Race Performance dominates at Fuji

The return of the Asian Le Mans Series at the mythical Fuji Speedway, in Japan, can be shortened into two words at least: comeback and dominance. The 2 Hours of Fuji saw the Swiss side of Race Performance confirm that they were the strongest team of the field.

The No. 8 ORECA 03-Judd, driven by Shinji Nakano and Nicolas Leutwiller, was on top in every session, but was overtaken by the No. 99 ORECA 03-Nissan of Eurasia Motorsport, initially driven by Tristan Gommendy, right at the start of the race. Gommendy held the lead in the first hour, but then Eurasia Motorsport made a mistake already seen in past AsLMS races: having a driver with lack of pace.

Once the South Korean driver Tack-Sung Kim got the wheel of the car, had to get pace little by little as he didn’t have a good amount of track time in the weekend, and exploiting the opponent’s weakness, Leutwiller gone away in the lead to receive the checkered flag as overall and LMP2 winner, while a problem and a puncture diminished Eurasia Motorsport’s chances, as their car ended as the last car to complete the race, in tenth.

In the newcomer LMP3 class, the recently formed DC Racing gave the first class win for the debutant Ligier JS P3, as driver-owner David Cheng and Ho-Pin Tung just cruised to the victory and finished third overall, while trouble hit their only opposition, the pair of ADESS 03 models of Taiwan-based Team AAI, as the No. 88 car stopped with only six laps of racing, while the charging No. 89 car suffered from a broken driveshaft, which stopped their recovery drive.

In the GT class, the one with most entries in the grid, also saw dominance in the name of Clearwater Racing, coming for a full season after a partial season program last year. Their McLaren 650S GT3 driven by Mok Weng Sun, Keita Sawa and McLaren factory driver Rob Bell, finished one lap ahead of the Ferrari 458 GT3 of Spirit of Race, coming from a recovery race from the eleventh position. The class podium was completed by Team AAI, with Han Chen Chen, Hiroki Yoshimoto and Shinya Hosokawa finishing fifth overall.

The GT-Am class saw a single entry in the field as the KCMG squad managed to finish eighth overall, with the Porsche Cup car being driven by team owner Paul Ip alongside newcomer James Munro and Christian Ried.

Race Result - 2 Hours of Fuji

From the 13 cars that started the race, 10 finished the race, and it is expected that the number of entries will rise in the other rounds of the series, as European teams will be out of their home season and clashes with other events aren’t expected. By the way, the next race will be the at Sepang, Malaysia, on November 8th.

PHOTOS: Asian Le Mans Series, Race Performance, DC Racing, KCMG