Michelin Sign for Further Three Seasons
Good news for the Asian Le Mans Series came with the news on Saturday that Michelin have signed for a further three seasons as sole tyre supplier after winning a tender for the contract. Michelin have been Series partners since its inception.
Thank You Leese
A key player in the Asian Le Mans Series, European Le Mans Series and FIA World Endurance Championship family made her last appearance at Sepang yesterday as long time Assistant to Race Director Leese Crampton officiated at her final race (for now at least!)
Leese has sat beside Eduardo for 101 races over 6 years, that has seen 1188 hours in race control (including a massive 568 race hours!)
Her final weekend saw a couple of ‘treats’ coming her way, a rapid couple of circuits of the Sepang International Circuit in the Asian Le Mans Series’ two seater Ligier JS P3 with Marko Asmer and the opportunity, courtesy of the boss, to show the checkered flag for the final race of the season.
She heads off now for a new position with BMW Motorsport – Good luck Leese.
Whither the Weather
Weather conditions for the 4 Hours of Sepang were extreme, ambient temperatures into the 30s saw cockpit temps soar, into the 50s. At least two drivers, Jake Parsons and Josh Burdon requiring attention for heat related issues. The (pre 2017) LMP2 and LMP3 cars have no air conditioning systems.
Several locally based drivers said that the conditions were amongst the toughest they had experienced.
The post season Awards Gala saw the Champions recognised (above) together with the Asian Le Mans Special Awards for Team of the Year (Jackie Chan DC Racing x Jota), Man of the Year (TianShi Racing Team Manager Ron Reichert) and Rookie of the Year (Harrison Newey).
The 4 Hours of Sepang saw the final race with Jackie Chan DC Racing for Thomas Laurent, the 20 year old bound for the FIA WEC in LMP1 with Rebellion Racing. He is also planning though a return to the Asian Le Mans Series in 2018/ 2019: “I love this Series, and I am working on a project to return!”
Jackie Chan DC Racing too are set to return with their Championship winning ORECAs, and potentially with a customer LMP3 too, “It’s early days,” said Team co-Owner David Cheng post race, but we are very happy with this Series, with the new calendar and with the opportunities it presents for us.”
AAI Yet To Finalise Le Mans Choice
FIST Team AAI meanwhile would not commit to which direction they would be taking for their pair of Auto Le Mans 24 Hours entries, the second time that the team have achieved a double entry. Team Owner Junsan Chen: “There are a lot of conversations to have from tomorrow, we don’t have a plan to reveal just yet.”
The team has received auto entries twice before with a pair in 2015 that saw a two car Porsche effort, assisted by Prospeed, bring both cars to the finish, and a single entry in 2017 seeing the entry fielded for a Chevrolet Corvette C6.R
A couple of members of racing royalty were present in the Sepang paddock, ex F1 driver and far more recently President of Dome Hiroshi Fushida “I am here visiting friends” though the reality was that he was looking in on the F4 South East Asia paddock, but failing to resist the draw of the sportscar brethren next door!
Race engineer and general racecar guru Ricardo Divila meanwhile, here assisting the #11 Taiwan Beer GH Motorsport crew. Ricardo related to the DSC Editor that later this year sees his 60th anniversary in motorsport – someone sign him up for the book rights soon!!