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Red River Sport by TF Sport opens a new racing chapter with 2018-19 Asian Le Mans Series entry


 

Red River Sport by TF Sport are delighted to announce that it will join the Asian Le Mans Series for the 2018-19 season which gets underway at Shanghai International Circuit 23-25 November.
 

The opportunity for TF Sport, in conjunction with Red River Sport, to compete in Asia opens a new chapter for the British-based team, building on success in British GT, Blancpain GT, European Le Mans Series and most recently the FIA World Endurance Championship.
 
Red River Sport, a motorsport mentoring and management agency, are delighted to be bringing two Clients in Bonamy Grimes and Ivor Dunbar to the Asian Le Mans Series alongside agency driver Johnny Mowlem. This is the next step for the group in taking Clients into an ACO run series and part of a stairway to competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the future.
 
“This is a long-term project for Red River Sport and it’s an exciting opportunity for us to take two of our Clients to the Asian Le Mans Series,” said Mowlem. “We have been working on this for a while in conjunction with the series and the ACO and is part of a bigger programme for us to bring gentlemen drivers up through the ranks and to compete at the highest levels.”
 
The trio will compete in all four-rounds of the championship in the #5 Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Mowlem is certainly no stranger to sports car racing, having competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 11 times, and won the GTE championship in the 2013 European Le Mans Series.
 
Dunbar competed in the Le Mans classic in 2014 before running in the GT Cup UK the following season. He graduated to the Michelin Le Mans Cup in 2016 and then into the International GT Open.  Dunbar raced in LMP3 at Le Mans in 2018 alongside Grimes and Mowlem. Grimes had not even completed a track day before 2016, but he competed in the Britcar Endurance Championship in 2017 and with Mowlem won the Class 2 championship. They also competed in the Gulf 12H, finishing second in class.
 
“This opportunity to compete in the Asian Le Mans Series surfaced recently,” explained TF Sport Director Tom Ferrier. “It will be a new and exciting challenge for everyone at TF Sport.  We’re very proud of our history and results and we’ve proven we can run at the front, take wins and challenge for championships at every level.
 
“In saying that, we never underestimate the competition and it is will be a pleasure to work with Red River Sport in helping them with their longer-term ambitions.”
 
The addition of Red River Sport by TF Sport to the Asian Le Mans Series is a welcome one for Managing Director Cyrille Taesch Wahlen. “We are pleased to welcome Red River Sport by TF Sport to the Asian Le Mans Series grid,” he said. “As a highly successful global GT team that is currently racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship they will make a very positive addition to our races. Their arrival marks another high-profile team entering the Asian Le Mans Series, and is further evidence of the high position the series holds on the global motorsport stage.”
 
The championship begins with the Shanghai round before traveling on to Fuji, Buriram and Sepang.

 

For more information on TF Sport and its racing activities, visit the official www.tfsport.co.uk website, ‘like’ the team’s Facebook page, check the team’s Instagram Stories @TF_Sport or follow @OfficialTFSport on Twitter.

For any merchandise enquiries, signed driver cards and competitions please email TF Sport at FansTF@bam-promo.com

Team Virage

Created in 1998 by Philippe Gautheron under the name G-TEC Sport, our structure gained successes in many singles-seaters series, from the Formula Junior to the Open Telefonica by Nissan – recently known under World Renault.

In 2011, Gautheron started Virage Academy and was joined by Julien Gerbi in order to assist the drivers’ physical, mental and technical preparation. Among them, Sergio Perez, Vitaly Petrov, Giedo Van der Garde, Rio Haryanto and other 60 drivers enjoyed the Virage Academy services.

In the winter 2017-2018, Team Virage is born in order to compete with two LMP3 in the European endurance series.

The team have entered two LMP3s for their first Asian Le Mans Series!

United Autosport

Founded in 2009 by businessman, Zak Brown and racing driver, Richard Dean, United Autosports is based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK.

