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A Year Without F1, Motorsport

A Year Without F1: Round 19 – The Asian Le Mans Series

20 Nov , 2014  

logo-asian-le-mans-series - carwitter

As the F1 crews arrive in Abu Dhabi for the “double points” finale of the “controversial” 2014 F1 season we welcome readers of all ages to join us as we head back east for the Asian Le Mans Series.

But not just yet. We were supposed to be giving the lowdown of the 3 Hour of Buriram, Thailand. The penultimate event in the Asian Le Mans Series but, on the 12th of October the round was cancelled throwing a spanner in the works of our motorsport fuelled (virtual) globe- trotting expedition.

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However, on the 7th of December the season will draw to a close at Sepang, Malaysia for the 3 Hour of Sepang, so we shall look ahead to that instead.

The Asian Le Mans Series is regulated by the ACO who oversee the running of the LMS (Le Mans Series) in Europe and the WEC which I’m sure you are all familiar with, and is still very much in its infancy.

There are very few entries compared with the bumper grids we usually expect with endurance and GT racing but, this is a series designed with the hopes of getting the Asian continent fully integrated with motorsport and endurance racing in particular.

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Doesn’t sound like much of a series to me.

Well yes I can see the concerns you may have but the champions in the LMP2 and the top two GT teams will get an automatic invite to the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hour race so, it is definitely a relevant series, especially for the Asian continent.

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So what can we expect? Audi, Toyota & Porsche?

No, the Asian LMS sees LMP2 machinery run as the main prototype class although there are very few entries numbers are hoped to grow over the years with the addition of the Group CN cars to the grid, a smaller prototype not to dissimilar to a Radical or the Formula Le Mans prototypes (remember them!) Cars from the Japanese GT300 have also been allowed to compete within the GT classes.

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Any big names to watch out for?

Again as this is aimed at the Asian market primarily every car must have at least one driver from Asia or Australasia – former F1 tester Ho-Pin-Tung who also raced GP2, Indycar and A1 GP for China.

Having taken overall victory in all 3 previous races expect to see him at Le Mans for 2015. Other names you may well recognise include Mathias Beche swapping his Rebellion LMP1-L for a Group CN Ligier Honda, while German BMW factory stalwart Jorg Muller has been known to pop up in a GT3 Z4.

The Asian Le Mans Series can be viewed on Motors TV.

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By

BTCC Correspondent