Category Archives: Press Releases

WIN Motorsport Enters Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup With LMP3 Ligier

Newly-established, Hong Kong-based racing team WIN Motorsport has confirmed a full season entry in the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup with a Ligier Nissan JS P3 Prototype in the LMP3 class.

Team owner and ex-FIA World Touring Car Championship driver William Lok will share the Ligier with rapid Italian racer Davide Rizzo.

Lok, who contested the 2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series and is a former VW Scirocco R-Cup China Champion, has established  WIN Motorsport to initially contest both the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup and Series, with the goal of  eventually competing for  the biggest prize in endurance motorsport,  earning aninvitation to compete in the world famous Le Mans 24 Hours.

Before that though the team will contest the three-round, six-race Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup from May through to August at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

WIN Motorsport driver and Team Principal Lok is looking forward to the start of what will be the team’s debut season together: “After several years competing at the highest levels in Asian motorsport, for WIN Motorsport I have gathered together the best in the business to create a professional, competitive and ambitious team. We are all looking forward to the start of the season with the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup.”

Davide Rizzo: “I’m very excited to begin this new adventure with William [Lok] and WIN Motorsport. We have raced together before and it went well, so we will try to duplicate that success here. It will be the first time for me with an LMP3 car. Passing from GT, I will need a bit of practice but the team is already doing a good job, giving me a day to try the car which went very well.  From what I have seen already, the team is very professional and has made me feel extremely comfortable.”

Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Managing Director Cyrille Taesch Wahlen welcomed the arrival of the new team on the entry for the 2017 Series: “It is great to see not just new Asian drivers joining the endurance racing family, but new Asian race teams too.  WIN Motorsport is the latest to make that move and I wish them well for the racing to come.” 

Team NZ Return to Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup

New Zealand’s Team NZ will return to the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup in 2017 once again fielding their Porsche 997 GT3 Cup in the GT Cup class.

John Curran (IRL) and Graeme Dowsett (NZ) will drive once again in the effort that saw class winning success both in the Sprint Cup and the Asian Le Mans Series last season.

Graeme Dowsett, Team NZ: “Team NZ is excited to be joining the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup again. The format is an excellent platform to race at a relatively high level with some of the teams actually going onto the Le Mans 24hr race, while also providing a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. The race format of 1hr x 2 races per weekend provides Team NZ excellent track and race time to develop the drivers abilities. It is an excellent series to leading onto the 4hr race format of Asian Le Mans.”

The three round Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup features LMP3, GT3 and GT Cup class cars in a three round, 6 race Series based at Sepang in Malaysia, giving teams and drivers the opportunity to sample multi class Prototype and GT racing before committing to the full 5 round Asian Le Mans Series over the winter of 2017/ 2018.

Class winners of the full Series receive an automatic invitation to contest the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Team AAI Files Two Car GT3 Entry for 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup

One of the largest endurance teams in Asia, Taiwan’s Team AAI, has given a ringing endorsement to the move to include GT3 cars in the revamped 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup by committing a pair of cars to the competition.

Team AAI have confirmed both a BMW Z4 GT3 for Chi Huang and a McLaren 650S GT3 for Terry Fang for the three race Series based at Sepang International Circuit.

Both men are Bronze rated drivers, Team AAI joining a host of other teams to utilise the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup as an opportunity for gentleman drivers to hone their race craft before stepping up to the full Asian Le Mans Series.

In the BMW Z4 Chi Huang will be lined up with Silver driver Ollie Millroy.

Last season’s Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup saw the majority of entrants graduate to the 2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series helping grid numbers to record levels with more Asian teams on the grid than ever before.

Junsan Chen, Team AAI Founder and Director: ”In the past years, motorsports has been growing quite rapidly in the regions of Asia as we are very enthusiastic to see all the major race organizers such as the ACO to bring their well established programs here.

“We are also seeing top world class pro drivers in the mix of driver lineups which has brought the races to a very competitive level which may also intimidate a lot of the gentlemen drivers to partake at this stage. It is with great joy to see that the ACO has opened the GT class in the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup to cater more towards gentlemen drivers and help provide a platform and a stepping stone towards their passion to the highest level of international racing. With the well consideration of the programs that the ACO are providing we are certain to see Asia motorsports to continue growing.”

Cyrille Taesch Wahlen, Managing Director of the Asian Le Mans Series said: “Team AAI were the very first GT team to graduate from our Series to the Le Mans 24 Hours and it is great to see that they are continuing to bring more cars and drivers to join the ACO Racing family. I hope that the Sprint Cup whets their appetites and we see both Chi Huang and Terry Fang for the full season in the Asian Le Mans Series too.”

GT3 Cars Added To Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Events Restructured Series starts in May & the opportunity to race at Road to Le Mans after R1

The Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup has released a revised calendar after consulting with interested team on its 2017 commitments.

In place of the previously planned four-race season for LMP3 and GT Cup cars the 2017 calendar will now see three race meetings, all still at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia with GT3 cars now added to the entry as the Asian Le Mans Series expands its co-operation with Michelin.

The season will now start with Round 1 on 5/7 May 2017, featuring a race format designed to give a real opportunity for teams and drivers to sample mixed class Prototype and GT racing, the true DNA of international sportscar racing.

The change to add GT3 cars to the Series now allows GT3 teams to construct a comprehensive racing programme in Asia combining the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup and the Asian Le Mans Series (which takes place over winter 2017/18). Both series’ will feature 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.

