Positive Signs for 2016/ 17 Asian LMS
A brief chat with Asian Le Mans Series Manager Cyrille Taesch Wahlen at Le Mans yesterday revealed little other than cards being kept close to his chest on the prospects for the 2016/17 Series.
That doesn’t disguise though that positive developments are currently underway.
One is a steadily increasing level of interest in the ACO run Asian Series which started last season as a support race for the FIA WEC at Fuji with a small but high quality grid of 13 LMP2, LMP3 and GT3 cars but grew steadily to hit 20 cars by the final round of the 2015/16 Series at Sepang.
Whilst some observers have focused on low entry numbers for the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup, a short summer series, based at Sepang circuit in Malaysia, perhaps the smarter industry watchers have noted that the vast majority of the teams and drivers thus far involved (in a series reserved for LMP3 and CN Prototypes and GT Cup (one make) GTs) have not otherwise been involved in the Asian Le Mans scene to this point.
More LMP3s On The Way
If even half of the teams, cars and drivers can be attracted to enter the Asian LMS proper that marks a pretty high percentage increase in entries, but there is still better news to come as the Sprint Cup entry is set to increase from 5 to 8 LMP3s next time out (in fact the DSC Editor saw one of the new cars nearing completion just ten days ago). That marks a huge improvement on a maximum of three LMP3 entries last season.
Whilst the official estimate of 2016/17 numbers is to aim for the levels attained at the end of last year’s series, the reality points to a rather better level than that being attainable.
Clearwater To Replace McLaren With New Ferrari for Asian LMS
Clearwater Racing confirmed to DSC that they will return to the Asian Le Mans Series in 2016/ 17 with a new Ferrari 488 GT3 for Mok Weng Sung , Keita Sawa and an as yet unnamed Platinum rated driver as the Singapore based team work to retain their 2015/16 class title.