Fresh from a podium finish at the Red Bull Ring, the Inter Europol Competition team is set to announce a further expansion to their growing LMP3 programme and will join the Asian Le Mans Series for the 2018/2019 season.
The team wants to run two Ligiers LMP3 in the Asian series. For one LMP3 both drivers are confirmed. Kuba Smiechowski and Martin Hippe stay with the team they have driven for in Europe for several seasons. For the other LMP3 the team is already in active talks with several drivers.
The first race on the calendar is 23/25 November at Shanghai International circuit, which is only three weeks after the last race of the VdeV championship (Estoril, 2 – 3 November) which Smiechowski is leading at the moment.
Kuba Smiechowski: “I am very happy that I am able to extend my season with the Asian Le Mans Series. It will be fun and exciting to learn more circuits. I am looking forward to travelling to these places to see what it will bring us. Obviously we are going for gold, but the series is growing and getting stronger, so it will be a challenge. But then I particularly like this challenge.”
Martin Hippe: “I am very excited about this new challenge, also because both Kuba and I will face this together. We have been driving together for three years now and have had wins and losses. It will be great to learn new circuits and new countries and see how the Asian motorsports world works.”
Michael Keese (technical director): “I am proud to say that we are going to Asia also because of the very stable performance with both our LMP3s in the two European series we participate in. More important than that is that we will do this together with some of our long time customers. For the team it also means that we will have a nice and very different winter programme instead of our usual testing in Europe. Nobody is complaining. We feel that the Asian program is a better preparation for the 2019 season.”
Several other teams are on the cusp of confirming programmes in the Asian series, with every class looking set to see a significant boost in entries for the coming season.
Asian LMS Calendar
23/25 November 2018 Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China
07/09 December 2018 Fuji Speedway International Circuit, Fuji, Japan
10/12 January 2019 Chang International Circuit, Buriram, Thailand
22/24 February 2019 Sepang International Circuit, Sepang, Malaysia