The team race in a number of different championships, with a vast range of cars and drivers.They are double European Le Mans Series LMP3 champions, having clinched the title in both 2016 and 2017, and are currently racing in the European Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup, the 24 Heures du Mans, and the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.

The 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series will be their first and the team has entered two Ligier JS P2s and two Ligier JS 3s – creating a very strong effort.

United Autosports are also sole UK agents for Onroak Automotive’s range of Ligier Sportscars.

Viper Niza Racing

Viper Niza was founded by Malaysian Douglas Khoo in 2015. The team is based in Kuala Lumpur and currently participates in the Asian Le Mans Series, TCR Asia and VdeV Endurance Series (in Europe).

Their best position in the Asian Le Mans Series was 4th place in the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup and the 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series, in their first season.

The team has entered a Ligier JS P3 for the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series.

2015
TCR Asia
Team Championship 5th

2016
TCR Asia
Driver Championship 7th Overall, 2nd in Cup
Team Championship 5th

2017
TCR Asia
Driver Championship 9th Overall, 4th in Cup
Team Championship 6th

Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup
Driver Championship 4th

2017/18
Asian Le Mans Series
Driver Championship 4th in LMP3
Team Championship 4th in LMP3

 

Algarve Pro Racing


Algarve Pro Racing Team, founded in 2010 by Stewart and Samantha Cox, is a leading international prototype racing team. They run successful campaigns in the European Le Mans Series, Asian Le Mans Series and the 24 Heures du Mans.

The Albufeira, Portugal-based team provides pro, semi-pro, and amateur ‘gentleman’ drivers with a nurturing platform to succeed. The team won the 2016-17 Asian Le Mans Series title, and last year the team, with Ate Dirk de Jong and Dean Koutsoumidis, claimed the Gentleman’s Trophy.

ARC Bratislava

ARC Bratislava is a Slovak team that was established in 1997 by a race driver Miroslav Konopka. In more than 20 years in motorsport, ARC has raced in several series around the world including the FIA GT Championship, European, American and Asian Le Mans Series. The team has already raced on all continents, entered more than thirty 24-hour races and other endurance events.

ARC Bratislava is the first ever team from Slovakia, as well as the only team from the whole Central European Zone (CEZ), that has started at 24 Heures du Mans. The team are looking forward to the fourth season of the Asian Le Mans Series in winter and have entered a Ligier JS P2 in the LMP2 Am class.

Eurasia Motorsport

While we are busy behind the scenes building an exciting new season, we thought we would introduce you to the teams that race with us! First up is Eurasia Motorsport!

Founded in 2003, Eurasia Motorsport runs under a Philippine licence with a workshop at Sepang in Malaysia.

The team has an impressive record in Asian Le Mans, finishing runner-up in 2016/17, and has propelled many well-known drivers to the top level of world motorsport.

For the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series, the team has entered two prototypes – a Ligier JS P2 and JS P3.

Recent roll of honour:
2017 – 24 Hours of Le Mans – 13th in LMP2 class
2016 – Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Champions
2016 – European Le Mans Series – 5th position
2016 – 24 Hours of Le Mans – 5th in LMP2 class
2015 – European Le Mans Series, 6th position
2015 – Asian Le Mans Series – LMP3 Champions

TKS returns to Asian Le Mans Series!

Reigning Asian Le Mans Series GT Cup Champions TKS, will return for Round 2 of the 2017/18 Series at the Fuji International Speedway. This season they will compete in the LMP3 Class – a class they finished runner-up in during the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup held earlier this year.

Leading the way for the Japanese team will again be Shinyo Sano. The Shinyo will race the same Ginetta LMP3 that he raced earlier this year in the Sprint Cup. There, the team took a race win, and finished second in the Championship behind WIN Motorsport who is also racing in the LMP3 class of the current season. 

In addition to the Sprint Cup, Shinyo and TKS also raced at the famed Le Mans circuit earlier this year. Racing in the Road to Le Mans support races to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, they scored a top ten finish – an impressive effort on the debut at the circuit and up against some of the world’s best LMP3 teams.

