Wednesday 20 February 2019

Asian LMS: Title showdown at the 4 Hours of Sepang this weekend

It's title showdown for the Asian Le Mans Series this weekend, with the final race of the 2018/2019 season to be held at the Sepang International Circuit. After a season full of close and exciting racing, all four championships are still up for grabs! 22 cars will be on the grid for the title deciding race in Malaysia on Sunday. 

The final four invitations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans are also at stake this weekend.  All class champions will reveive an invitation for the French classic in June; an invite for the LMP2 class for the champions in LMP2 and LMP3 and an invite for the LMGTE Am class for the GT3 champion.  Additionally there will be an added recognition for the LMP2 amateur entries. They will also fight not only for the championship but for an extra invite to Le Mans. 


After missing the previous round in Thailand, the #8 Spirit of Race Ligier JS P2 will be back with Côme Ledogar, Alexander West, and Pipo Deranifor the 4 Hours of Sepang. While the #8 is expected to be fighting for the race win, the Championship battle is now down to just three teams, series debutants, United Autosports, 2016/17 Champions Algarve Pro Racing and ARC Bratislava.

 4 Hours of Buriram race winners, Phil Hanson and Paul di Resta in the United Autosports #22 Ligier JS P2 Nissanhold a commanding lead of 18 points in the 2018/19 season. Currently second are the 4 Hours of Fuji winners, Harrison Newey and Andrea Pizzitola in the #24 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd. For the final round they will again be joined by Ate Dirk De Jong.  The #4 ARC Bratislava Ligier JS P2 Nissan being driven by Miro Konopka, Kang Ling and Darren Burke are also still in with a chance. To win, they must win the race, the #22 DNF, and the #24 finishes 2ndor worse.
LMP2 Am Trophy 

The ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissanalso comes into the final round of season with a 9-point lead in the LMP2 Am Trophy class. Their closest rivals are the #23 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan, Guy Cosmo, Patrick Byrne and Salih Yoluc who are 9 points behind them.


The LMP3 Championship has been intense this year and going into the final round there are four entire still in contention for the win. 

With a race win and two second place finishes the Class, LMP3 Championships leaders, Jakub Smiechowski and Martin Hippe inthe #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P3 have an 8-point lead.  In second place is the United Autosports #2 Ligier JS P3 Nissan, driven by Chris Buncombe, Garett Grist and Wayne Boyd, and 9 points behind them is the sister United Autosports, Ligier JS P3 Nissan, the #3 driven by Matthew Bell, and Kay van Berlo. While it is a long shot, the #79 Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen Racing Ligier JS P3 Nissanis 20 points behind the Class leaders. With 26 points on offer for pole and the race win, it is still possible. 

The 4 Hours of Sepang will see the welcome return of the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry. Racing for the team will be Rick Yoon, Jake Parsons and James Winslow. As previously announced, the line-up of the R24 entry will feature Katherine Legge, Margot Laffite, and Michelle Gatting for the 4 Hours of Sepang. 


Series new comers, Japanese team Car Guy have dominated the GT class this season winning every race in the 2018/19 Season, with their #11 Ferrari 488 GT3.  In the 4 Hours of Sepang, drivers Takeshi Kimura, Kei Cozzolino and James Calado will again come under intense pressure from the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 being driven by Alessadro Pier Guidi, Ozzy Negri Jr and Francesco Piovanetti. The #51 can still win the Championship, but they must win and the #11 not score any points.  

Official Audi Sport driver Dries Vanthoor will return with the TianShi Racing Team (TSRT) in the #88 Audi R8 LMS GT3. He will be racing with Xu Wei and (David) Chen Wei An. Joining the #66 entry will be new driver Qi Peiwen (Aven) who has previously race in the teams SEAT TCR entry.  He will join Zhang Yaqi (Dennis), and Max Wiser.

Entry List
Championship standings