Asian Le Mans Series 2022 will be another intense season.
Just like the 2020/21 season, it’s all going to happen within one and a half weeks in February. All races will be four hours, and will be a mix of afternoon and evening races.
The teams will have the chance of testing prior to the season start on 11 February at Dubai Autodrome. Another race will run one day later, on the very same track, before all the teams go to Abu Dhabi.
Saturday 19 February will be the first Yas Marina Circuit round, with the season finale being run on Sunday, at the same track.
That format was a huge success in spring 2021, with the two tracks hosting the championship too. There was a total of 36 cars entered, which was a new record for the Asian LMS, since the European teams found it much more attractive to ship the cars and tools to two tracks, instead of almost half a year of travel around Asia.
The original plan was to run four races in Abu Dhabi, on different circuit layouts. But there were quarantine regulations introduced in Abu Dhabi, which would have made the stay a lot longer for the drivers and mechanics. Dubai didn’t have the same quarantine rules, so the team could start working right away at Dubai Autodrome, while serving their 10 days UAE “quarantine” before travelling to Abu Dhabi, while showing a negative COVID-19 test.
Things went quite smoothly, and we only lost a single one of the 36 teams, who had such big technical difficulties with the car, that they had to pull out.
The Asian Le Mans Series has become more and more popular throughout the most recent years, since several Le Mans tickets are up for grabs in both LMP2, LMP3 and GT3. The two latter categories find an LMP2 or GTE car, to be able to participate in the 24 hours race. A team like Inception Racing has to switch their McLaren for a Ferrari for this year’s race, since McLaren doesn’t have a GTE car.
By scheduling the series for February, it’s a great warm-up for the ELMS teams, ahead of their European season, with a couple of weeks of testing in warm conditions. JOTA and Algarve Pro Racing made good use of that, with some of their ELMS drivers warming up in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. But it almost went wrong for APR, since a container got stuck in the Suez channel blockages, and only was delivered to Circuit de Catalunya during the race weekend itself, with the team missing out on two days of testing at the Spanish track, prior to the season start in the ELMS.