TKS Team owner and driver, Shinyo Sano, is looking forward to returning to the Asian Le Mans Series with his Ginetta.

“The reason I made the team is my dreaming of going to Le Mans! For me, the Asian Le Mans series is a necessary race. As the only Japanese team in this race I want stand on the podium at my home course Fuji Speedway. And I want to share pleasure with the team, chasing our dream!”

The team’s full driver line up will be announced soon.

Q & A with Craft-Bamboo Racing, Director, Darryl O’Young

It is great to see Craft-Bamboo Racing competing in LMP3 machinery this season.  How was the teams first season competing with the Ligier JS P3 LMP3 Prototype in the FRD LMP3 Series?

Craft-Bamboo’s first season in the Ligier JS P3 has been great fun so far, as the team are heading into the final round this weekend in Zhuhai leading both the team and driver Championships with our #95 Lightning McQueen driven by Mathias Beche and James Winslow. The FRD LMP3 Series is incredibly competitive and with a field of 12 Ligier JS P3s and a roster of top international and Chinese drivers, every race has been a tough battle for the podium in this one-hour sprint format.

 

How did Craft-Bamboo Racing first get involved in prototype racing?

We first became involved in prototype racing back in 2014 when the team joined the Asian Le Mans Series for the first time in the CN class. It was an incredible season for us, taking the championship title and the class win in every race that year. It certainly inspired us to get involved with taking this step to compete with the LMP3 this season as we were hoping to find similar success.

 

We also expect prototype racing to continue to grow in Asia, so the opportunity to jump into the LMP3 category was an easy decision to make.  The team enjoys working on the cars, and the drivers really enjoy driving them. This is true for both the Amateur drivers and our professional drivers.  Greg Taylor and Alex Tagliani are having a great season together in our #20 Jackson Storm car as a pro-am pairing.

 

What are your goals heading into final round of the FRD LMP3 season in Zhuhai?

We are clearly focused on claiming both Championship titles in Zhuhai. We are only eight points ahead of second place though so the fight is going to go right down to the wire. I am confident that every member of the team will be giving everything they have to give us the best shot at taking the Championship titles. 

 

Thanks to the support of Ligier and the Asian Le Mans Series, the grand prize is an LMP2 car to use in the Asian Le Mans Series, as well as a free entry into the series itself, so we are really aiming to win that prize.  There is a great synergy between the Championships, and prototype racing continues to grow in the region thanks to the efforts of the Asian Le Mans Series over many years. 

 

What are Craft-Bamboo Racing’s plans going into the winter?

With the FRD LMP3 season drawing to a close, we are now looking ahead at the possibility to run our two Ligier JS P3 LMP3 cars in the 2017/2018 Asian Le Mans Series. 

 

We truly believe in the prototype formula, and are confident that the category will only continue to expand in Asia.

 

The Asian Le Mans Series runs a very succesful Championship, and I know first-hand how the ACO works.  I have many years racing with them, from the first time I joined the European Le Mans Series in 2005, until Craft-Bamboo Racing’s WEC entry in 2014.  The organisation is extremely motivated to deliver great endurance racing, so to take our LMP3’s into the Asian Le Mans Series is a natural progression. 

 

We are currently in discussion with several drivers and sponsors to enter our two LMP3’s into this years Asian Le Mans Series, so the goal is to pull that program together in the coming weeks.  If we can get the LMP2 prize through winning the championship in the FRD LMP3 Series, then that would be a big bonus! 

Jackie Chan DC Racing achieved a remarkable class win in LMP2 in the opening round of the WEC at Silverstone.

Jackie Chan DC Racing achived a remarkable class win in LMP2 in the opening round of the WEC at Silverstone. A few days before the second round in Spa, we caught up with David Cheng who told us a lot about the importance of the Asian LMS for him and his team.

