All posts by alsc

Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup GT Cup Class “Ideal Format” for Endurance Race Novices – Earl Bamber

 

Double Le Mans 24 Hours Champion, Double Carrera Cup Asia Champion and 2014 Porsche Supercup Champion Earl Bamber was taking a close look at the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup over the final race weekend of the Series and had plenty of encouragement for the prospects for a stronger grid for the GT Cup class in 2018.

Bamber, whose brother Will is a regular part of the Team NZ effort, sees real potential for a locally based multi-car effort for next season:

“The format for this Championship is ideal,” he said. “ With so much endurance racing now available, one area there is a shortfall is the opportunity for new drivers looking to get into this sort of racing to have a relatively low pressure place to learn how multi-class racing operates, not just the racing, but the way that strategy, and the rules, play out across a weekend. Lots of track time and longer racing stints give a good opportunity for drivers to practice, and to test themselves and improve.

“This is a great introduction to that, and the GT Cup class is the perfect way to start, in particular with an all-gentleman driver squad (Bronze/ Bronze).”

With the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia about to transition to the new model of Porsche 9911 GT3 Cup for 2018 there will be a large number of previous model Porsches on the market and Bamber is confident that the category is set to see a boost:

“There is real potential for a sensible number of those cars being available,” said Bamber, “and for current, and emerging teams to use that opportunity to cultivate an entirely new customer base. It’s a real opportunity to make the step as a team onto the international stage.”

2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup – Round 3 Review

 

Double Pole for WIN Motorsport

A double pole position for the Championship leading #1 WIN Racing Ligier JSP3 made the qualifying headlines ahead of the double-header of 60 minute races on Saturday and Sunday for the final weekend of the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup.

Australian Scott Andrews scored pole position for race one with the fastest lap of either session 2:00.098, enough to beat off the challenge from title rivals Infinity Racing Engineering and TKS in the first 15 minute session.

That scored the WIN Racing team an additional point in their quest to secure the title.

The front row for the Saturday race would be completed by the #27 Infinity Racing Engineering Adess 03 after Dominic Ang recovered from losing his fastest lap for a track limits infringement to go second fastest in the session with a 2:04.289.

The second row would see GT class polesitter Marco Jacoboni start the #98 Arrows Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 (2:08.489) alongside GT Cup polesetter Graeme Dowsett’s #77 Team NZ Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (2:14.315), the Porsche man fending off a very tight challenge from the similar #15 PAS Macau Racing Porsche of Wong Kian Kuan.

There was trouble at the end of the session though for overall title contender TKS and their Ginetta LMP3, solo driver Shinyo Sano pitting and driving the car straight into the garage for a tyre change.  That infringement saw all of the #99 car’s lap times in the session cancelled, the Ginetta would start from the back of the grid for Race 1.

Session 2 to set the grid for Sunday’s race saw WIN Racing team owner William Lok repeating the feat of his team-mate, setting pole position with a lap of 2:04.195.

Alongside him though was not another LMP3 car, there were dramas early in the session for the #27 Adess, now with Douglas Khoo aboard, the car into the barriers at turn one, red flags stopping the session but the session clock stopped with under 10 minutes to go.

That interrupted the plans for all of the remaining cars but there was time enough for Ollie Millroy to put the #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 GT3 second on the grid alongside the polesetting Ligier LMP3 and pole in the GT class with a time of 2:04.652.

The GT Cup class was again a close run affair, the class pole changing hands again during the session, John Curran spinning as he pushed harder still to better the time of the #15 PAS Macau Racing Porsche, Erico de Jesus scoring a deserved class pole with a best lap of 2:13.991, but with all the drivers in class scoring a best time within a second of each other, a title battle looked to be in prospect.


WIN Motorsport Ligier Takes Race 1 and Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Title
But Dramas in GT – And Overall Podium For Team NZ Porsche

A topsy turvy 60 minute race on Saturday saw titles settled and post race controversy for the penultimate round of the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup.

A dominant performance by the #1 WIN Motorsport Ligier JSP3 squad of Scott Andrews and William Lok saw the team take the overall title, Lok winning the drivers title with a round to spare.  That came courtesy of their on-track performance, the Ligier leading the way after the second corner of the race with main title rivals TKS and Shinyo Sano starting from the back of the grid in the #99 Ginetta LMP3 and then forced into retirement at the pit stops mid-race with a starter failure.

Behind the Ligier it was all action as the leading car in the GT class, the Arrows Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 followed up a fast start that saw Marco Jacoboni take the lead briefly through Turn One before dropping back behind both the Ligier and the #27 Infinity Racing Engineering Adess 03 LMP3 started by Dominic Ang.

Both prototypes made it by the Lamborghini quickly but the GT car hung on to the LMP3s and in the second part of the race, with Douglas Khoo aboard the Adess, and Michael Choi in the Lamborghini the tables began to turn, the GT car catching and passing the #27 car for second overall until the closing stages.

Having pulled away in second place the Gallardo suddenly slowed, Michael Choi reporting later that he had detected a puncture as he completed a lap, too late to pit, the tyre fully down by turn two.  The Adess was back up into second place.

By now the Lamborghini’s main title rival in the GT class was already out of the race, Chi Huang having gone into the gravel early on in the #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 GT3, the car eventually getting back to the pits but stopping on Ollie Millroy’s out-lap, the car overheating as a result of the trip through the gravel trap at T5/T6.

The Lamborghini’s dramas weren’t over though, needing a finish to clinch the title the car was directed off track but made its way back to the pits via the internal circuit roads leading to an eventual exclusion, the car having returned to its garage having not passed through the pit entry.

That left a 1,2 overall for the Ligier and Adess LMP3s with the #77 Team NZ GT Cup class Porsche powering home not only to a class win, but a overall podium too!

