2016 for the Asian LMS starts with 17 at Buriram




After the New Year celebrations and a good break,  the attention of teams, drivers and of the Asian Le Mans Series organisation turns back to the third round of the 2015/2016 season, the 3 Hours of Thailand. And to this first visit to Thailand, we will have the same 17 cars present at Sepang, although some changes were made.

Worth notice is that the Asian Le Mans Series had a race at Buriram scheduled for the 2014 season, but it was later cancelled after discussions between teams and organisers due to the low grid numbers. Nowadays, the quick circuit hosts important competitions in various levels, be them national like the Thailand Super Series, continental like the GT Asia, or international like the TCR Interational Series or the FIA World Touring Car Championship.

The LMP2 leaders from Race Performance will have more opposition on track as Eurasia Motorsport finally puts its second ORECA 03 to race on Asian soil, counting with Antonio Giovinazzi and Sean Gelael to disrupt the good form of the Swiss team. Algarve Pro Racing will be present too with an unchanged lineup.

Also, no changes in the entry numbers for the LMP3 class, so the work remains in the Team AAI's shoulders to cut its reliabilty problems from the pair of ADESS 03 and beat the class leaders from DC Racing.

The CN class continues with two entries, a pair of Wolf GB08, with the only change being Shinyo Sano replacing John Bryant Meisner in the Atlantic Racing Team car.

Seven machines make the GT class grid the largest of all the classes on track, with the biggest news coming from Absolute Racing as the team brings the new version of the Audi R8 LMS car, with Adderly Fong, Jeffrey Lee and Alessio Picariello on the driving duties. The new GT3 machine was pretty successful in Europe and was a serious contender for the FIA GT World Cup title last year at Macau. In the best of the possibilities, we may see at least a 5-way battle for the win, with class leaders Clearwater Racing and Absolute Racing being joined by Sprit of Race and the pair of cars from Team AAI.

The GT-Am class still has the lone Porsche 911 Cup car from KCMG, to be driven by team owner Paul Ip alongside Martin Rump and Yuan Bo. The promised Audi R8 LMS Cup from Absolute Racing wasn't present at Sepang, and with the Cup series changing to newer machinery with the same specs of the GT3 car, we probably may not see this one in the Asian LMS.

The complete list for the 3 Hours of Thailand can be found here. The green flag for the third round of the Asian LMS will be given on January 10th.

PHOTO: Chang International Circuit