After two races, and with all Championship battles still wide open, the Series makes the trip to the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand this weekend. One of the most popular and well-attended races of the 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series, the race is set to be just as popular this year!
The round will again be held on Children’s Day in Thailand, with the race forming an important part of the celebrations occurring in Buriram. The circuit will be open to everyone as a part of the celebrations, with children under 15 getting access to the grandstand for free if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Children’s Day has been celebrated in Thailand on the second Saturday of January every year since 1955 and is designed to celebrate the role children play in the development of the Country. It is a day for family fun and adventure and the Asian Le Mans Series has proved to be a popular choice in past years.
Fresh from taking the win in Round 2, the #24 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd driven by Harrison Newey and Andrea Pizzitola, are aiming to close the gap to the Championship leaders. Last round in Japan, the battle between the #24 and the current leaders, Phil Hanson and Paul di Resta in the #22 Ligier JS P2 Nissan was incredibly close and the battle is expected to pick up where it was left off.
Due to family commitments for Alexander West the #8 Spirit of Race entry will not be on the grid in Buriram, however they will be back for the final round in Sepang.
LMP2 Am Trophy
Miro Konopka, Kang Ling and Darren Burke in the ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissan not only won the LMP2 Am Trophy class in the 4 Hours of Fuji, they also claimed an outright podium position. This saw them close the gap to Class leaders in the #23 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan, Guy Cosmo, Patrick Byrne and Salih Yoluc. With just two points between them, the battle is set to be intense in Buriram!
With the biggest lead of all the Class Championships, Jakub Smiechowshi and Martin Hippe in the #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P3 have an 11-point lead in the LMP3 class. Behind them are 4 Hours of Fuji Class winners, Matthew Bell, Kay van Berlo and Christian England in the #3 United Autosports, Ligier JS P3 Nissan. Just 5 points behind them is the sister United Autosports #2 Ligier JS P3 Nissan, driven by Chris Buncombe, Garett Grist and Wayne Boyd.
As the only entry to have two race wins in the 2018/19 Season, Japanese team Car Guy with their Ferrari 488 GT3 are aiming to make it three from three in Thailand. Drivers Takeshi Kimura, Kei Cozzolino and James Calado will not have it all their own way, with the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 being driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, Ozz Negri Jr and Francesco Piovanetti will be aiming to cut their lead.
Both of the TRST Audi R8 LMS’ will have slight changes to their driver line ups. In the #66 GT Am entry will be Lo Kai Fung, Max Wiser and Zhang Ya Qi. In the #88 will be Alex Au, Chen Wei An and new driver Jean Karl Vernay.
The 2017 TCR International Champion was also the highest finishing Audi Sport driver in last season’s WTCR.
Friday, 11 January 2019
08:40 – 10:10 Free Practice 1
12:40 – 14:00 Free Practice 2
16:35 – 16:50 GT Qualifying
17:00 – 17:15 LMP2 & LMP3 Qualifying
Saturday, 12 January 2019
11:45 – 15:45 4 Hours of Buriram
Current Championship standings:
LMP2 & Outright Championship
37 points: United Autosports #22 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Phil Hanson & Paul Di Resta)
34 points: Spirit of Race #8 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Alexander West, Côme Ledogar & Pipo Derani)
27 points: ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Miro Konopka, Ling Kang & Darren Burke)
LMP2 Am Trophy
45 points: United Autosports #23 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Guy Cosmo, Patrick Byrne & Salih Yoluc)
43 points: ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Miro Konopka, Ling Kang & Darren Burke)
30 points: Algarve Pro Racing #25 Ligier JS P3 Judd (Mark Patterson, Anders Fjordbach & Christopher McMurry)
44 points: Inter Europol Competition #13 Ligier JS P3 (Jakub Smiechowski & Martin Hippe)
33 points: United Autosports #3 Ligier JS P3 (Matthew Bell & Kay van Berlo)
28 points: United Autosports #2 Ligier JS P3 (Chris Buncombe, Garett Grist & Wayne Boyd)
51 points: Car Guy #11 Ferrari 488 GT3 (Takeshi Kimura, Kei Cozzolino, James Calado)
36 points: Spirit of Race #51 Ferrari 488 GT3 (Alessandro Pier Guidi, Ozzy Negri Jr & Francesco Piovanetti)
27 points: TianShi Racing Team #66 Audi R8 LMS (Xu Wei & Max Wiser)
The Asian Le Mans Series will again be broadcasting all qualifying sessions and the race in full, on the Asian Le Mans Series Facebook and YouTube pages.