With reigning Le Mans 24 Hours champion Earl Bamber assisting the team on the radio, Graeme Dowsett started the race in the #77 and was immediately in a fine battle with Wong Kian Kuan in the #15 PAS Macau Racing Porsche, the pair lapping nose to tail in the early stages before the #15 suffered a spin and dropped back.

Consistent pace from Dowsett, followed up in the second half of the race by co-driver John Curran saw the #77 home for a comfortable win, the team and Dowsett set to confirm the class titles on Sunday with a points lead that can only be matched by the PAS Macau squad, but with the Team NZ team having more wins across the season.


Titles Confirmed for WIN Motorsport, Arrows Engineering and Team NZ

Sunday’s final race of the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup saw the completion of a near perfect weekend at Sepang International Circuit for the title winning WIN Motorsport squad, their #1 Ligier JSP3 completing a clean sweep of double pole position and double race winning form over the weekend.

Sunday’s race though saw team owner and 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Drivers Champion racing solo after his Saturday co-driver Scott Andrews fell ill overnight with a bout of flu counting him out of Race 2.

That left Lok to start from the rear of the grid but he was soon back in contention for the lead, passed an out of sorts Shinyo Sano in his #99 TKS Ginetta LMP3 after 15 minutes, the Ginetta having led from the start, and went on to take the win comfortably, despite the searing heat of the day.

“I’m delighted with the whole team, and I’m very proud indeed to be bringing the first successful Hong Kong-based prototype team to race, and now title, winning success.  It’s been an ideal building block for all of us in preparing for the Asian Le Mans Series.”

The TKS Ginetta, after retiring from yesterday’s race with a failed starter, managed to fend off the #27 Infinity Racing Engineering Adess 03 of Douglas Khoo through to the pitstops, but the faster pace of the second Adess Driver, Dominic Ang, saw the Ginetta reeled in rapidly, the #27 crew going on to seal second place in the title stakes courtesy of a pair of second place finishes over the weekend with the Ginetta coming home to complete another Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup podium featuring three different LMP3 chassis.

GT Cup saw the #77 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Team NZ pair of John Curran and Graeme Dowsett comfortably hold off the challenge from #15 PAS Macau Racing pairing of Eurico de Jesus and ‘Kelvin’ Wong Kian Kuan.

That saw the #77 team confirm the class title, Dowsett taking the driver’s title courtesy of being an ever present with the team throughout their appearances this season.

In the GT class the Arrows Engineering Lamborghini squad and driver Michael Choi took the title despite a weekend to forget, the #98 Gallardo GT3 excluded from Saturday’s race for coming back to the pits after a puncture without taking the pit entry, the car, in the hands of Michael Choi making a good start to Sunday’s race but stopping on the start finish straight after a gearbox issue.

Their title rivals in the #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 GT3 though were unable to take the start on Sunday after overnight engine troubles could not be fixed.  The Lamborghini team, and Michael Choi, taking the teams and drivers titles.


 

The 2017/2018 Asian Le Mans Series kicks-off on 27th October 2017 with the 4H of Zhuhai. For more details, visit us at www.asianlemansseries.com

WIN Motorsport Back on Top in Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup!

 

WIN Motorsport Back on Top in Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup!

The WIN Motorsports combination of William Lok and Davide Rizzo have taken their Ligier JS P3 to victory in Race 2 of the second round of the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup. The race was held today at the Sepang International Circuit.

Race 2 Qualifying:
Qualifying for today’s race was held on Saturday morning immediately following first qualifying session. This meant that Infinity Racing Engineering, were also forced to miss second qualifying after suffering problems in the first session. As a result they were forced to start from the rear of the grid again in their ADESS03.

Qualifying on pole was WIN Motorsports Davide Rizzo in the Ligier JS P3, with race one winner Shinyo Sano lining up next to him in the TKS Ginetta LMP3.

Ollie Milroy will start 3rd and first of the GT Class entries in the Team AAI BMW Z4 GT3. Nick Foster in the Team NZ Porsche 997 GT3 Cup is first of the GT Cup entries.

As a result of his accident in Race 1, Kurt Hill in the Eurasia Motorsports Ligier JS 53-EVO was not able start in Race 2.

Unfortunately the Arrows Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 that performed so well in Race 1, had a mechanical problem on the way to the grid and was not able to make the start of the race.

Race:
With dark clouds looming, teams were faced with the prospect of a rain during the race. Fortunately the threat cleared and the race was dry.

Pole sitter Davide Rizzo in the WIN Motorsports Ligier JS P3 got away perfectly at the start, and was quickly pulling away. His aim was to build a solid gap to the other LMP3 enteries before he handed the car over to his team mate William Lok.

Behind him, it was Ollie Milroy in the Team AAI  BMW Z4 GT3 that capitalised on a strong start to get ahead of Shinyo Sano in the TKS Ginetta LMP3 and sit in second after turn one. Nick Foster also got a blistering start in the Team NZ Porsche 997 GT3 Cup, climbing up as high as 4th place on the first lap.

Sano and Milroy were locked in a tight battle with Sano unable to find a way around the BMW. On lap 6 however, Milroy let the LMP3 of Sano through. Running in the GT Class, Milroy does not need to fight hard with Sano who is racing in the LMP3 Class. He instead chose to focus on his own race. At this point Sano had dropped 24 seconds behind Rizzo who had been running in clean air. He pushed hard from there to close the gap, but Rizzo was a man on a mission setting increasingly quick lap times.

Ahead of the compulsory pit stops, Rizzo had pulled out a gap of over 40 seconds to Sano.

Infinity Racing Engineering the first to take advantage of the pit window open, bringing in Khoo and putting Dominic Ang into the seat of the ADESS 03.

Meanwhile, in the GT class Milroy was driving very well to comfortably build a strong gap to the other GT runners before pitting, and handing over his BMW Z4 GT3 to his Team AAI team mate Chi Huang. Due to their shorter compulsory pit stop time, the BMW came out in front of the TKS Ginetta LMP3, but Sano quickly took the place back again.

