Qualifying took place Friday evening at the Sepang International Circuit, seeing two different teams take pole for races 5 and 6 of the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup. Jamie Winslow in the #1 DC Racing Ligier JSP3 went quickest in Q1, setting a best time of 2:01.464, and Q2 saw Charlie Robertson in the #67 PRT Racing Ginetta LMP3 set the quickest lap of the session, and of the day, with a time of 2:00.631.
DC Racing topped both Free Practice sessions earlier in the day with the #1 Ligier JSP3. The first session was red flagged with five minutes to go, after the #28 Team Lotus HK Lotus Evora GTC caught fire and spilled oil out on track. The second free practice session started out on damp conditions, giving the teams a different kind of grip to practice on, and then rain struck halfway through, seeing most teams head back to the pits, and meaning that the times would cease to improve.
For the first time in the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup, the Qualifying sessions would take place on the Friday evening instead of the Saturday morning. This is due to sharing the weekend with the Sepang 1000km, which will be racing all of Saturday afternoon, pushing race 1 to Saturday morning.
Race 1 will see Jamie Winslow on pole in the #1 DC Racing Ligier JSP3, after setting a time of 2:01.464 in the drizzly conditions. Alongside him on the first row will be Garnet Patterson in the #27 Nexus Infinity ADESS 03, having set a time of 2:02.390 in qualifying. Third quickest was the #94 WINEURASIA Ligier JSP3, with Edgar Lau at the wheel, setting a lap of 2:02.803.
In Qualifying 2, as the sun was starting to set, Charlie Robertson in the #67 PRT Racing Ginetta LMP3 went quickest with his lap of 2:00.631, a time 4 seconds qu
icker than his nearest rival in the session. The #1 DC Racing Ligier was second fastest with Neale Muston’s lap of 2:04.636. Yoshiharu Mori in the #94 WINEURASIA Ligier JSP3 was third in the session, with his best of 2:04.846.
The CN car, the #68 PS Racing Ligier JS 53, performed well during both qualifying sessions. Driven by Iori Kimura in Q1, he managed to get it 5th on the overall grid, with a lap of 2:04.387. Sebastien Mailleux’s lap time of 2:08.265 got him 4th on the grid for the 6th and final race of the season.
In the GT Cup class, Team Lotus HK managed to repair their car after the fire and rewarded themselves with pole for both races. Dominic Ang set a time of 2:12.408 in Q1, and team mate Anthony Chan set a best of 2:19.618 in the #28 Team Lotus HK Lotus Evora GTC.
The championship is still wide open and all is still to play for. Come back tomorrow find out how the standings have changed after race 5!
Jamie Winslow: “Qualifying went to plan. It was raining in the session, we were out on slick tyres as the track wasn’t particularly wet, but there was a lot of moisture on the windscreen. I think it dried out as it went into the 2nd part of the qualifying session. Pretty happy with the result. Most of the pros are in the first session and we managed to get pole position by 0.9 seconds. We’re not quite where we were at the last event, but we’re looking pretty good for the race. Neale did a fantastic job in his session to qualify second, so two front rows. It’s going to be an interesting day tomorrow.”
Charlie Robertson: “Qualifying was great. A little bit of rain on the circuit made it a bit slipperier than it would be. You just have to push through it and that’s what I did. I put it on pole in my session by 4 seconds, which is pretty crazy, but I know that James was in the session before me and set a 2:01.4., so there are 8-9 tenths between James and I. I’m happy with the time difference. Our aim this weekend is to improve all the time, improve on the weekend just gone, and we want to win the championship, which is the ultimate goal. It’ll be a fight between James and myself. It’ll be good if we can things clean and consistent, we should be able to bring it home. It’s easier said than done. I’m feeling fairly confident, the car feels great. I’m happy”
Iori Kimura: “I’m going to start 5th on the grid, so I’m going to try and pass the LMP3 at the start, as the LMP3s are very fast on the straights, so the only chance I have is at the first corner. I will try to pass the LMP3 and keep blocking. Then I’ll hopefully pass over to Sebastien in a good place.”
Sebastien Mailleux: “It was starting to rain a bit, so it was a bit tricky at the beginning, but I gained some confidence. I got a good lap at the end, but spun unfortunately, but it wouldn’t have changed anything. I’ll be starting fourth, which is good. The very slow rain helped me, the slow track. I think I’ll use the same technique as Iori.”
Dominic Ang: “It was starting to drizzle a bit at the start, so everyone wanted to rush out and make sure they don’t get caught up in the rain. As the laps went by, I think the rain stopped for a while and the conditions got better. I’m happy to be on pole again. The aim tomorrow for the race is to try and win the championship.”
Anthony Chan: “It was a bit tough for me, as it’s late, my eyes couldn’t see all that good, and I was the only GT car running, so the session wasn’t hard. It’s a lot of fun to race around by myself.