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Thread: Asian Le-Mans Series

  1. #1
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    Asian Le-Mans Series

    Kicked off couple week ago. Got a 1-2 for Ferrari and Spirit of Race is running in the LMP2 class and they won too.

    Ferrari of Car Guy wins on debut at Shanghai

    Shanghai, 25 November 2018 Ė Ferrari 488 GT3s secured the top two positions in the first race of the Asian Le Mans Series in Shanghai. The car of Japanese team Car Guy took the winnerís laurels on the teamís debut with a Ferrari, finishing ahead of the sister car of Spirit of Race on a day that saw Ferrari dominate two thirds of the race.

    Cautious start. At the start both Ferraris kept their distance from the chaos following an accident in the first part of the group at turn 1. Both car no. 11 driven by Takeshi Kimura and no. 51 of Oswaldo Negri Junior held their starting positions, before taking advantage of the fire in the Audi pits to move past the leader into the top two positions.

    Dominant finale. Kei Cozzolino and Francesco Piovanetti did the main stints in the two cars, before handing over their respective 488 GT3s to James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi, the two world champions who usually race together in the Ferrari 488 GTE no. 51 of AF Corse. The British driver received the lead car and consolidated its advantage, while Pier Guidi, given that his rival was beyond reach, focused on securing some valuable championship points. The season continues in two weeks at Fuji.
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    Spirit Of Race Fights To 4H Shanghai Win
    Inter Europol wins LMP3 on Asian Le Mans debut


    Spirit of Race’s #8 Ligier JS P2 emerged victorious in the opening round of the 2018 4 Hours of Shanghai today, Alex West, Come Ledogar and Pipo Derani completing a fight through the field after an incident at the start which left the team dead last, to make it a perfect weekend in China.

    The car (which started from pole with West aboard) collided with the #22 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 of Phil Hanson at Turn 1, causing the Swiss-flagged Ligier to spin out, and drop down the order. Hanson too fell to the back as a result.

    “It wasn’t the best start but thank god I was able to keep it out of the gravel and continue,” LMP2 newcomer West, who along with Ledogar was making his Asian Le Mans debut, commented.

    But in the end, it was those two cars that would be fighting for the win, aided in part by dramas elsewhere in the class in the first half of the race.

    The winning margin for Derani at the end was just 55 seconds. Paul Di Resta in the United Autosports Ligier after a monster stint from Hanson until the final hour, had to make a splash before the end, dropping him from the lead to second. Then, making matters worse, after losing the lead late, Di Resta had a small mechanical hiccup which cost the team about 30 seconds, the car slowing on track, effectively ending the lead battle with under 10 minutes to go.

    “It was good, we were a little lucky in the race but brought home the victory. It was a really good day for us, thank god for the safety car (caused by the #1 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA) because it allowed us to close some of the gap and make up time we lost,” Derani said.

    United Autosports did however, score a double podium, the #23 Ligier JS P2 Nissan of Guy Cosmo, Patrick Byrne and Salih Yoluc coming home third, and winning the LMP2 Am sub-class.

    Two key contenders suffered early, the #24 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier suffering a terminal mechanical failure in the first hour while Andrea Pizzitola was in the lead.

    After the Algarve Pro Ligier’s demise, the #1 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 05 Nissan came to the fore and it too retired, Weiron Tan in the second hour of the race suffering a wheel-nut failure which sent his left-rear tyre flying across the pit straight, and the car spinning into the gravel trap at the final corner. It too would retire on the spot.

    This left the door wide open for the other LMP2 runners, and ultimately it would be Spirit of Race’s day.

    The top four were all Nissan-powered JS P2s, the first of the Judd-engined chassis was the #25 Algarve Pro Ligier, which finished fifth and third in LMP2 Am behind the #4 ARC Bratislava Ligier.

    Another win for Inter Europol

    LMP3 was won by Inter Eurpol, the Polish team, which started from class pole, keeping its cool throughout and enjoying a quiet run through the race en route to victory.