Rizzo pitted on lap 16 and handed over the WIN Motorsports Ligier JS P3. William Lok took the wheel and came out over a minute ahead of Sano.

While Sano set about closing the gap to the WIN Motorsport car in front, the TKS team were advised they were under investigation for insufficient pit stop time. The officials found they did not stop for the correct length of time and gave the team a 2 second stop and go penalty. This saw Sano drop even further behind Lok.

In the GT Cup class, the battle between the Porsche 997 GT3 Cup cars from Team NZ and PAS Macau Racing was heating up with Wong Kian Kuan closing on Graeme Dowsett who appeared to be struggling with his car.

The battle for third place was intensifying with Dominic Ang in the Infinity Racing Engineering ADESS 03 rapidly closing the gap to the Team AAI Team AAI ADESS 03 with Jun San Chen behind the wheel. Ang took third place with less than 10 minutes left in the race. He held the position to claim the third spot on the podium at the finish.

Chi Huang continued to run a clean and consistent race in the Team AAI BMW Z4 GT3, to claim the win in the GT Class.

After comfortably leading the GT Cup Class for much of the race, Team NZ saw a recurrence of the problem that has been plaguing them all week. A problem that increased as the race went on. The problem saw Graeme needing to drop his lap speed significantly to nurse the car home. Wong Kian Kuan in the PAS Macau Racing Porsche took advantage of this to catch and pass the struggling Team NZ Porsche. He was then able to hold onto first place, crossing the finish line to claim victory for PAS Macau Racing in the GT Cup Class.

Despite Sano throwing everything he had into chasing down Lok, he had to settle for second as WIN Motorsport proved to be unbeatable. Lok crossed the line to claim victory, and with it extended the team’s lead in the Championship.


 

Driver quotes:

First LMP3: WIN Motorsport – Ligier JSP3
Davide Rizzo
Obviously it was a good result today. The guys worked really hard overnight. They did a really good job to fix the car after yesterday. They had quite a bit of trouble and they made the car perfect. The start was good and after that I just needed to keep pushing to make sure that when I gave the car to William that everything was in a good place. And then he did a good job, so not really much more to say other than thanks to the team for a great job!
 
William Lok
We have had a really good car today. Yesterday there was a bit too much drama, but maybe today was a bit too little drama! But we had some fun! Over all I am very, very happy. Thank you very much to everyone in the team for their support – it was a late on last night like Davide said – but the car was spot on right away. After yesterday’s race, we had a few issues including a clutch problem which meant it had to be replaced overnight. I am very happy and looking forward to the next round!

Second LMP3:
TKS – Ginetta LMP3
Shinyo Sano
Today was tough. WIN Motorsport are very strong and we had a pit stop time that was an extra 40 seconds so it was a big challenge. At the start I wanted to follow Rizzo but the BMW was just too fast and I could not pass for many, many laps, so then he was gone! On the last lap I felt the car drop power – so I just used the top gear and I just made it over the control line, I was not sure I could do another lap. So very lucky! So thank you, I really enjoyed my race.  

 
Third LMP3: Infinity Racing – ADESS 03
Douglas Khoo
Starting last it was of course a big challenge again, but I made a good start, getting by the Porsche straight away. I was not able to catch the other ADESS in front of us unfortunately. It was a great race, it has been a great weekend really. Fantastic racing, obviously I gave my partner a bit more work to do today, but he drove brilliantly and I am very proud of this team. We have obviously done a lot over the weekend to improve the car so we are very pleased!   

Dominic Ang
After Douglas passed the car to me, I just kept pushing to chase the ADESS down as we really wanted to be on the podium again! I managed to pass him on the last few laps, and once I was passed I wasn’t sure there was much more we could do. It was a great weekend for the team. Douglas has kept improving in every session. I have to thank him, and the whole team for the opportunity to race with them this weekend.  

First GT3: Team AAI – BMW Z4 GT3
Chi Huang
Today is the first time I have finished with the P1! First I would like to thank the organisers of the Sprint Cup to give us a very good path to enter the Endurance Series. It is our intention to move up and this provides a very good platform for that. Second of all I would like to thank they entire team. The driver is the operator, but behind the scenes there are a lot of unsung heros. Everyone from the team owner to the mechanics – it’s a fast forward version of life! Everything happens so quickly. We live life, but just faster!
 
Most importantly for me, this event, at this circuit, is very important. A lot of Pros start racing at a very young age – but for me, I started at this age! But everything is possible if you put your heart into it, and then with the right support, and the right event then everything can come together!  

Ollie Millroy
I had a good start and got into 2nd over-all after passing the TKS LMP3. I wanted to push at bit to get a good lap in at the start as we had an issue in quali and we wanted to see just what the car could do. I put in a couple of decent laps at the start before settling down and focusing on saving the tyres for when Chi got into the car. It all went to plan really – I don’t think it could have gone better!
 
Chi is completely new to GT racing so the whole point of this program is for us to work with him to get him up to speed to hopefully do the main Asian Le mans Series. From that perspective it has gone really well. We have spent time working on the data together and continually taking steps forward. Ultimately that’s what this series is about. It’s about taking these guys and introducing them to GT Racing. Getting the used to everything from driver fitness, to the race procedures and the rules and regulations!


 

Full Results:

2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Round 2 – Race 1

2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Round 2 – Race 2

 

Relive the action!

Race 1

Race 2

TKS Claims first Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Race Win!

Shinyo Sano wins in Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup

Shinyo Sano has claimed victory for Japanese team TKS in his Ginetta LMP3 in Race 1 of the second round of the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup today. He also claimed Pole Position.The win however, did not come easy, with the hour long race around the Sepang International Circuit delivering plenty of action.

Race 1 Qualifying:
The first qualifying session was tightly contested with less than a tenth separating Sano and WIN Motorsport’s William Lok. In third was Kurt Hill in the Eurasia Motorsports Ligier JS 53-EVO.

