WINEURASIA wins Race 5 of the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup

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After starting from the pits, WINEURASIA’s #94 Ligier JSP3, driven by Edgar Lau and Yoshiharu Mori took the win in Race 5 of the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup, here at the Sepang International Circuit. Newcomers for this round, the #69 Team Aylezo Ginetta LMP3 came second and the #1 DC Racing Ligier JSP3 crossed the line third. The #68 PS Racing Ligier JS 53, the CN entry, came 4th overall, having stayed in the top 3 for most of the race, and Team NZ won the GT Cup Class in the #77 Porsche GT3 Cup.

In one of the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup’s most exciting races to date, due in part to the changeable track conditions, the choice of tyres at the start really made the difference. The pole sitting #1 DC Racing Ligier JSP3 started on wets, whereas a good portion of the field had opted to stay on slicks for the race, although it had been declared wet.  The fight for the lead took off quickly and saw the #27 Nexus Infinity ADESS 03, with Garnet Patterson at the wheel, claim the lead from the #1 DC Racing Ligier JSP3. The #69 Team Aylezo Ginetta LMP3, the #68 PS Racing Ligier JS 53, and the #48 PS Racing ADESS 03 were all fighting in very close quarters for the first couple of laps before the field settled. With the track drying up and the #1 Ligier JSP3 dropping back a few places, the #69 Team Aylezo Ginetta LMP3 made advances on the #27 ADESS 03, which led until the pits. Unfortunately, once Vignesa Moorthy was in the car, the #27 Nexus Infinity ADESS 03 had to take a drive through penalty, due to a jump start, taking away their chance at the win.

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While the battle was going on at the head of the field, the #94 WINEURASIA Ligier JSP3 fought its way back up, having started from the pits due to mechanical issues. Edgar Lau and Yoshiharu Mori drove a clean, consistent race and, in the last couple of laps, Mori managed to make up the last places and overtake Zen Low in the #69 Aylezo Ginetta LMP3 to claim the win. With the #69 Ginetta LMP3 finishing in close second, Neale Muston in the #1 DC Racing Ligier JSP3 managed to overtake the #68 PS Racing Ligier JS 53 in the last lap to claim third.

The #68 PS Racing Ligier JS 53, the CN entry with Iori Kimura starting and handing over to Sebastien Mailleux for the second stint, displayed a most impressive performance, running in the top 3 for most of the race, and even leading for a few laps after the pit stop. Unfortunately, due to their pit stop time being too short, they suffered a stop and go penalty, re-joining the race in third, and crossed the line 4th overall.

In the GT Cup class, the win was claimed by the #77 Team NZ Porsche GT3 Cup, with Graeme Dowsett and John Curran delivering a consistent race, and giving them valuable points towards the class title. Their rivals in the GT Cup class, the #28 Team Lotus HK Lotus Evora GTC, got off to a good start, with Dominic Ang fighting up in 6th place overall at some points, but unfortunately, after the changeover to Anthony Chan, the car ended in the gravel and could not rejoin the race.

The best lap time of the race was set by Charlie Robertson in the #67 PRT Racing Ginetta LMP3 (2:00.946) as he made his way back up the field to try and fight for a podium finish, and finished 4th in LMP3. Their result gives them enough points to still be leading the championship, but Winslow in the #1 DC Racing Ligier is now only 5 points behind.

As race 5 still hasn’t decided the winners of the season, the teams will be going all out in tomorrow’s final race, to claim those valuable points and try to win the titles and a free ticket to the Asian Le Mans Series. See you tomorrow for the final race of the 2016 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup.

Please note that the results will not be finalised until tomorrow.

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#94 WINEURASIA Ligier JSP3
Edgar Lau: “It’s unbelievable, first time driving an LMP car at this track, and it’s my first time at the track as well. Starting from the pit lane on slick tyres, I just kept my head down, putting out lap after lap, thinking hopefully I could keep up. By the time I came into the pits, we were already in 3rd or 4th place. It’s unbelievable, I have no words to describe it. Good job to Yoshi who made the pass for first place. He’s worked very hard all weekend. We’re all new to the LMP3 cars. Much congrats to him as well.”

Yoshiharu Mori: “This is an amazing result for the race. It’s my first race in the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup. We started on Friday, and I didn’t know how much potential the LMP3 had, but it’s a very nice car. Tomorrow we will try again for another win. Thank you to the team, organisation, sponsors.”

#69 Team Aylezo Ginetta LMP3
Zen Low: “First I would like to thank the ACO and everyone at Asian Le Mans, who have done an awesome job. To start with, just to clarify, we’re not supposed to be racing. We received the car last week and our main program is to go to the Asian Le Mans Series, which starts in October. This is just a shakedown to collect as much data as possible. We thought we’d have a bit of fun while we’re here. I’m surprised we did pretty well. Thanks to Weiron, who started the race. We made the right choice in tyres, as the race was declared wet but we went on slicks. After the 3rd or 4th lap, Weiron put in a very good pace. By the time he handed over to me, we were already top three. I was very comfortable in the car, it was awesome. I just kept my head down. I made a couple of mistakes halfway through the stint, but my radio was not working, I had no idea what position I was in. I thought, never mind, and just drove. When I got into the pits after the chequered flag, I was surprised that we’d finished in P2. Well done to the team who did a good job.”

Weiron Tan “First I’d like to thank everyone for coming this weekend, and thanks to Zen as well for giving me this opportunity to race this weekend at the Asian Le Mans. Like he said, we weren’t actually supposed to compete this weekend, so it’s quite fortunate for us to be on the podium. I’m very happy. The team did a good job. The car handled really well during the last stint. Hopefully we’ll see you soon in the other championship.”

#1 DC Racing Ligier JSP3
Jamie Winslow: “We had a tricky race. It didn’t go the way we wanted it to. As a team, we opted for wet tyres, and our championship rivals were as well, we were the only two on the wets in the front rows. I struggled in the beginning, tried to make the best of a very bad situation. I fell back to 5th or 6th, compared to the guys on slicks who were overtaking me around the outside and all over the place. So we struggled at the start, but I want to thank Neale, my new co-driver, who came through and managed to get us back on the podium. It’s a fantastic result. We’ll come back tomorrow and try to fight for victory.”

Neale Muston: “Thanks to everyone for coming. It’s a great honour to race on this fantastic track. Thanks also to James and Martin for the great support. It’s a fun race. I’ve never seen so many changes of weather in one race and over the weekend. Congratulations to the guys in first and second, awesome drives there. I just got in, and was on dry track, dry tyres, and just had to be consistent and reasonably fast. We’re on the front row tomorrow and looking to improve from there. It’s been awesome to drive and thanks for the great support.”

#77 Team NZ Porsche GT3 Cup
Graeme Dowsett: “It was a very challenging start. Thanks again to the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup and the ACO. Excellent job of organisation and handling the event. I’d like to welcome my co-driver John who showed up after midnight last night. Congrats to the CN team, I think these guys did an awesome job. Commiserations to the Lotus team; they were very competitive today and gave us a run for our money. Unfortunately, they had a spin and that’s what gave us the chance back. The start was very tricky. We just had to suck it.”

John Curran: “Thanks again to the Asian Le Mans Sprint Series. As Graeme pointed out, I had to come in at one o’clock this morning. Jumping into the car and being expected to do hot laps straight away wasn’t easy. It certainly took a couple of laps to settle down. I couldn’t really settle, whether down to the car or the conditions. Fortunately, the car we were racing spun out, because I’m not quite sure I could have caught them. But, that’s racing. We’ll take the win.”