le Mans on offer for both the LMP2 Championship winner, and the LMP2 AM Trophy winner.

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