Leading the way in the GT class was Arrows Racing and their Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 driven by Marco Jacoboni. In GT Cup, Graeme Dowsett set the fastest time in the Team NZ Porsche 997 GT3 Cup.

It was a tough morning for the LMP3 entry from Infinity Racing Engineering. A problem during qualifying saw them pull their car into the garage, incurring a penalty that will see them start both races this round at the rear of the field.

Race:
At the start of the race, Jacoboni got an excellent start in the #98 Lamborghini and took the lead going into turn one. Unfortunately it turned out to be too good, and he received a penalty for jumping the start.

Behind him the racing was close between the LMP3s of Lok and Sano. They were quickly joined by the Infinity Racing Engineering entry of Dominic Ang who stormed through the field from the rear of the grid to be up to third in the opening laps. By the end of the third lap he had taken the lead of the race.

At this point in the race there were three different LMP3 manufacturers filling the top three positions on the track. Ang was behind the wheel of an ADESS 03, Sano in the Ginetta LMP3, and Lok in the Ligier JSP3.

Behind the Prototype battle, the racing was tight in the GT Class with a three way battle of wheel to wheel action with the Team AAI BMW Z4 of Chi Huang, Graeme Dowsett in the Team NZ Porsche 997 GT3 Cup, and a hard charging Jacoboni in the Lamborghini.

On lap 5 Lok and Jacoboni touched – sending both spinning and forcing Lok to pit.

In a decision that was to have an impact on the race result, the stewards deemed the accident to have been caused by Lok, and gave the team a drive though penalty. After a short pit stop to check the damage to his Ligier JSP3, Lok came back on track and was quickly setting fastest laps as he chased down the pack.

On his out lap after serving his compulsory pit stop, Kurt Hill in the CN went off at turn 4, hitting the barriers hard. He was able to get out of the car on his own, but went to the medical centre for a quick check up. He was given the all clear shortly after, slightly bruised but otherwise fine.

The accident brought out the safety car so the marshals could safely remove the car.

Behind the safety car, the order out front was Douglas Khoo, who had taken the wheel of the Infinity Racing Engineering LMP3, followed by Sano in the Ginetta LMP3, and Michael Choi in the Arrows Racing Lamborghini having taken over from Jacoboni during their pit stop. Nick Foster was leading the GT Cup Class in the Team NZ Porsche.

The safety car came in with just over 10 minutes left on the clock. With the pack bunched up it promised to be an exciting run to the end – and the race delivered!

Davide Rizzo was sitting in 4th place when the lights went out, but he was on a charge! Khoo was slow to get away at the restart and it was quickly a battle for the lead between the TKS Ginetta and Rizzo.

Just as Rizzo took the lead, the drive through penalty for the earlier collision was given, forcing him to pit and drop back. He did not give up though and was able to fight back to finish in second place.

Behind him, Choi was fighting hard with Khoo, with the Lamborghini driver passing the ADESS 03 to take 3rd overall and first in his Class. Team AAI came home second with Ollie Millroy behind the wheel of the BMW Z4 GT3. For the BMW, their run was hampered by the safety car coming out at the worst time for them, cutting short any further challenge.

In the GT Cup Class Nick Foster took the win for Team NZ.

Finishing in front of them all though, it was Japanese driver, Shinyo Sano who withstood the pressure from all around him throughout the whole race to claim the victory – his first in the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup and his first win behind the wheel of the TKS Ginetta.

Race Two starts at 12:55 on Sunday. The race will be streamed live on the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Facebook page, with live timing also available on our website.

 


 

Driver quotes:

First LMP3: TKS – Ginetta LMP3
Shinyo Sano
Thank you very much! I started in Pole Position but on the start the GT car passed because he got a good slipstream I think. During the race, the temperature is very hot, but I am very happy because this is the first time that I have the number one, it is the first time I have won. So thank you very much to everyone.

Second LMP3: WIN Motorsport – Ligier JSP3
William Lok
We started the race and the GT car jumped the start and got through on us.Dominic came right behind me and also passed me. We were in a really tight battle, stuck behind the GT car. My engine gets very hot when we are running so close behind three cars, especially in the heat we have here which wasn’t good!

Unfortunately there was an incident when I tried to pass Shinyo and the GT car tried to come through as well. Unfortunately we touched and turned into a penalty which I do not understand totally yet, but I am sure there is a good explanation. But after the incident I drove at the best I could, pushing and pushing. Then I handed the car to my team mate Davide. He really, really put on a great show given the position we were in and the situation.

Anyway there is another race tomorrow and I had a lot of fun today with Shinyo and I am sure we will continue with this tomorrow!

Davide Rizzo
The race start was ok and then we know what happened. For my stint, it was really exciting; I had a lot of fun! I have to say that all of the guys I passed on my way were very respectful on the track, and I was able to get into first position again, but then we got the drive through. Not much we could do but we tried hard to push back again but there was just two laps to go when we rejoined.

I have to say that was the most challenging race I have ever had!

Third LMP3: Infinity Racing – ADESS 03
Dominic Ang
We had issues with the car in qualifying so we were quiet happy that the car could start the race at all. So the goal was to get up to the front again as quickly as we could. The start was good – I think I managed to pass four cars by turn one! Once I got to the front I just tried to pull as big a gap as possible before I handed the car over to Douglas.

Douglas Khoo
My race was really interesting – it was my first time in an LMP3 so it was a totally different speed and a totally different car to adapt to. But it was interesting! All I wanted to do was keep the car on the track and then when the safety car came out I thought this isn’t going to be nice with all the fast guys now right behind me! Anyway we managed to keep the car on the track and finish in 3rd so we are happy with that!

First GT3: Arrows Racing – Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2
Marco Jacoboni
First time for me in a Lamborghini and first time for me at Sepang. I think I jumped a little bit at the start but I’m not sure, I could not see the CN as it is so low beside me. But I tried to do my best for Mike – he also did very well, he made no mistakes!

