Asian Le Mans Series Kicks Off At Zhuhai: Watch LIVE
Jackie Chan DC Racing/Jota Sport have locked out the front row of the grid for the first round of the 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series. Running at the Zhuhai International Circuit, it will be the #8 Oreca 05 Nissan that will start from Pole Position, alongside the team’s sister car, the #7 Oreca 05 Nissan.
Qualifying for the Asian Le Mans Series is broken into two sessions, one for the LMP2 and LMP3 classes combined, and another for the GT class. With each session running for just 15 minutes, the teams and drivers do not have much room for error.
Each team must nominate one driver to represent their team during the qualifying session.
It was Pipo Derani in the BBT Ligier JS P2 that was the first of the runners to set a quick time, but it was the Aussie driver Josh Burdon that was making an impact. Putting in a blistering lap in the KCMG Ligier JSP3 he was sitting in 2nd place outright early in the session.
“I thought the quick time was in the car after practice this morning. We did a green tyre run early, and after just one lap I had a good feeling in the car, so I knew that we were on target for a good qualifying time.” said Josh.
After showing promising pace in practice, trouble hit ARC Bratislava during qualifying. Their driver Konstantins Calko went off the track on cold tyres, damaging the body work of their Ligier JS P2.
The times kept dropping as the session went on, with Frenchman Thomas Laurent in the #8 Oreca grabbing pole for Jackie Chan DC Racing X Jota Sport. With a quick time of 1:27.615, he was just 0.15 ahead of his Chinese team mate Ho-Pin Tung in the #7. Making it a very tight top three, Brazilian Pipo Derani set a time of 1:27.979, just 2 tenths behind Ho-Pin Tung.
Even with damage to their car, ARC Bratislava set a time quick enough for 4th place on the grid.
Meanwhile, in LMP3 it was the #18 Ligier JS P3 of KCMG that remained quickest at the end of the session. The team will not have things all their own way in the race though with the Hong Kong based team, WIN Motorsport starting 2nd in the LMP3 class. The team that recently claimed the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup title, will no doubt take the fight to KCMG in the race.
Third in the LMP3 Class went to the 3rd Jackie Chan DC Racing x Jota Sport Liger JS P3.
In GT it was also a tightly fought battle, especially between the two FIST-Team AAI cars.
Ultimately it was to be Rafaelle Marciello in the Mercedes-AMG GT3, that just pipped his team mate Jesse Krohn in the BMW M6 GT3.
After becoming the first amateur driver to win the Audi R8 LMS Cup just two weeks ago, Chinese driver Weian Chen will line up 3rd in the GT Class after his team mate Massimiliano Wiser qualified in the Audi Sport Customer Racing Asia by TSRT entry.
Live streaming of the race will commence at 12:45 local Zhuhai time (China).
Source: ALMS Media.