After a 2016/17 season that saw Jackie Chan DC Racing fall at the last in a push to take the Asian Le Mans Series crown, the Championship leading car suffering contact on the first lap of the final race of the season and failing to finish as a result, the team has stepped up to a full two car push for the 2017 FIA WEC – The team started in the best possible way, with one car bringing home the class win.

David Cheng though was highly complimentary over the role that the Asian Le Mans Series has had, and will continue to have, in developing the future talent for his high profile team.

In particular, he focused on the opportunity to race world class sports prototypes in Asia, offered only by the Asian Le Mans Series:

“For myself, having started racing in the American Le Mans Series, and having gotten into racing prototypes fairly early in my racing career after single seaters, the goal after that is to stay in prototypes,” he said.

“The Asian Le Mans Series is, quite simply, the only place to offer that opportunity in Asia for full Championship season.”

A Prototype is quite a special animal between a single seater and a GT car, and it gives the opportunity too to build a skill set with a co-driver that not only adds pace, but can coach a developing driver not only out of competition but through a whole race meeting too, where the Pro driver has actual experience of the same car, at more or less the same time.  A real team environment.”

“A real downforce car like this is, in my opinion a much more enjoyable experience.”

Beyond the driving experience though Cheng was also highly complimentary about the opportunity offered by the Series for young and talented drivers to begin to climb a global career ladder.

“As for younger drivers looking for a route to a racing career, these cars, and the Asian Le Mans Series really do offer a real platform to move forward up the racing ladder with some real opportunities to market their skills in Asia, and then beyond,” he said.

“That’s something that we, as a team, are trying to do, to build a ladder from an Asian base to become a significant, and we hope a successful force on the global scene.  

“A really key part of achieving that has come with some great work from the ACO in introducing the LMP3 class, now a big part of the Asian Le Mans Series.  A perfect stepping stone where we have already had success in finding real talent, in Thomas Laurent, we picked him up straight from karting, allowed him to find his feet and develop his racecraft in LMP3.  Now here he is in a full season of the FIA WEC.”

“With junior single seater racing across Asia now developing some real heritage and pedigree we now want to repeat that process with some young talent from that avenue too, get them into our LMP3 programme and then our Asian LMP2 programme as a sensible learning curve, not just with the driving, but the rest of the package too.”

“With so many drivers looking to race at the very biggest events they really do need to arrive there having learned everything they can about the really specialist skills of endurance racing, and the Asian Le Mans Series is a really very good place to achieve that.

“Fuel mileage, tyre management, working with the engineers alongside your team-mates, grinding out the best pitstop routines, sharing data to the best overall effect for everyone, many of those skills simply don’t apply in other areas of the sport, but they are all there in Asian Le Mans, just as they are further down the line at Le Mans!

“LMP3 gives a great ‘soft landing’ for that, and a great launch pad for LMP2 and beyond.”

“Thomas is a good example of what can be attempted and achieved.  Effectively we used the Asian Le Mans Series to find where his weaker points might be, driving, testing, developing and feedback, and remember that the races can be very hot indeed, the physical side is very important in Asia.”

And then there were the additional opportunities offered to semi-pro of Gentlemen drivers from competing alongside top professionals:

“Teaming with drivers of the quality we have, Alex (Brundle) and Ho-Pin (Tung) helps so much to bring forward the skills, and the enjoyment of the sport.  Some of that is available when you have a team-mate in another car in the same team as would be the case in a one-make, or even single-seater Series, but you know there’s something that focuses the interest when you are encouraging a driver to do better in your own car!”

“It’s the same when you are around the workshop, it’s cool to drop by and spend some time with the guys, and in training when the Pros can help you to find better limits as the trainer pushes you harder and harder, because that has been their world for their whole professional life.

It’s the difference between a constructive rivalry between team-mates in a single driver Series and a camaraderie designed to encourage better performance and success that you find in the Asian Le Mans Series.  There are skills there that are so useful, not just in the sport but way, way beyond.  That’s been very useful too as I’ve built up the business side of the team. they help you to improve – We’re faster, better and we’re always smiling as we do it –  I love it.”