The official full season entry list for the Asian Le Mans Series 2019/20 has been revealed, one week prior to the season opener.
26 cars have entered the season, and hopefully they will be with us all the way until the season finale.
The LMP2 category has 7 cars entered, with Eurasia Motorsport and Inter Europol Endurance bringing two Ligier JS P217 each. Thunderhead Carlin Racing will bring their Dallara P217, while G-Drive Racing by Algarve will race an Aurus 01. These four team names are known from the European Le Mans Series, while K2 Uchino Racing has got hold of an ORECA 07, like we mentioned earlier this week. With this entry list, and with the ORECA (/Aurus) being quite dominant in Europe, it must be with G-Drive Racing by Algarve as top favourites for the title. But everything can happen in endurance racing.
There are 4 cars entered the LMP2 Am ranks, where ARC Bratislava will return to defend their title. They will be racing a Ligier JS P2, which is the same model as the two Rick Ware Racing cars. They do however still need some driver(s) for their second entry, so the clock is ticking very fast. RLR MSport will bring the only ORECA 05 in the field, and they appear to the be biggest competition to ARC Bratislava, at least when looking on the driver line-ups.
LMP3 consists of 6 cars with well known team names – at least if you have followed the ELMS 2019. Nielsen Racing will enter two Norma M30’s, joined by a single Graff. ACE1 Villorba Corse will run a Ligier JS P3 racer, while Viper Niza Racing too will run a single car like always. The defending Champions, Inter Europol Competition will also bring a single Ligier, and they appear as top favourites to grab the title again, considering they bring their almost-ELMS Champions Martin Hippe and Nigel Moore with them. If the Norma cars can show just a much speed as in Europe, they could be a factor, but there has often been small niggling problems during the 4 hours – so how will they fare when it’s much warmer in the Asian temperatures – especially in places like Sepang and Buriram…?
The GT category has a really nice selection of cars this year. 9 full season entrants, with Ferrari 488 GT3 being the dominant force. A single one of Car Guy, one for HubAuto Corsa, one for Spirit Of Race and one T2 Motorsports. BMW M6 GT3 are well represented with three cars – two from Astro Veloce Motorsports and one from FIST – Team AAI. Add to that, a single Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 at D’Station Racing, plus a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo for JLOC. So everything is up in the air, with so many new teams in the mix, spiced up with quite a few works drivers at various outfits.
There is a lack of Audi in the GT category. They have been ever present during the last few seasons, but won’t be this year. Teams like United Autosports and Jackie Chan DC Racing are not on the grid either, but they are busy with FIA WEC programme, where two planned races will happen during the Asian LMS season – not with clashes, but it would still be a lot of travelling forth and back, perhaps resulting in a lack of focus on both jobs.
The Asian Le Mans Series 2019/20 starts next weekend at Shanghai International Circuit in China.