Second place in the 4 Hours of Sepang was good enough for the #22 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan of Phil Hanson and Paul De Resta to win the outright Championship in the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series. The #24 Algarve Pro Racing team of Andrea Pizzitola, Harrison Newey and Ate Dirk De Jong gave it their all, winning the race and finishing second in the Championship.
In the LMP2 Am Trophy, ARC Bratislava finished 4th overall and 1st in class in the 4 Hours of Sepang to claim the Championship win. Driving the ARC Bratislava entry were Miro Konopka, Ling Kang and Darren Burke. Their main title rivals, the #23 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan suffered a gear box problem that saw them retire from the race. The #25 Algarve Pro Racing entry also retired from the race, securing the championship for ARC Bratislava.
The fight for the LMP3 battle was intense throughout the race, but ultimately it was the #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P3 driven Jakub Smiechowski and Martin Hippe that won the race in dominant style to claim the LMP3 Championship title. In 2nd place was the #7 Ecurie Ecosse / Nielsen Racing Ligier JS P3 and third was the #2 United Autosports Ligier JS P3. Third place was good enough for the team to secure 2nd place in the Championship for Chris Buncombe, Garett Grist and Wayne Boyd.
In GT Japanese team Car Guy of Takeshi Kimura, Kei Cozzolino and James Calado capped off a fantastic season by making it four race wins from four starts in their #11 Ferrari 488 GT3 to win the GT Championship! It was not a simple exercise as they were forced to withstand significant pressure from the pole sitting #88 TianShi Racing Team Audi R8 LMS. The #88, raced by Xu Wei, Chen Wei An and Dries Vanthoor finished the race second and the #51 Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi, Ozzy Negri Jr and Francesco Piovanetti finished 3rd, and claimed 2nd place in the Championship.
The GT Am title went to the second TianShi Racing Team Audi R8 LMS, the #66. Their race unfortunately finished in the garage with a DNF.
On top of the added pressure of it being the Championship decider, the race was run in very high temperatures and humidity making for one of the toughest races of the season. This made the success of the winning teams all the more sweet.
Champions crowned and four invitations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans confirmed!
2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series Champions:
LMP2: #22 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan
Phil Hanson /Paul De Resta
LMP2 Am Trophy: #4 ARC Bratislava Ligier JS P2 Nissan
Miro Konopka / Ling Kang / Darren Bourke
LMP3: #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P3
Jakub Smiechowski /Martin Hippe
GT: #11 Car Guy Ferrari 488 GT3
Takeshi Kimura / Kei Cozzolino / James Calado
These four teams will receive an invitation to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of Asian Le Mans Endurance Management Ltd