Newcomers Jagonya Ayam with Eurasia with their #9 Oreca 03R Nissan will start on pole for the 3rd round of the Asian Le Mans Series, the 3 Hours of Thailand, held at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand. Sean Gelael put the car on pole, only 0.160 ahead of Jamie Winslow in the #25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 who will start in 2nd place in tomorrow’s race. Ollie Webb in the#8 Race Performance Oreca 03R Judd was 3rd quickest in qualifying.
After a day of paid practice sessions to get everyone used to the circuit, the official weekend got underway, with two Free Practice sessions and Qualifying on Saturday. The Free Practice sessions ran smoothly, with only a few interruptions to retrieve stranded cars.
To celebrate Children’s Day, there were extra events put on around the circuit, including a Pit Walk and Autograph session, which saw thousands of people gather to get a close up view of the cars and drivers.
Once they were done, Qualifying could begin. The new entry to the Asian Le Mans Series this weekend, the #9 Jagonya Ayam with Eurasia Oreca 03R Nissan, with Sean Gelael at the wheel, claimed pole with his lap of 1:26.869, best time of the weekend so far. Jamie Winslow was second quickest in the #25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 with his time of 1:27.029, and Ollie Webb 3rd with his time of 1:27.956 in the #8 Race Performance Oreca 03R Judd.
In LMP3, Ho-Pin Tung went quickest, setting a time of 1:30.444 in the #1 DC Racing Ligier JSP3, placing him 5th overall. The #89 Team AAI ADESS 03, driven by Thai driver Tanart Sathienthirakul, will start 2nd in LM P3, with his best time of 1:33.974. The sister car, the #88 Team AAI ADESS 03, crashed into the safety barriers halfway through the session, bringing out a 20 minute red flag to recuperate the car and assess the damage to the barrier. The damage may be too much to repair for the #88 to be on the grid tomorrow.
In CN, the two Wolf Racing GB08 were head to head again, with the #69 Atlantic Racing Team Wolf car coming out on top with Shinyo Sano at the wheel, setting a lap of 1:36.285. The #21 Avelon Formula Wolf Racing GB08 was driven by Giorgio Maggi, who went round in a lap of 1:37.335.
In the GT class, the #3 Clearwater Racing McLaren 650S GT3 will start at the head of the class, thanks to Rob Bell’s best lap time of 1:33.410, taking his third GT pole in a row. In 2nd and 3rd are the #5 Absolute Racing, with their new Audi R8 GT3, with Adderly Fong’s time of 1:33.587, and the #27 Nexus Infinity Ferrari 458 GT3, which went round in a lap of 1:33.695 thanks to Joshua Hunt.
For the GTAm class, it was Paul Ip who set the KCMG Porsche GT3 Cup’s best time, with a lap of
With such close qualifying times, this guarantees a very interesting three-hour race tomorrow. See you there at 13:00 for the start!
LMP2 Pole – #9 Jagonya Ayam with Eurasia Oreca 03R Nissan – Sean Gelael: “We’ve been strong all weekend. We came here to get experience for our main target next year, but also for endurance racing, it’s very important to understand the championship you’re racing in. The track’s amazing. One of the sectors is really fun, there’s some good downforce there. It’s a really good result for the team and a boost of confidence is good.”
LMP3 Pole – #1 DC Racing Ligier JSP3 – Ho-Pin Tung: “Very happy to be on pole again. Important
championship points for us, in a weekend where we hope to wrap up our third consecutive title in
the Asian Le Mans Series, so every point counts. Hoping for a clean race tomorrow – Sepang was
quite a hard one for us. Hoping for no issues and a clean race and hopefully taking the championship tomorrow evening.”
GT Pole – Clearwater Racing McLaren 650S GT3 – Rob Bell: “It was very tough out there. It’s quite a small grid with 8 cars in our category, but all of the cars have got a good pro in them. We left it to the last lap and really pushed. We’ve got a championship to think about here, and we’re doing well so far. Thinking about the race, the car’s going to be fantastic over the three hours, and we just need to keep pushing. The guys in the other cars are pushing us all away, so we really need to keep an eye on that.”
CN Pole – #69 Atlantic Racing Team Wolf Racing GB08 – Shinyo Sano: “It’s my first time in the Wolf and first time in Thailand, so everything is very new to me but I’m enjoying everything.”
GTAm Pole – #51 KCMG – Paul Ip: “Things are good. It’s the first time for me at this circuit. I really like it, it’s fun, and we’re looking forward to the race.”