I had a car hit me – and push me hard – so I jumped hard. I don’t think there was too much damage, we will have to see.

But it is really nice to be here with you all!

Michael Choi
Marco did a great job for me. When I got the car from him I just followed everybody until the safety car came out and it was possible for me to get close to the LMP3 cars in front of me. In the last three laps I had the chance to pass one, which was a very good experience – it was great fun!

First GT Cup: Team NZ Porsche 997 GT3 Cup
Graeme Dowsett
First I’d like to thank everyone that has helped us try and fix the issue we have – everyone from Infinity Racing, Arrows, guys in Carrera Cup Asia, Carrera Cup Australia, so many people! We have been chasing a problem with the car for the last two days. We thought we had it sorted yesterday morning, but it’s come back today – not as bad as it was, but it is still there so we are just going to have to wait and see what tomorrow brings for us.

For the race our aim was really to pull away from the PAS car, we managed to also get in front of the BMW and pulled a bit of a gap. Then I handed the car over to Nick.

I think he really showed just what that car can do – going around the outside of turn three on one of the LMP3s! He drove excellently until the problem started to come back. We are still having a load of fun – we are really lucky, very lucky in fact, to finish the race today.

Nick Foster
I had great fun out there fighting with the LMP3s!

Unfortunately, the problem that we have been battling all week reappeared towards the end of the race, but I am still really pleased to bring the car home first in Class for Graeme and Team NZ!

Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Round 2 – Preview

From Le Mans to Sepang!

Round two of the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup will be held this weekend at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) in Malaysia.

The break since Round one in May has not been a time to relax for some of the teams, particularly for the three teams that raced at Le Mans in June. Leading the way was Eurasia Motorsport racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP2 Class with their Ligier JS P217 Gibson.  The team conquered one of the greatest challenges in Motorsport, and finished in an impressive 16th place outright after a relatively trouble free race.

Current Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup LMP3 class leader, Hong Kong based WIN Motorsport, and Japanese team TKS, took up the opportunity to compete in the Road to Le Mans support races. The invitation came as a result of being a full season entrant in the Sprint Cup and provided them with an exceptional opportunity to get track time on the famous circuit. Both teams had very positive weekends, learning a lot and earning very solid results. Racing in a field of 48 cars, both teams picked up a top ten race finish in impressive performances.

The Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup sits at the base of the ACO’s racing pyramid in Asia, offering a perfect stepping stone in Prototype and GT racing. It is a cost effective and logistically easy introduction to multi-class racing ahead of the full endurance Series that kicks off at the end of October. This pyramid offers teams the only direct pathway to World Championships for both Prototype and GT competitors, and entry into the pinnacle of endurance racing globally, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

For this round of the Sprint Cup there are a number of changes to the grid.

Malaysian duo, Douglas Khoo and Dominic Ang will make the step from the CN into an LMP3 with Infinity Race Engineering, replacing Winslow and Muston. Kurt Hill from Australia will join Eurasia in the CN (Ligier JS53-EVO).

Team AAI will be running a new LMP3 entry instead of their McLaren 650S GT3, and in the #98 Arrows Racing, Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2, Jacoboni Marco will join Michael Choi replacing Ebenal.

Current Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup GT Cup Class leaders, and defending champions, Team NZ will see a driver change with highly experience Australian Nick Foster step into their Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car for this round. Foster, an Australian Porsche Carrera Cup Champion, is currently racing in the World Endurance Championship. Nick also raced for the team,  int he same car, in the Bathurst 12 Hour in 2016 where they finished on the podium in their class podium.

Both races will again be streamed live and in full this weekend via the Sprint Cup YouTube channel, the Facebook page, or website . Live timing will also be available on the website.

Catch the races on Saturday at 1430hrs and on Sunday at 1255hrs local time.

Eligible cars:
The Sprint Cup is reserved for LMP3, GT3, GT Cup and CN cars.

The ACO reserves the right to adjust the performance of the GT and GT Cup cars to ensure Balance of Performance.

Race programme:
The Cup will consist of three rounds, with each round featuring two one-hour races. There will also be two practice sessions on Friday, and two qualifying sessions on Saturday morning.

Prizes:
The winners of the GT3, LMP3 and GT Cup classes in the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup will be awarded a  free entry into the 2017/2018 Asian Le Mans Series.

In addition, full-season Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup entrants from both LMP3 and GT3 have been given the opportunity to compete on the full Le Mans 24 Hours circuit in June. They were offered a priority entry for both 55-minute Road to Le Mans races that took place as the ‘curtain raiser’ for the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours

Race 2 Sees WIN Motorsport Take The Chequered Flag Again!

WIN Motorsport has done it again as their drivers, William Lok and Davide Rizzo took the #1 Ligier JSP3 LMP3 car to the finish line in first place after a well calculated battle that saw grid positions change drastically throughout. 1 minute 16.073 seconds behind was second placed #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS 03 of James Winslow and Neale Muston. In third was Shinyo Sano (the only solo driver in the race) in his #99 TKS Ginetta LMP3.

 

Fourth overall and first in GT3 class was the #98 Arrows Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2 of Maxx Ebenal and Michael Choi. Second in GT3 and fifth overall was Kantasak Kusiri and Bhurit Bhirombhakdi in their #59 Singha Plan B Motorsport Audi R8 LMS. Rounding up the third spot in GT3 was the #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 of Ollie Millroy and Chi Huang, they were also sixth overall. The other Team AAI car, the #93 McLaren 650S GT3 driven by Jun San Chen and Terry Fang were fourth in their class and seventh overall.

 

Over in GT Cup, Team NZ has emerged tops again in their class as John Curran and Graeme Dowsett took their #77 Porsche 997 and went ahead of the #15 PAS Macau Racing Porsche 997 of Eurico de Jesus and Wong Kian Kuan. The only non-starter of Race 2 was the #3 Eurasia Ligier JS53-EVO with drivers Douglas Khoo and Dominic Ang as the car continued to be plagued by issues.

