The success of the ACO’s Asian Series as a stepping stone to the premier event is clear with this year seeing the biggest representation of teams competing in the Asian Le Mans Series ever seen, and the Series expects next year to be even bigger.
On the grid this weekend will be all three Championship winners from the 2016/17 season, Algarve Pro Racing (LMP2 winner), Tockwith Motorsports (LMP3 winner) and DH Racing (GT winner). Each received an invitation to take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a result of winning their class in the Asian Le Mans Series.
Cyrille Taesch-Wahlen, Asian Le Mans Series Managing Director:
To see a record number of Asian Le Mans Series teams here this weekend is really positive, and we expect the number to be higher next year. The Motorsport industry in Asia is booming and it is our intention to do whatever we can to help drive this growth even further.
We are excited to be able to offer our teams the opportunity to make the step up from Asia to the World Championship. As the reference endurance racing series for prototypes and GT classes in Asia, we offer the only direct pathway into a World Championship and into the world’s most significant endurance race – the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In addition to the 11 entries taking part in the main race, there are also two Asian Le Mans Series teams competing in the Road to Le Mans support race this weekend.
The Asian Le Mans Series is an important part of the Le Mans endurance racing pyramid, sitting alongside the European Le Mans Series and the IMSA Weather Tech Sports Car Championship in North America.
At the top of this pyramid is the FIA World Endurance Championship, which, along with the 24 Hours of Le Mans represents the summit of excellence. The race is the ultimate challenge, one that all teams and drivers want to win.
The Series offers LMP2, LMP3 and GT class winners a money can’t buy invitation to participate in the following year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Launched in 2013 by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the Asian Le Mans Series is the embodiment of Le Mans endurance racing for the Asian continent. Initially operated by a third party company, the ACO took over management, organization and promotion of the Series at the end of 2014. Since then the series has gone from strength to strength.
The 2016/17 season built on the confidence that was developed the previous season, and saw the format evolve, with races increasing to four hours in duration, and the Series visiting four different circuits in Asia, including a return to China.