    Kuba Smiechowski took the wheel at the start and fell down the order in the tricky conditions, with the track low on grip and the visibility lower than usual due to fog.

    But he and Martin Hippe were in the fight throughout, and by the end had regained the lead, Hippe bringing the team’s ELMS-finale winning Ligier home 47 seconds clear of the #2 United Autosports Ligier which finished second.

    “I didn’t have the best of starts,” said Smiechowski. “We dropped back with one of the safety cars we gained a lot of time and our engineers called us in for a tactical stop which was a great move and this is what got us the win I think.”

    “We’re really happy about this, there was a real team effort all weekend. Even yesterday when we got pole we were perfect,” added Hippe.

    The #36 Eurasia Ligier completed the podium, despite being handed a 10-second stop go penalty towards the end of the race.

    Ecurie Ecosse / Nielsen Racng’s Ligiers completed the top five, the #79 of Colin Noble and Tony Wells in narrowly missing out on a podium afer being involved in a thrilling fight for the class lead with United’s Matt Bell before Wells’ stint after two and a half hours.

    The other Ecurie Ecosse Ligier meanwhile, was caught out by the second safety car, losing almost an entire lap, preventing Christian Olsen and Nick Adcock from fighting for a podium in the #7.
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    Thanks Rob, nice to see a Ferrari 488 GT3 winning after a mostly disappointing season for us in GTE Pro/Am.

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    FERRARI DOUBLE AT FUJI

    Oyama, 9 December 2018 – Two one-twos in two races. Customer teams racing with Ferrari dominated the 4 Hours of Fuji, the second of the four rounds of the 2018-19 season of the Asian Le Mans Series (ALMS), which rewards the winner with a place on the grid at next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

    Winning trio. For the second time in a row after Shanghai, victory went to Car Guy Racing with the Ferrari 488 GT3 no. 11 crewed by official Prancing Horse driver James Calado, Kei Cozzolino and Takeshi Kimura. Second place was taken by the sister car fielded by Spirit of Race driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, another official Ferrari driver, Oswaldo Negri Junior and Francesco Piovanetti.

    Tough race. Seeing the Ferraris finish in the same order as they started is a little misleading. The race, held in showery conditions, was packed with surprises and saw the Ferrari of Car Guy Racing make an early pit stop due to a puncture. The skill of the drivers, together with the providential entry of the Safety Car in the final part of the race, saving a further refuelling stop, allowed the Japanese team to secure its second win in two races with the 488 GT3.

    Calendar. The 4 Hours of Fuji marks the halfway point in the championship, with two events still to run in 2019. On 12 January, the series goes to Buriram in Thailand, before concluding on 24 February at Sepang, Malaysia.
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    How many times have we dreamt of a 1-2 this year, especially in F1!! Bravo ragazzi!

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    4 Hours of Buriram, Preview
    Round 3 of the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series

    After two races, and with all Championship battles still wide open, the Series makes the trip to the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand this weekend. One of the most popular and well-attended races of the 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series, the race is set to be just as popular this year!

    The round will again be held on Children’s Day in Thailand, with the race forming an important part of the celebrations occurring in Buriram. The circuit will be open to everyone as a part of the celebrations, with children under 15 getting access to the grandstand for free if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.


    Children’s Day has been celebrated in Thailand on the second Saturday of January every year since 1955 and is designed to celebrate the role children play in the development of the Country. It is a day for family fun and adventure and the Asian Le Mans Series has proved to be a popular choice in past years.

    LMP2

    Fresh from taking the win in Round 2, the #24 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 Judd driven by Harrison Newey and Andrea Pizzitola, are aiming to close the gap to the Championship leaders. Last round in Japan, the battle between the #24 and the current leaders, Phil Hanson and Paul di Resta in the #22 Ligier JS P2 Nissan was incredibly close and the battle is expected to pick up where it was left off.


