Asian Le Mans Series Zhuhai Resources
» Many aren’t familiar with the Asian Le Mans Series. They know it exists, but haven’t devoted much time to it. Lets take a look at the series and see if this year will change your mind.
» Asian Le Mans Series is a growing series. The quality of the entries is higher than it ever has been, and with 4 automatic Le Mans invitations, it’s more relevant than ever as well. The provisional entry list contains 16 cars, but some cars which were set to run are not on the list. Hopefully that changes.
» The class structure is LMP2, LMP3, GT and GT Cup. The LMP2 class consists of previous generation LMP2s, GT is GT3 regulations, and GT Cup are single make classes that are balanced together. LMP3 is the same familiar LMP3 we see in Europe and North America.
» For the 2017/2018 season, the Asian Le Mans Series has 4 automatic Le Mans invitations. The first 3 are self explanatory – LMP2 winner, LMP3 winner and GT winner. The fourth will go to a GT ‘Am’ class winner should the new class gain enough entries. If the class lacks entries, then the fourth invitation will go to the GT class runner-up.
» AsLMS are putting a lot of effort into trying to improve the broadcast of the races. Last season, the races were on YouTube, but coverage was patchy. For 17/18, they’re advertising more live streams, and DSC’s Graham Goodwin commentating. So it’s worth a go.
» Zhuhai International Circuit time zone is CST. UTC/GMT +8. Not always the best for live viewing, but with YouTube storing the streams afterwards, we’d recommend tuning in Sunday morning.
» The LMP2 class contains a slightly disappointing 6 cars for the opening round. But the low numbers don’t mean low quality. Jackie Chan DC Racing X Jota are entering 2 Oreca 05s, Algarve Pro and Eurasia Motorsports have a Ligier JSP2 each, BBT Racing step up from the GT class with a Ligier, and ARC Bratislava move up from LMP3 to LMP2 with another Ligier. 2 Oreca, 4 Ligier.
» Driver names might be a surprise too. Harrison Newey is joined by Stéphane Richelmi and Tomhas Laurent in the #7 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca. The #8 sister car will be piloted by James Winslow, Ho-Pin Tung and David Cheng. JC DC Jota aren’t pulling punches.
» The other interesting driver line-up is the #37 BBT Ligier. Anthony Xu Liu and Davide Rizzo move up to LMP2 with BBT, but they are joined by IMSA star Pipo Derani. That’ll be interesting, to say the least.
» The LMP3 class has a 5 car entry for Zhuhai, all Ligier JSP3s. Unfortunately, there is no sign of the Ginettas and Adess from last season. Sarrazin Motorsport (no prizes for guessing who runs that!) were tipped for an entry, but haven’t appeared on the entry list.
» Le Mans class winner Richard Bradley will drive the #1 WIN Motorsport LMP3. WIN are a new stand-alone entry, splitting from the Wineurasia entry last season.
» Not happy with 2 cars in LMP2, Jackie Chan DC Racing have also entered a LMP3. At the wheel will be Americans Patrick Byrne and Guy Cosmo.
» The success of the Blancpain GT Asia series may have hurt initial entries for Asian Le Mans GT3 based class. 4 entries, and unfortunately no sign of HubAuto Racing Porsche that Earl Bamber was due to compete with.
» GT is the smallest class, just 4 cars. But in the usual GT3 fashion, it’s also the most diverse. Ferrari 488, Audi R8 LMS, Mercedes AMG and a BMW M6. The numbers might be small, but at least there is diversity.