Pole Position for the 4 Hours of Sepang – the final round of the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series.
Pipo Derani – #8 Spirit of Race Ligier JS P2
LMP2 Am Trophy
Anders Fjordbach – #25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd
Wayne Boyd – #2 United Autosports Ligier JS P3
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.
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.
The Asian Le Mans Series is proud to be run in partnership with the following partners.
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 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.