 

Picking up from yesterday’s action with a grid line-up that was vastly different, sitting on pole was the #99 TKS Ginetta LMP3 driven by Sano, beside him was Team AAI’s #92 BMW Z4 GT3 of Ollie Millroy. Second row comprised of the #1 WIN Motorsport Ligier JSP3 driven by William Lok and in fourth was the #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS 03 of Neale Muston. Behind them were the #59 Singha Plan B Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Bhurit Bhirombhakdi in fifth and the #93 Team AAI McLaren 650S GT3 driven by Jun San Chen in sixth.

 

Making up the back end of the grid was the #98 Arrows Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 of Michael Choi in seventh, the #77 Team NZ Porsche 997 GT3Cup of John Curran in eighth and finally the #15 PAS Macau Racing Porsche 997 GT3Cup of Eurico de Jesus in ninth. Tenth was originally the #3 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JS53-EVO of Douglas Khoo who unfortunately could not take part due to engine issues.

 

Besides the difference on the grid, Race 2 also started at 1.55pm with an overcast sky that meant drastically cooler temperatures. Just on Lap 1 itself it was the top four cars on the grid that went into Turn 1 with the #99 TKS Ginetta of Sano taking the lead, but that was short lived as the #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 of Millroy overtook the Japanese driver to gain the lead as the race ensued. In third was yesterday’s winner the #1 WIN Motorsport Ligier JSP3 of Lok and the #93 Team AAI McLaren 650S of Jun San Chen in fourth.

 

Further down the field, the #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS 03 of Muston suffered an early spin out on Lap 1 that caused him crucial seconds. At this point, Millroy in his #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 had only built a 1 second gap ahead of a fast charging Sano in his #99 TKS Ginetta on Lap 2. The gap was reduced to just 0.3 seconds by Lap 3 but Millroy brilliantly defended his position from the immense pressure of the LMP3 car behind him.

 

Then on Lap 4 the #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS 03 finally overtook the #93 Team AAI McLaren 650S for fourth place. On that same lap, Team NZ’s #77 Porsche 997 spun out at Turn 9 but recovered just as fast, though this incident allowed the #15 PAS Macau Racing Porsche 997 of Eurico de Jesus the chance to pass and take eighth spot and the lead in GT Cup.

 

Things up front took a huge change as well as Sano who has been pressurising the #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 of Millroy, lost his concentration and spurn out at Turn 2 on Lap 6. Upon recovering the Japanese driver found himself being tailed very closely by the #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS 03 of Muston who wanted that third place very badly. Sano’s foley allowed the #1 WIN Motorsport Ligier of William Lok to move up to second. Lap 6 also saw the #59 Singha Plan B Motorsport Audi R8 LMS move up to fifth and the #98 Arrows Racing Lamborghini Gallardo of Choi into sixth as the #93 Team AAI McLaren 650S of Jun San Chen drops down to seventh.

 

A lap after that, Neale Muston finally passed the #99 TKS Ginetta of Sano for third; Sano continued to lose pace as he dropped to sixth by Lap 9. This also allowed the #59 Singha Plan B Motorsport Audi R8 LMS of Bhurit Bhirombhakdi to move up to fourth, the #98 Arrows Racing Lamborghini Gallardo of Choi to fifth. Sano picked up the pace again however, as by Lap 10 the #99 TKS Ginetta was back up to fifth. Things were getting equally exciting at the bottom half of the grid as the #77 Team NZ Porsche of John Curran retook eighth place from the #15 PAS Macau Racing Porsche of Eurico de Jesus.

 

Pit windows opened on Lap 11 and the #1 WIN Motorsport Ligier of Lok was one of the first to pit in for a driver change to Davide Rizzo. Race leader, the #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 of Millroy continued to stay out and tried to build a buffer for the lead. With #1 WIN Motorsport car in the pits, the #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS 03 of Neale Muston took second while the #99 TKS Ginetta of Sano was now in third and the #93 Team AAI McLaren 650S of Jun San Chen in fourth.

 

Rizzo of the #1 WIN Motorsport Ligier rejoined the race in fifth and came out directly behind the #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 of Millroy, though he is technically one lap behind on Lap 12. At this time the #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS pitted for a driver change to James Winslow that allowed the #93 Team AAI McLaren of Jun San Chen to move to second. Two laps later though, the #1 WIN Motorsport of Rizzo is now in third, though he still has not un-lapped himself from the race leader.

 

However it was only in Lap 16, when the #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 of Millroy pitted for a driver change to Chi Huang did the race leader finally relinquished its P1 status and to rejoin the race in second behind Rizzo, who was now in first place on Lap 17. Similarly, the #93 Team AAI McLaren pitted in for a driver swop to Terry Fang that allowed the #27 Infinity Race Engineering to move up to second. Second place Chi Huang in the #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 was gradually slowing down too as he dropped to third on Lap 17 as well, while the #59 Singha Plan B Motorsport Audi R8 LMS of Kantasak Kusiri is up to fourth and overtook Huang for third in the following lap.

 

Lap 19 saw the #59 Singha Plan B Motorsport driven by Kusiri pitting in to serve a 40 second stop and go penalty for speeding in the pit lane earlier. This allowed the #99 TKS Ginetta of Sano to take fourth and the #98 Arrows Racing Lamborghini Gallardo of Maxx Ebenal to move up to fourth on Lap 20. A lap later though Sano caught up with Ebenal and passed him for third overall.

 

In the final minutes of the race though the #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS 03 of Winslow suffered a massive spin out on Turn 4 during Lap 22, thankfully Sano in third was some distance behind and Winslow was able to keep his second placement. Lap 23 saw the #59 Singha Plan B Motorsport Audi R8 LMS of Kusiri move up to fifth while the former race leader, the #92 Team AAI BMW Z4 driven by Chi Huang dropped to sixth. The positions stayed that way till the end of the race.