    Due to family commitments for Alexander West the #8 Spirit of Race entry will not be on the grid in Buriram, however they will be back for the final round in Sepang.

    LMP2 Am Trophy

    Miro Konopka, Kang Ling and Darren Burke in the ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissan not only won the LMP2 Am Trophy class in the 4 Hours of Fuji, they also claimed an outright podium position. This saw them close the gap to Class leaders in the #23 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan, Guy Cosmo, Patrick Byrne and Salih Yoluc. With just two points between them, the battle is set to be intense in Buriram!


    LMP3

    With the biggest lead of all the Class Championships, Jakub Smiechowshi and Martin Hippe in the #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P3 have an 11-point lead in the LMP3 class. Behind them are 4 Hours of Fuji Class winners, Matthew Bell, Kay van Berlo and Christian England in the #3 United Autosports, Ligier JS P3 Nissan. Just 5 points behind them is the sister United Autosports #2 Ligier JS P3 Nissan, driven by Chris Buncombe, Garett Grist and Wayne Boyd.


    GT

    As the only entry to have two race wins in the 2018/19 Season, Japanese team Car Guy with their Ferrari 488 GT3 are aiming to make it three from three in Thailand. Drivers Takeshi Kimura, Kei Cozzolino and James Calado will not have it all their own way, with the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 being driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, Ozz Negri Jr and Francesco Piovanetti will be aiming to cut their lead.

    Both of the TRST Audi R8 LMS’ will have slight changes to their driver line ups. In the #66 GT Am entry will be Lo Kai Fung, Max Wiser and Zhang Ya Qi. In the #88 will be Alex Au, Chen Wei An and new driver Jean Karl Vernay.

    The 2017 TCR International Champion was also the highest finishing Audi Sport driver in last season’s WTCR.

    Schedule:

    Friday, 11 January 2019
    08:40 – 10:10 Free Practice 1
    12:40 – 14:00 Free Practice 2
    16:35 – 16:50 GT Qualifying
    17:00 – 17:15 LMP2 & LMP3 Qualifying

    Saturday, 12 January 2019
    11:45 – 15:45 4 Hours of Buriram

    Current Championship standings:
    LMP2 & Outright Championship
    37 points: United Autosports #22 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Phil Hanson & Paul Di Resta)
    34 points: Spirit of Race #8 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Alexander West, CŰme Ledogar & Pipo Derani)
    27 points: ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Miro Konopka, Ling Kang & Darren Burke)

    LMP2 Am Trophy
    45 points: United Autosports #23 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Guy Cosmo, Patrick Byrne & Salih Yoluc)
    43 points: ARC Bratislava #4 Ligier JS P2 Nissan (Miro Konopka, Ling Kang & Darren Burke)
    30 points: Algarve Pro Racing #25 Ligier JS P3 Judd (Mark Patterson, Anders Fjordbach & Christopher McMurry)

    LMP3
    44 points: Inter Europol Competition #13 Ligier JS P3 (Jakub Smiechowski & Martin Hippe)
    33 points: United Autosports #3 Ligier JS P3 (Matthew Bell & Kay van Berlo)
    28 points: United Autosports #2 Ligier JS P3 (Chris Buncombe, Garett Grist & Wayne Boyd)

    GT
    51 points: Car Guy #11 Ferrari 488 GT3 (Takeshi Kimura, Kei Cozzolino, James Calado)
    36 points: Spirit of Race #51 Ferrari 488 GT3 (Alessandro Pier Guidi, Ozzy Negri Jr & Francesco Piovanetti)
    27 points: TianShi Racing Team #66 Audi R8 LMS (Xu Wei & Max Wiser)

    The Asian Le Mans Series will again be broadcasting all qualifying sessions and the race in full, on the Asian Le Mans Series Facebook and YouTube pages.
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  10. #10
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    Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice. cool pics.
    It's not how start but how you finish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgonzalesm6 View Post
    Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice. cool pics.


    sportscars so much better racing than F1
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    yet another win for Car Guy and Spirit of Race came in 3rd. Awesome race, and crews super job. Plus, it was 200th win for the 488.
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  13. #13
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    Couple pictures from my good friend Joackim, he the one with the great tash he said signed it brioche and Roberto guy in middle.