Road to Le Mans
A major incentive for full-season GT3 and LMP3 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup entrants comes with the opportunity to race on the full Le Mans 24 Hours circuit in June. In addition to the Michelin Le Mans Cup competitors (automatically entered), entrants will be given priority to enter the pair of 55-minute Road to Le Mans races which will take place on the Circuit de la Sarthe in June as the curtain raiser of the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours alongside with the other Asian LMS and ELMS selected teams. This will give teams the opportunity to have a first taste of Le Mans and its 13,6km track while strengthening the ACO GT3 and LMP3 offer for Asian teams.

Plans are in hand to expand the Sprint Series into a more International Series for 2018.

2017 Calendar
Round 1: 5/7 May 2017
Round 2: 21/23 July 2017
Round 3: 18/20 August 2017
OPTION with priority entry – Road To Le Mans: 14/17 June 2017

Road to Le Mans – 2nd staging in 2017

 The success of the first Road to Le Mans in 2016 has encouraged the Automobile Club de l’Ouest with the help of Le Mans Endurance Management (promoter of the Michelin Le Mans Cup Series), to organise the event for the second year running as a curtain-raiser to the Le Mans 24 Hours on 17-18 June. This year two races reserved exclusively for LM P3 and GT3 cars will be on the programme and the number of entries has been increased to 46. For more, click here.

Automobile Club de l’Ouest Press Conference – 2017 Entry Lists

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The Automobile Club de l’Ouest is innovating and using a totally new format to reveal the lists of entries for the 2017 European Le Mans Series (ELMS), FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Live from Le Mans on Thursday 2nd February 4:00 pm (GMT + 1) the lists will be revealed in exclusivity on the Internet in a new innovative interactive format. Medias and surfers can ask questions via the social networks. On a dedicated stage, in a friendly ambiance, the hosts will interview the ACO representatives and will have the on-the-spot reactions of key players in the world of endurance thanks to several duplexes. Several new subjects will be tackled during this innovative reveal!

2017/2018 Asian Le Mans: Moving Forward

2017 ASIAN LE MANS SPRINT CUP

After a first season held over three events in Sepang this year, the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup will come back to Sepang next year with some changes.

The newest ACO series in Asia open to LMP3, CN and GT Cup cars will evolve from 3 to 4 events of two 60’ race each to be held from April to August at the Sepang International Circuit.

In order to keep adapting to the customers needs a Pro/Am and Am classifications will be introduced.

 

Calendar*

7/9 April 2017 (Sepang, Malaysia)

5/7 May 2017 (Sepang, Malaysia)

21/23 July 2017 (Sepang, Malaysia)

18/20 August 2017 (Sepang, Malaysia)

*Provisional until FIA approval

Launch of the LMP3 Asian Le Mans Challenge

In order to strengthen the teams’ LMP3 business model and racing opportunities in Asia it has been decided to create a global LMP3 classification combining both the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup and Asian Le Mans Series. This comprehensive platform for LMP3 teams mixing Sprint and Endurance racing (9 events and 13 races) will include team and driver classifications.

A brochure including further details and incentive package will be released soon.

 

2017/2018 ASIAN LE MANS SERIES

After a promising 2015/2016 Asian Le Mans Series relaunch and a consistent 30 car grid for the 2016/2017 season it is has been decided:

  • To move from a 4 to a 5 event calendar for next year.
  • To return to China and race twice in this country
  • To visit a new circuit

 

Calendar*

Zhejiang, China: 5/7 or 13/15 October 2017 (TBC)

Zhuhai, China: 27/29 October 2017

Fuji, Japan: 1/3 December 2017

Buriram, Thailand: 5/7 January 2018

Sepang, Malaysia: 19/21 January 2018

*Provisional until FIA approval

 

COOPERATION WITH GT ASIA

As a natural continuation of the relationship established with GT Asia since 2015, both series have decided to go further.

In addition to keeping on working on non-clashing calendars, a cooperation will start on Scrutineering, BOP and the following incentives:

  • The winner of the 2016/2017 Asian Le Mans Series GT class will get a free entry in the 2017 GT Asia Series
  • The winner of the 2017 GT Asia Series will get a free entry in the 2017/2018 Asian Le Mans Series (GT class)

 

Creation of the Michelin Asia GT Challenge

To be able to offer GT teams an extended racing platform combining Sprint and Endurance the new Michelin Asia GT Challenge will consist of the combination of the GT Asia and Asian Le Mans Series GT3 classifications.

It will include:

  • A team and driver classification (Reserved for full season entrants in both series)
  • Prize money for the first three teams (the details of which will be released soon)

Last but not least, the ACO has decided to grant the winning team of the 2017 Michelin Asia GT Challenge with an invitation to the 2018 Le Mans 24H in the LMGTE Am class.

This outstanding prize along with the above listed news shows again the very strong commitment of the ACO towards teams and drivers racing in Asia.

Cyrille Taesch Wahlen, Asian Le Mans Managing Director: “The growing support from all our stakeholders and customers has given Asian Le Mans the opportunity to enter into a new chapter with our two very much linked series.

We now have a complete LMP3 offer, now including 13 races over 9 events in 2017. Furthermore, our cooperation with David Sonensher’s GT Asia and our long term Michelin partner will contribute to establish a stronger intercontinental platform for GT Racing in Asia through the Michelin Asia GT Challenge.”

Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “The major step forward taken by the Asian Le Mans for the upcoming seasons demonstrates the ACO commitment to promote Prototype and GT Racing for teams and drivers in Asia through bigger events as well as strong and innovative partnerships. The environment that we are building in this region of the world should undoubtedly become the perfect springboard for Asian teams on their way to Le Mans.”