It will visit four grade one circuits, in four different countries within the region, be comprised of four races of at least four hours in length, and of course the teams will be fighting for the four highly coveted entries to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
As in previous years, the winner of the LMP2 and LMP3 classes will each receive an entry in the LMP2 class at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans and there will be two LM GTE class entries for GT winners.
While the new calendar is similar to this season, there are a number of important changes.
The season commences at the end of November, ensuring it avoids clashes with other Asian series, but also allowing Asian teams wishing to compete in other Championships globally the opportunity to do so.
The first round of the Season will be held at the Shanghai International Circuit, the first of four FIA Grade 1 Circuits. This will be a return to the Chinese circuit for the Asian Le Mans Series for the first time since 2014. Shanghai has been an ever-present feature of the FIA World Endurance Championship, (FIA WEC) since its inception in 2012. This year the two races will be back to back with the Asian Le Mans Series visiting the week following the FIA WEC.
The race will also be run in conjunction with the China Touring Car Championship (CTCC), adding to the profile of the event in China.
The Series will again race in Fuji Speedway in December, and it will return to Buriram in Thailand in mid-January. After a hugely successful event earlier this year that drew a crowd of over 100,000, the Thai round will again be held as a part of Children’s Day activities.
As it is this year, the final round will be held in the Sepang International Circuit, however in a significant date change, the final round will be held at the end of February, after the Chinese New Year period.
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest:
“The ACO is fully supportive of the development of the Asian Le Mans Series. The Asian Region is a key one for us and we see great potential, not only in terms of teams and drivers, but also in the growing interest in endurance racing from a new audience.
The 2018/19 calendar will feature races held at world class circuits and reflects the high standard of racing we have seen in the Asian Le Mans Series.”
Cyrille Taesch Wahlen, Asian Le Mans Series Managing Director:
“Our objectives for next season were to create both a more attractive calendar, and to develop, with the teams, a more attractive platform.
We have secured, four Grade 1 circuits on dates that fit perfectly within the FIA WEC ‘Super Season’ break, whilst also giving more teams from both the region, and abroad, the opportunity to join us.
We will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure we create a sustainable environment for the Series.”
Further details relating to the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series will be released in the coming weeks, including decisions designed to respond the market and team needs. Entries will open in early March.
2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series Calendar details:
Shanghai International Circuit
23 – 25 November 2018
7 – 9 December 2018
Buriram Chang International Circuit
10 – 12 January 2019
Sepang International Circuit
22 – 24 February 2019