    Last edited by Rob; 12th January 2019 at 11:49.
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    Great pics and another great result, keep 'em coming!

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    All Titles Go To The Wire After Topsy Turvy 4 Hours Of Buriram

    Double Win for United, and wins too for ARC Bratislava and Car Guy fail to determine Championships
    12 January 2019, 1:34 PM

    The 4 Hours of Buriram proved to be a very different sort of race from those in China and Japan. It was won, and lost, in the main, with trials and tribulations for several runners rather than wheel to wheel racing. It ended with a third different overall winner in the first three Asian Le Mans Series races of the 2018/19 season.

    All the title battles will go to the final round at Sepang next month as a result and whilst every championship leader bar one would (provisionally at least!) extended their points lead – the slings and arrows of the outrageous fortune left the final podium results in doubt right to the flag.

    United prevails in LMP2

    The LMP2 field saw an excellent start from Ate de Jong in the #24 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier Judd, a defensive sweep top the outside for Turn 1 taking Phil Hanson by surprise and allowing the sister #25 LMP2 Am-entered APR Ligier of Chris McMurry to dive through an opening gap for second into Turn 1 – Algarve Pro would run 1-2 with Hanson snapping at the heels of McMurry.


    Whilst it would take a couple of laps for Hanson to find a way by the Judd-powered pair there should be significant praise levelled at de Jong in particular, the returning #24 driver starting from pole for the first time ever played it perfectly. And whilst he dropped back after being passed, he handed over the car to Harrison Newey having driven the stint of his life – putting his younger team-mates in a position where a fightback was possible.

    Thereafter the race was characterised by the chasing #24 car having better overall pace than the #22 – which would lead to the flag – but the attack would fail after two pieces of bad luck for the team, and one brilliant strategy call from United.



    That should take nothing away from an utterly fault-free run from the #22 crew – Phil Hanson again covering off all bar a single stint in the four hours, Di Resta taking his stint in the third hour to allow Hanson some respite from the heat, and whilst the eventual winning margin rather flattered them. The win was deserved not only by the driving pair but by the whole team, the call in to the pits as the race’s only Full-Course Yellow was called was spot on, and reversed the flow of the race at that point which had seen Harrison Newey, having taken over the helm of the #24 from de Jong, scything into Hanson’s advantage.



    The pit call though saw the United effort take full advantage, and the lead more than doubled as a result.



    Newey, and later Pizzitola, chased hard throughout though but the Frenchman suffered two bits of bad luck, an incident badly called for TV by this writer that looked from our pictures like a terribly judged move into the hairpin that resulted in a substantial impact with the the GT class leading Ferrari was revealed later to have not been Pizzitola’s fault at all, but rather Ferrari driver James Calado’s ill-judged return to the track after going off on the approach to the corner:


    

“I thought I had plenty of room to make the pass on the LMP3 car ahead but when I got to the apex the Ferrari was there out of nowhere and I hit him. James came to me before the podium to apologise – one of those things!” said a rueful Pizzitola later.



    At that point Pizzitola had looked likely to catch the leader, the delay, plus a late race puncture cost the #24 effort dear though and the effort faded – second would have to be good enough.

    

Behind there was a fine run to a first Asian podium for the #35 Panis Barthez Competition crew, Jean Baptiste Lahaye and Francois Heriau running well, Matthieu Lahaye adding pace. The effort fell back behind a charging Darren Burke deep into the race, but the podium place would be back with the all-French crew by the flag, and a late splash and dash for Pizzitola meant they would be just 10 seconds back at the flag from second!