 

 
William Lok, #1 WIN Motorsport Ligier JSP3, LMP3 First Place
“Today we changed some strategies so I started the race, it was a good start, I stayed with the leaders and I saw them fighting each other so I kept my nose clean and made sure that I kept up with the guys. Once I got some clear air I was doing pretty decent lap times on the pace and Sano was really quick in the beginning it was hard to catch him but I kept my cool, kept my pace going on and did as much as I can and brought the car back clean so that Davide can finish it.”

 

Davide Rizzo, #1 WIN Motorsport Ligier JSP3, LMP3 First Place
“I would like to congratulate the whole team that did a great job. I have to complain about William as he did not let me to do anything, I just had to sit in the car for my stint and its his fault for improving too much. It was a great result today, the team did a really good job, it was a nice car and I hope the next weekend would be the same. Thank you everyone.”

 

Neale Muston, #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS 03, LMP3 Second Place
“Congratulations to Davide and William for the flawless drive, so its pretty hard to compete with great driving like that. We made a few changes overnight so we are just lacking aero on the car though we have enough power. We gave everything we could and the car felt a little better today but we had a little contact on Turn 2 and that upset our rear diffuser, it just lifted the rear a little bit so it was a little hard to drive quickly for both of us. Other than that I just really sat down and tried to get some decent lap times, it was really hot which was quite a test, but its been great and I always loved to drive here so we will come back and do it again.”

 

James Winslow, #27 Infinity Race Engineering ADESS 03, LMP3 Second Place
“I jumped in for the second stint, it was pretty tricky, it was very hot and I struggled a little with the balance and we tried to move everything forward, the car felt pretty much like yesterday but we will come back and keep fighting and improve the ADESS for the next event and hopefully these guys who keep winning all the races a bit more challenge.”

 

Shinyo Sano, #99 TKS Ginetta LMP3, LMP3 Third Place
“This time is my first time in podium position again so I really don’t know what to say. I was battling really hard with the Team AAI BMW Z4 early on and that gave me a lot of experience for the races ahead, I look forward to the next race! Thank you.”

 

Maxx Ebenal,  #98 Arrows Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2 , GT3 First Place
“I think the race was very good, we knew today we just had to do one thing and it was not to make any mistakes. Yesterday we got a penalty and unfortunately we had to do a stop and go and I think that really hurt us. We were pretty lucky today too because the other GT3 team got a penalty as well and that helped us for sure. The team did an excellent pit stop, the timing was perfect, our driver change was due too, and I think we both had really good stints.”

 

Michael Choi, #98 Arrows Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2, GT3 First Place
“It was a great race, I started really clean and there was no incidents, I just followed the fast drivers and tried to keep up with the pace thus I was able to come back not to far from the rest of the cars, did an excellent driver change and everything went perfect. It was a great weekend.”

 

Graeme Dowsett, #77 Team NZ Porsche 997 GT3Cup, GTCup First Place
“Congratulations to the boys from Macau, they pushed us really hard right till the end, gave us some good clean racing so congrats to them it was very fun and thank you very much. We had to go through pretty much entire race without relaxing.”

 

John Curran, #77 Team NZ Porsche 997 GT3Cup, GTCup First Place
“Just to reiterate what Graeme said, thanks very much to PAS Macau Racing, we got a taste of what GT Cup can be in the Sprint series, its very close racing, very clean racing and I think I went a little harder than Graeme this afternoon and got into a little spin at Turn 9 but it was a very enjoyable weekend overall and thanks to the organisers.”

 

With that Round 1 of the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup comes to a close with WIN Motorsport on 51 points, Infinity Race Engineering with 36 points and TKS’ 31 points in LMP3 class. Over at GT3, its Singha Plan B Motorsports on 44 points, Arrows Racing with 43 points, Team AAI’s #93 on 27 points and #92 with 16 points. In GT Cup, Team NZ has 52 points while PAS Macau Racing has 36 points.

Round 2 of the 2017 Asia Le Mans Sprint Cup will be held at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia on the 21 – 23 July 2017.

 

2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Round 1 Results
2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Race 2 Results
2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Race 1 Results
2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Qualifying 2
2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Qualifying 1

Relive the action!
Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup – Race 2 Sepang 2017
Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup – Race 1 Sepang 2017

 

Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Round 1 – 5th to 7th May 17 – Final Entry List Announced

Launched in 2016, following the success of the recently concluded 2016/2017 Asian Le Mans Series, the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup returns for three rounds at Sepang International Circuit (SIC) Malaysia.

Testament to the growing interest of prototype racing and strengthened by a strong demand for GT3 competition in Asia, the season kicks off this weekend (5th till 7th May) to a promising start with 10 teams from around the region participating.

Competing in LMP3 class will be the newly-established Hong Kong race team, WIN Motorsport with their Ligier JSP3, Infinity Race Engineering of Malaysia with their ADESS 03, and Team TKS with their Ginetta LMP3 from Japan. Representing the Philippines in the CN class will be Eurasia Motorsport’s Ligier JS53-EVO.

Having freshly incorporated GT3 class to the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup line up earlier in March this year, the two series together now offer GT3 teams a comprehensive racing programme in Asia, with the same professional racing environment combining sprint and endurance over eight events and 11 races this season. The winners of the GT3, LMP3 and GT Cup classes in the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup will also benefit from a free entry into the 2017/2018 Asian Le Mans Series. (Find out more here)

Team AAI from Taiwan will be committing two GT3 cars for this weekend’s Round 1 with a BMW Z4 GT3 and a McLaren 650S GT3, while Singha Plan B Motorsport from Thailand will be fielding an Audi R8 LMS GT3 alongside local Malaysian team Arrows Racing, who will be competing in their Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2.

