In clear response to the poor grids in 2014 season of the Asian Le Mans Series, the Automobilie Club de l’Ouest is taking over the control of the series, in order to improve the situation for 2015 onwards. With this move, the S2M organization, led by Mark Thomas, that was running the series, ends its work after the 3 Hours of Sepang this weekend.
When the asian endurance championship came back to life in 2013, it was expected to boost endurance racing in the asian continent as a whole, but it wasn’t like this. The 2013 season saw a maximum grid of 20 cars at Fuji, boosted because of the participation of Super GT’s GT300 class cars. The rest of the season hardly saw grids reach two digits numbers.
But in 2014, the situation worsened, even though some measures were adopted to attract more entries, like the adoption of the CN class and the fusion of GT300, GTE and GTC class into a single GT class. Grids hadn’t gone up to eight entries during the whole season, with the embarrassing situation of having only six cars racing at the season starter, the 3 Hours of Inje. These poor grids led the organization to cancel the 3 Hours of Thailand event, to be held at the brand-new Buriram International Circuit.
Other problem was the date clashes with other main series in Asia, like Super GT, 12 Hours of Sepang and GT Asia, which cut the chances of grid boosting at least in the GT ranks.
And even though the year didn’t ended, ACO already announced the first plans to the next season of the AsLMS, as the calendar, still to be announced, will only feature three round in the second half of the year, with at least one double header weekend with the FIA World Endurance Championship, in the way that was made with the United Sportscar Championship in Austin and with the European Le Mans Series in Silverstone. Class structure remains unchanged, with the addition of the LMP3 class, and Le Mans 24 invites will still be offered.
PHOTOS: Asian Le Mans Series, Chang International Circuit, FIA WEC