The DSC Editor caught up with Alexander West yesterday as the latest Asian Le Mans Series LMP2 entry was confirmed by Spirit of Race that will see the Swedish gentleman driver share a Ligier JS P2 with his regular racing partner and driving coach Come Ledogar and the mercurial Pipo Derani, the Brazilian back in the LMP2 class in Asia for a second season.
Alexander arrived at our conversation fresh, but a little sore from a full two days of testing at Vallelunga with the Ligier, his first intensive introduction to LMP racing, and feeling the effects of extended running in a full downforce car.
“Yeah my neck knows all about it today! The test went really well though, we’ve been looking at a switch from Its for a while now and while we took a long look at LMP3, and we looked at Asian Le Mans last year too, I guess a part of me felt that it was time to race with the opportunity to race at the front of these races and not having to always be looking when the next car was coming through to go by. “The car was great, but it does take some time to adapt, I found out pretty quickly where I was in relation to Come, and we’re working hard to close that gap, that’s what it’s all about for me, to take up a challenge and push hard. “In many ways approaching this with a gap is a very good thing, there’s no arguing the fact that the Pro is faster, and thee data doesn’t lie when you look side by side, it gives you confidence that the gap can get smaller, and if you work hard, much smaller.”
West’s racing programmes this far have been mainly in one make and GT3 machinery, McLaren and Ferrari machinery featuring heavily, and with success in both Blancpain and GT Open machinery, together with a run in the Garage 59 McLaren 650S GT3 at the Road To Le Mans races on the full Le Mans 24 Hours circuit in 2017.
“There’s no doubt that the Le Mans 24 Hours is a big target for my racing in the future, but there are a number of ways we could approach that. This is another step forward both in terms of my experience, and, if we get some success, the opportunity to get there.” Thread to Le mans beyond the four Asian races to come though is not yet clearly defined.
“One step at a time, and no decisions yet on what comes next, but it’s great to have a target, and an opportunity to build towards it. We’re all looking forward to Asia now, and having what looks like an increasingly competitive grid is another real appeal.”