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Asian Le Mans Series: The latest news

Asian Le Mans Series Press Conference Spa-Francorchamps

© Planetlemans – Brecht Decancq

The evolution of the Le Mans Series in the world is under way. During the ACO Press Conference two days before the start of this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, Rémy Brouard, the general manager, reminded those present that the ACO and its partners were thinking about the creation of an Intercontinental Trophy to be inaugurated in the near future (2010 or 2011). This year, the development of the Le Mans Series on 3 continents will become a reality.

In three months, 30th October – 1st November, the Asian Le Mans Series will kick off on the Okayama circuit in Japan. The timetable for this event, which coincides with the second-last round of the 2009 WTCC, is as follows: two 3-hour races , the first on Saturday and the second on Sunday. At stake is an invitation for the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours for the winners in LM P1, LM P2, LM GT1 and LM GT2, 4 categories that will be well represented in quality and number including, among other newcomers, the Aston Martin Racing Team in LM P1 whose presence has just been confirmed: it will be up against the Pescarolos, Pescarolo-Peugeot, Orecas etc.
9 Asian teams have also confirmed their entries (Tokai University in LM P1, Navi Goh in LM P2, Nova team and JLOC in GT1, O’young racing team, Hong Kong Racing, Team Daishin, Hankook and KTR in GT2 who will take on the best European teams in their categories on home turf!

However, the Shanghai event has had to be cancelled because of economic circumstances very unfavourable to its running on the weekend of 7th – 8th November.

The ACO insists on reaffirming its stated intention to enable Asia to benefit from the magic label of Le Mans style endurance races in the context of the future Intercontinental Trophy, mentioned above, which will consist of several important races that already exist in the world.

Discussion

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  1. LM GT1? I thought that would end after this season?!

    Posted by Ge-Flopt | August 4, 2009, 21:35
  2. Don’t like the intercontinental series idea. It will only mean fewer races in Europe and the States. I suppose it’s a ploy to get more Asian manufacturers involved. Probably won’t work.

    Posted by Ness | August 5, 2009, 18:08
  3. Oh God… JLOC? Let’s hope they don’t get in the way while they crash and burn in the first few laps.

    Posted by Victor | August 8, 2009, 20:32
  4. to be honest, Im not too sure on the asian le mans series idea. current european and american le mans series are struggling in my view, so why create an asian one? the big manurfacturers audi and the peugeot works team just dont sound interested, although good news about pescarolo-peugeot being there. whats more, there is just another series where GT1 grids will be stupidly small.

    really, the proposed World Le Mans series needs to come along and be the only le mans series, it will give le mans racing a more global status. I would only let LMP1 and LMP2 cars enter too, so more GT2 teams will be encouraged to europe and GT1 teams will be encouraged to the planned GT1 world championship. I think LMP1, LMP2, GT1 and GT2 cars should only be together at one place:Le Mans

    both categories need to be made bigger again, and having global championships for these is vital in my view, for GT1 and LMP1 mainly.

    so I hope the asian le mans series/race is a success to encourage an asian round of the proposed world le mans series and they can use this probably short lived series as a spring board to WLM, but i doubt it somehow.

    Posted by Bruce | August 12, 2009, 20:11
  5. Bruce, are you sugesting to exclude Grand Tourers from LM style racing ?!

    Posted by Subaru WRX | August 12, 2009, 21:21
  6. well i think the priority for grand touring racing should be in their own championships, GT1 World, GT2 euro etc, so we get full grids (24 in GT1 world) in those sorts of races where the main focus is the GT’s, although if we had another load of GT1 and GT2 teams that still wanted to race somewhere then whatever le mans series would be fine i guess

    but it seems to me that GT1 classes in various le mans series are pitifully thin nowadays (non existant in ALMS), so why bother with GT’s when hardly any of them want to race in a le mans series anymore?

    Posted by Bruce | August 13, 2009, 15:59
  7. I agree that GT1 2010 is going to be for the WORLD GT mainly, the ACO seems will accept them at Le Mans 24 Hours, but I am pretty sure that those teams aren’t untrested, don’t forget they don’t want the Spa 24 Hours anymore, so better for the ACO follow the IMSA, and have a single GT class, of course the GT2s.

    Posted by Subaru WRX | August 14, 2009, 8:24
  8. yes ofcourse that would be OK I guess, just aslong as their is some more variety than just the Ferrari 430s and Porsche 911s, add a spyker in there or something else so they can really mix it up a bit

    Posted by Bruce | August 15, 2009, 9:02
  9. Bruce, I like your idea, it’s almost correct. One point, the GT1’s won’t be racing in Le Mans most probably, as in Spa 24 hours next year. ACO wants factory-based teams in GT1, SRO wants to cut costs in the new GT1 and therefore will not run them in het Spa 24 hours. Therefore, it’s not necessary to prepare the new cars in 2010 for “longer” races. Result : Costs are cut, just what SRO wants. In my opinion, the ACO wants to get rid of GT’s and i wouldn’t be surprised if they anounce in the future ( officialy ) the creation of LMP 3…….

    Posted by HD | August 15, 2009, 17:19
  10. sounds like a win win for both ACO and SRO. and LMP3 would be interesting. although ofcourse if i had my way, Id have all LMP1s with roofs, with open top LMP2 and LMP3. that was off topic but id just thought id add that in.

    Posted by Bruce | August 15, 2009, 21:23
  11. please no more 100% prototype field, its rubbish and ugly, when I remeber the Group C days, with no GTs…

    Posted by Subaru WRX | August 16, 2009, 7:38

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