Asian Le Mans Series – Round 2
The Bend Motorsport Park, Australia.
The battle for overall victory was intense, with the #26 G-Drive Racing by Algarve Aurus 01, the #1 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JS P217, #36 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JS P217 and #45 Thunderhead Carlin Dallara JS P217 all leading the class at various points during the race.
In the closing stages of the race, an intense battle for the lead was emerging between Roman Rusinov in the #26 and Nick Cassidy in the #1. A full course yellow, followed by a mechanical failure for Cassidy, saw the Russian team achieve back to back wins after victory in the opening round of the 2019/2020 Asian Le Mans Series race in Shanghai.
The failure promoted Eurasia Motorsport’s Australian car #36 into second place. Thunderhead Carlin finished third, despite early race contact with the #77 D’station Aston Martin Vantage GT3 which caused rear damage to the car and also saw the team be given a drive-through penalty.
After pole position and a strong start to the race by Arjun Marni in RLR MSPORT, a fire in the rear of the Oreca 05 with John Farano behind the wheel saw their race come to disappointing end. This retirement saw the #52 Rick Ware Racing take over the LMP2 Am class lead.
It was a strong race by the American team, they took both podium wins in LMP2 Am with drivers Cody Ware and Gustas Grinbergas taking the top spot, and second place with their #25, piloted by return driver Guy Cosmo, Anthony Lazzaro and Phillipe Mulacek. Reigning LMP2 Am champions, ARC Bratislava rounded out the top three following a strong stint by local South Australian driver, Garnet Patterson.
In LMP3, in was a race of mixed fortunes for Nielsen Racing. Colin Noble and Tony Wells took the class win in the #2 Norma M30 – the first ever win for Norma in the Asian Le Mans Series! For the sister Nielsen Racing car, the #3, is was a weekend to forget. After an accident that required a chassis change, and then further engine issues before the race, the entry came to a halt in the second hour at turn 14. This brought out a full course yellow. Inter Europol Competition pair Martin Hippe and Nigel Moore continued their podium run after a win in Shanghai, with a second in class. Italian outfit ACE1 Villorba Corse rounded out the podium, driven by David Fumanelli, Alessandro Bressan and Gabriele Lancien.
A roller coaster day for GT saw reigning champions Car Guy claim their first win of the season in their Ferrari 488 GT3, driven by Kei Cozzolino, Takeshi Kimura and Come Ledogar after a race full of action.
Contact between the #7 Car Guy Ferrari and #16 Astro Veloce Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 saw the BMW forced off the track, and the eventual class winners Car Guy given a drive-through penalty. HubAuto Corsa drove a strong race and looked to be on for line for race victory before an engine issue saw them lose pace and eventually finish the race in second position.
A drama-free race saw Spirit of Race finish in 3rd place, giving Francesco Piovanetti, Oswaldo Negri Jnr and Alessandro Pierguidi their first podium of the 2019-2020 Asian Le Mans Series.
Shanghai winners, D’station Racing had a challenging race which saw the #7 Aston Martin Vantage team have to complete extensive repairs after the #45 made contact with another car. JLOC was also in the pits for time consuming repairs in the first hour after an incident with Viper Niza Racing.
Two action packed races sets the pace for the second half of the season. Join us for Round 3 at Sepang International Circuit on 14 – 15 February 2020!
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of 2020 Asian Le Mans Endurance Management Ltd