    The #4 ARC Bratislava effort would take a second consecutive class victory, and the class championship lead and was oh so close to a second consecutive overall podium, Darren Burke passing the #35 on pace but then suffering a broken spark plug, losing time lap after lap but holding on for fourth to fend off a charge from the recovering #25. Anders Fjordbach was ‘on it’ for a very long stint after early penalties for both Chris McMurry and Mark Patterson. He’d just fall short at the flag by nine seconds after chasing back from almost a lap down to the hobbled #4

.

    The #4 crew deserved their class win, Miro Konopka with another faultless stint, Ling Kang again cementing a growing reputation, as was Burke, an emerging star in the Asian Series.


    For the #25 it was a story of big consequences for small errors, effectively losing a lap to the tree successive penalties, for contact, and for a pair of pitlane violations. There is pace and potential there though!


    The #23 United Autosports LMP2 Am effort meanwhile was in the mix for a while but struggled for pace, the team opting to garage the car briefly whilst searching for a rogue lambda sensor – they’s finish laps down on the leading pair.

    Boyd, Grist and Buncombe take P3 honours

    LMP3 saw bad luck for the championship-leading #13 Inter Europol effort, they’d lead the race but fall foul of a call to the pits to fix the left rear legality panel, a repair the team insist was not necessary “Loose not broken”. That cost the team around an extra 90 seconds in the garage in a race they last to the #2 United Ligier by just 24 seconds – aside from that it was another convincing run from the Smiechowski/Hippe combo.


    The good news for Inter-Europol was that the ‘wrong’ United Ligier took the win, the #3 falling victim to a broken exhaust and subsequently a resultant broken gearshift that saw Kay van Berlo losing huge chunks of time in the final hour, the car stuck in fourth gear! The #3 would fall from being in overall race contention to 5th in class at the flag, dropping points to the #13 as it did so.


    For the #2 it was a strong run to take advantage of the Polish-entered car’s misfortune – Garett Grist started strongly, Chris Buncombe pushed hard to soak up the pressure, and Wayne Boyd delivered the pace that would ensure that a charging Martin Hippe would not get close enough to exert direct pressure – the gap 24 seconds at the flag.


    All of that meant that the championship lead stays with the #13 – but by a reduced margin, now eight points, to a new second placed car in the standings, #2 overhauling #3!



    Behind that little lot the final podium position was in doubt to the flag, with both of the Ecurie Ecosse / Nielsen racing Ligiers in contention, Christian Olsen having a very strong late race run in the #7 that started from the back after Nick Adcock’s FP2 off meant that they missed qualifying.



    Adcock was steady but lacked the pace we’ve seen thus far this season, the pace came at the end of the race from his young Danish team-mate, and problems ahed for the #79 gave Olsen something to chase.

 Tony Wells too had a quiet start to the race and Colin Noble was set to do the heavy lifting in the #79.

    He was initially catching the #3 United Ligier but the gap stabilised until van Berlo’s woes, Noble quickly getting the message that his prey was wounded and putting him to the metaphoric sword.




    Noble too though would find trouble, believed to be a fuel pick-up issue, and his lap times dropped off alarmingly, now it was Olsen’s turn to smell blood but the team, and Noble, managed the reduced available pace beautifully. The #79 would make the podium, Olsen just two seconds off at the flag!

    Behind there was a trio of card that had ups and downs, Eurasia simply didn’t have the pace, but their day would be boosted by an uptick in the form of Nobuya Yamanaka, he’s looking to the future in his LMP3 career – he’ll race beyond Asia in 2019!

    Eurasia woud come home 6th in class 

The #50 R24 team had a much better day and Stephane Kox enjoyed a couple of close battles, and won a couple too! Teammate Marie Iwaoka though was somewhat further back in the learning curve – they are here to learn though, it will come!


    The #65 Viper Niza crew had the best of starts again! Nigel Moore’s now trademark move up the inside of the pack into T1, and then again at T3 saw the black and green JS P3 up into fourth overall for a couple of laps but an early puncture cost the team dear, they struggled thereafter. 