Completing the grid in the GT Cup class will be defending champions Team NZ from New Zealand, and entering for the first time will be Macau based PAS Macau Racing, with both teams competing in their respective Porsche 997 GT3 Cup cars.

The excitement for this weekend’s Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup extends beyond the battles amongst teams and drivers, but manufacturers as well. This is especially so for the LMP3 class with three LMP3 manufacturers represented. In addition, a major incentive for both LMP3 and GT3 full-season Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup participants will be the opportunity to compete on the full Le Mans 24 Hours circuit in June. Entrants will be offered a priority to enter both 55-minute Road to Le Mans races, taking place at the Circuit de la Sarthe in June, as the ‘curtain raiser’ for the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours, alongside other selected teams from Asian Le Mans Series and European Le Mans Series.

The weekend will also see the beginning of live broadcasts of the races throughout the season, and can be streamed directly to the comfort and convenience of your mobile device or computer. Catch the races on Saturday at 1420hrs and on Sunday at 1355hrs, via either our YouTube channel or our website (kindly note that live timekeeping is also available on our website).

Often hailed as the epitome of endurance racing, the Asian Le Mans brand with both Series and Sprint Cup thus serves as the best stepping stone for aspiring race teams and drivers with dreams of Le Mans 24 Hours.

TKS to join the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup in LMP3

Following on from their first successful season in the Asian Le Mans Series, the 2016/2017 GT Cup team champions will make the step up in the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup.

The Japanese team which is eager to go to Le Mans 24 Hours in the near future, will make the step up to the LMP3 class and will enter a Ginetta for the three rounds of the Sepang based ACO Sprint Series.

Shinyo Sano, TKS Driver: “It’s been five years since I quit motorcycle racing and started to race cars, aiming to go to the Le Mans 24 hours. This is a great opportunity to me to drive LMP3, that’s been my dream. I’m going to step on the podium in the Sprint Cup and am willing to be a strong driver after taking the experience.”

Naoto Echizen, Team Manager: “After three months from the Asian Le Mans Series endurance race, we’re pleased to be able to participate in the sprint race this time.
And we would like to offer our big appreciation to Mr. Zen Low and his staff sincerely for their support because of our sudden decision to participate.
For the race, climate and humidity of Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur in the current season are very different. I think that we need to pay more attention to the physical condition management for drivers. With experience gained in the endurance race, we will do our best to get good results this time.”

Cyrille Taesch Wahlen, Asian Le Mans Managing director: “I am delighted to see TKS joining the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup! The interest in our Series from Japan is definitely growing and this is a very important addition to have them for the Sprint Cup. TKS moving up from the GT Cup and into LMP3 shows once again the wide range of opportunities the ACO platform in Asia offers. It clearly demonstrates the Motorsport ladder we are developing here that leads directly to the Le Mans 24 Hour”.

Defending Champion returns to the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup

Infinity Race Engineering announced today it will enter its Adess LMP3 in the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup. The Australian and Malaysian based entry will be raced by 2016 Sprint Cup Champion James Winslow, and Australian Neale Muston.

Neale Muston: “After a solid season of prototype racing in the 2016 Asian Le Mans Endurance series, and other one-off events, I’m eager to participate in the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup with defending champion James Winslow. We are hoping to form a winning team with Infinity Race Engineering providing mechanical and tactical expertise for the Adess LMP3.”

James Winslow: “I’m looking forward to joining the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup with my friend Neale, and getting the chance to defend our title after winning the inaugural Cup last year. The Adess chassis impressed me last season and we are looking forward to showing it’s full potential this season alongside Infinity Race Engineering. Hopefully we will be able to repeat our winning form!”

CQ Loh, Infinity Race Engineering: “It’s a great feeling to have the opportunity to be back in the Sprint Cup again and especially so with the ADESS 03. Last season, we lifted a few eyebrows with the glimpse of the potential within the AD03 chassis. And now with the proven pairing of Neale Muston and James Winslow, we are definitely looking forward to the competitive racing the LMP3 platform provides. Being the only ADESS in competition globally, it certainly feels a little bit like David vs Goliath! There nothing better than stepping up to the challenge and going against the odds.”

Cyrille Taesch Wahlen, Asian Le Mans Managing Director: “I am very pleased to welcome Infinity Race Engineering back, and to welcome back our reigning Champions! We wish them the best of luck!”

Sport Auto to Partner the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup

Asian Le Mans Endurance Management is pleased to announce that Sport Auto will continue to be an official media partner of the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup in 2017.

The China-based sister company of prestigious German automotive magazine – auto motor und sport – will cover the Series with comprehensive articles in both their printed and digital magazine media. They will also cover the Series through their wide range of social media channels in China and across Asia.

For Sport Auto, the partnership represents an exciting opportunity to represent the pinnacle of endurance racing in the region.

David Hiebaum, Sport Auto Asia Managing Director: “An important year of Motorsport lies ahead of us, and we are pleased to be an official media partner with the exciting Asian Le Mans Sprint Series. The platform, which competes within ACO’s high quality standards, provides a flavour of Le Mans, mixing Prototype and GT cars, whilst offering the first step towards the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

A key part of the partnership will be video coverage of all races including highlights and insights from the teams and drivers throughout the season. Sport Auto will distribute these videos to a global automotive audience.
Sport Auto offers the Series access to the rapidly growing Chinese social networks, Youku and Tudou, something that has been identified as key to growing not only the Series, but also the awareness and popularity of Motorsport in the region.

Cyrille Taesch Wahlen, Asian Le Mans Managing Director: “Motorsport is Asia offers an interesting mix of both immature and mature marketplaces, so it is important that our communication strategy matches this diversity. We need to reach the different audiences through their preferred networks. For this reason it is important that we partner with an outlet that offers the sort of reach and understanding of Sports Auto. This partnership will undoubtly strengthen the media exposure of the series in Asia and China in particular.”

The first round of the three race Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup will commence on the 5th of May.