The 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series reaches a finale on Sunday with its final round – the 4H of Sepang.
22 cars will take to the grid, seven in the LMP2 class, 10 in the LMP3 category and five in the GT class.
There are a number of changes from the entries for the previous round at Buriram. In the LMP2 category Spirit of Race returns with its #8 Ligier JS P2 to be piloted by Alexander West, Côme Ledogar and Pipo Derani. There are three additions to the LMP3 entry list – Jackie Chan DC Racing returns to the series with its #38 Ligier JS P3 with the driver line-up of Jamie Winslow, Jake Parsons and Rick Yoon. ARC Bratislava joins the LMP3 ranks with its #44 Ginetta LMP3, to be driven by Michael Simpson and Neale Muston. R24 also joins the grid with its#50 Ligier to be crewed by Katherine Legge, Michelle Gatting and Margot Laffite.
In the GT category, the #5 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 has, at the time writing, just two driver names confirmed – those of Johnny Mowlem and Ivor Dunbar, Bonamy Grimes missing from the Sepang entry list. In the #66 Tianshi Racing Audi R8 LMs, Lo Kai Fung is replaced for Sepang by Qi Peiwen whilst in the sister #88 entry, Alex Au and Jean Karl Vernay are replaced by Xu Wei and Dries Vanthoor.
Going in to the final round of the 2018/19 Asian le Mans Series at Sepang International Circuit, the #22 United Autosports Ligier JS P2 duo of Phil Hanson and Paul Di Resta hold an 18-point lead in the LMP2 Teams Standings over the #24 Algarve Pro Racing driver pairing of Andrea Pizzitola and Harrison Newey, again joined for the final round by Ate Dirk De Jong. In the LMP2 Am trophy, The #4 ARC Bratislava Ligier driven by Miro Kinopka, Ling Kang and Darren Burke heads the table with the #23 United Autosports entry with the driver line-up of Guy Cosmo, Patrick Byrne and Salih Yolic just nine points behind in second place.
The title race in the LMP3 Teams Standings is a close battle with the #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P3 driven by Jakub Smiechowski and Martin Hippe heading the table on 62 points, eight points clear of the Chris Buncombe, Garret Grist and Wayne Boyd-crewed #2 United Autosports entry. The sister United Autosports entry, the #3 car, currently lies in third on 43 points.
Barring a disaster, Car Guy and its #11 Ferrari F488 GT3 driven by Takeshi Kimura, Kei Cozzolini and James Calado should clinch the GT teams title, currently sitting on 76 points courtesy of wins in the first three rounds and pole position at Fuji. Second-placed Spirit of Race and its #51 Ferrari piloted by Alessandro Pier Guidi, Oswaldo Negri Jr and Francesco Piovanetti lies 24 points behind but a non-finish by the #11 car and a win by Spirit of Race would see the Swiss team win by one point, an outcome which is not inconceivable.
Track action for the final round of the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series grid begins at 15:10 local time on Friday February 22 (07:10 UK time) with the one-and-a-half-hour Free Practice 1 session.
Qualifying gets underway at 16:35 local time on Saturday February 23 with the lights going out for the 4H of Sepang at 12:00 local time (04:00 UK time) on Sunday February 24. All qualifying sessions and the race will be streamed live via the series’ Facebook and YouTube channels.