    Car Guy bets TSRT to GT victory

    GT went the way of the #11 Car Guy crew – after the TianShi Audis led the way early on.

    The class saw the only retirement of the race, the #5 TF Sport/ Red River Sport Aston Martin struggling with a power steering issue and then suffering brake failure midway through a Johnny Mowlem stint, the definitely not retired Brit doing great work to scrub of speed through the gravel trap and making only light contact with the barrier – the car got back to the pits but was retired.

    With the Gentleman drivers starting all but the #66 Audi the field was relatively easy pickings early on for Max Wiser, he pulled out a sizeable lead through to the first stops.

    Thereafter though the pendulum swung back as the #66 welcomed its less experienced, and less pacey drivers, David Chen taking over the wheel of the #88 Audi pushed on but Kei Cozzolino took control in the #11 and handed the car to James Calado in the lead as Jean Karl Vernay took over in the #88 Audi.

    Alessandro Pier Guidi pushed hard but would do no better than third in the #51 Ferrari, Pier Guidi’s pole making a telling difference though, it takes the Championship fight to Sepang, the gap 24 points to the unbeaten #11 Ferrari!

    With Calado at the wheel and the car in the lead the result should have been in no doubt but, by the World Champion’s own admission, this was far from his best drive.



    The incident with Pizzitola (see above in the LMP2 section) cost Calado a drive-through and there was a later stop and 10 second hold for crossing the white line at pit exit and a further drive through for another infringement. All of that little lot saw the final gap down to 23 seconds, and, despite the penalties, Calado deserves some credit for the crushing pace he laid down to repair some of the damage, and to see off the challenge from the #88 – though Vernay’s pace was hobbled by gearbox issues throughout his final stint.


    All in all a race defined by issues rather than pace – the nett result though is that every contender in every class will have to wait until the last weekend of February to learn whether they get a championship trophy, and whether they need to put aside a week or two in June for an important additional race!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisepie View Post
    Great pics and another great result, keep 'em coming!
    Talking to Joackim yesterday if #11 gets pole at Sepang then will win the championship.
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    Last edited by Rob; 13th January 2019 at 15:11.
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    - Japanese team dominates in its debut season, securing a place in the 24 Hours of Le Mans

    - Third place for Pier Guidi, Negri Jr and Piovanetti in Spirit of Race no. 51

    Sepang, 24 Feb 2019 – In an extraordinary debut season the Japanese team Car Guy recorded four wins in four races, the drivers’ and teams’ title in the Asian Le Mans Series and a place on the grid at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. All in all, it was a brilliant performance by the Ferrari 488 GT3 crewed by James Calado, Kei Cozzolino and Takeshi Kimura.

    Unbeatable. The trio won the 4 Hours of Sepang, the last round of the Asian Le Mans Series, racing with tactical intelligence and an excellent pace. After the previous victories – Shanghai, Fuji and Buriram – car no. 11 just needed to cross the finish line to clinch the title. However, after a cautious start to avoid any contacts that would have jeopardised the final result, the entry of the safety car allowed Cozzolino to take the lead with just over two hours to go. From then on the team from Shizuoka prefecture managed the race, holding onto first position even when the safety car came out again, until celebrating its triumph under the chequered flag.

    Another podium finish. It was an excellent performance by the second Ferrari, the 488 GT3 of Spirit of Race, driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, Oswaldo Negri Junior and Francesco Piovanetti. Car no. 51 was always among the leaders and only yielded second place towards the end. With the podium, Spirit of Race ensured their second place in the team standings.

    With these results, Ferrari 488 GT3 teams and drivers have won 45 championships, with 202 wins out of 409 entries.

    Victory in the Asian Le Mans Series gives Car Guy a place in the next 24 Hours of Le Mans on 15 and 16 June
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    Youngsters' Day has been praised in Thailand on the second Saturday of January consistently and is intended to commend the job kids play in the advancement of the Country. It is multi day for family fun and experience and the Asian Le Mans Series has demonstrated to be a famous decision in past years.

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