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4H Sepang: Thursday Paddock Notes, Driver Changes Galore For Season Finale

And Eurasia back with a quality line-up

The final round of the 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series takes place at Sepang International Circuit in beautiful Malaysia on Sunday with every title down to the wire in the four race series.

Before then we’re set to hear about the calendar for next season from ACO President Pierre Fillon on Saturday, here for the race and the post race awards gala.

And there’s another Asian LMS ‘first’ to look forward to as a 4 hour ‘E-Sports’ race will take place concurrently with the Asian Le Mans Series finale on site here, 10 networked race simulators have been set up in the paddock with huge online interest in the endeavour, Asian LMS TV will be checking in on progress throughout the race!

The (real!) grid has been boosted by the return of Eurasia Motorsport with their #33 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (above), and they have come back punching with Marko Asmer returning after putting in an impressive run at Fuji, Aussie Jake Parsons arrives via a season in Super GT’s GT300 class and a run in GT4 at the Bathurst 12 Hour with Ginetta. They are joined by Malaysian single seater driver driver Nabil Jeffri – the trio combined present a very interesting prospect for the race.

ARC Bratislava will run with a two driver line-up, neither Rik Breukers nor Gustavo Yacaman on site this weekend.

Algarve Pro meanwhile have been working all day to complete the rebuild of the #25 Ligier around a replacement chassis, the damage done in Ate Dirk de Jong’s Buriram shunt reducing the number of serviceable JSP2 chassis by one – permanently! Ate thankfully is entirely OK.

Several of the additional drivers recruited for Buriram’s 6 hour encounter are here for the finale as, particularly in LMP3, the teams jostle for the silverware. Gabriel Aubry stays with the #6 Jackie Chan DC Racing effort, Guy Cosmo relatively fresh from Daytona with his regular team-mate Patrick Byrne.

Nigel Moore stays aboard the #65 Viper Nisa Racing Ligier too.

In the GT class Fist Team AAI have continued with their #90 Ferrari 488 GT3, there had been potential for the team’s Mercedes AMG GT3 to return for this race. Ollie Millroy continues, albeit with the nervous look that only comes with an expectant father (baby Millroy is due in August). He’s joined by Thai Bronze-ranked pairing Sarun Sereethoranakul (Gulf 12 Hours class winner and Pro-Am GTM class winner in Thailand Super Series) and GT Asia racer Bhurit Bhirombhakdi.

The sister #91 BMW M6 GT3 sees the always rapid Markus Palttala replace Bathurst-busy Chaz Mostert.

And the Tianshi Audi squad have a new driver too, Aussie Mitchell Gilbert replaces Alex Au as the rapidly developing Chinese squad target a win.

Finally, in what is set to be the final race for their venerable Porsche 911 GT3 Cup final race the Team NZ Motorsport squad revert to a two driver squad, Graeme Dowsett and Will Bamber, Jon Curran otherwise engaged this weekend, the team therefore, for the very first time field an all-Kiwi driver squad.