In an unexpected move, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest announced the calendar for the 2016/2017 season of the Asian Le Mans Series this weekend, while in action with the 3 Hours of Sepang event.
The calendar for the second season of the AsLMS under the direct management of ACO will feature again four rounds, with all the circuits of the current season being retained while another one is making a return to the competition.
One of the reasons for the early announcement is to keep the interest in the series at a high note, and with the 3 Hours of Sepang grid being the biggest of the competition under new management and one of the biggest in the AsLMS history, with 16 entrants, there wouldn’t be a better situation to do this.
Also with the new calendar comes some changes, mainly the increase of the race time from three to four hours, as well the fact that all rounds will be standalone events, instead of what happened this year when the 2 Hours of Fuji shared the Japanese track with the FIA World Endurance Championship.
October will still have the inaugural race of the season, as Zhuhai returns to the series after a three-year absence and also bringing China back to the competition, but the date was moved to the end of the month. Then the AsLMS machines will travel to Japan, but only on December 4th, as the 4 Hours of Fuji will be the last event of 2016. The 2017 half starts with the trip to the Chang International Circuit, in Thailand, for the 4 Hours of Buriram on January 8th, and two weeks later, on January 22nd, the season ends with the 4 Hours of Sepang in Malaysia.
While the events are already decided, the calendar will need confirmation from the FIA World Motorsport Council, as well the confirmation of the contracts for the next season.
PHOTO: Asian Le Mans Series