Three day countdown to the 2021 Asian Le Mans Series

Sunday, February 07, 2021


Just three days to go now before the start of a two-week barrage of fantastic multi-class racing from two venues within the Middle East for what will be the 2021 Asian Le Mans Series.

Having taken some significant hits to both the original and subsequent and heavily revised calendar dates for 2021 season squarely because of the fluidity and complexity of the still ongoing COVID-19 situation worldwide, it looks the hard work from all partners concerned is about to come to fruition as next weekend sees the first two rounds of the Series take place from the Dubai Autodrome over back to back days before decamping onto the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for the concluding back to back race programme on the weekend after for rounds three and four.

Again, being another ACO sanctioned series offering automatic invitations to the Le Mans 24hour to the winning teams, this year’s economy of scale season through necessity has caught the imagination of not just regular teams but with also many new teams taking the plunge in the hope of seeing themselves race at Le Mans.

With the Aston Martin Racing factory team now confirmed as having stepped back from the 2021 World Endurance Championship including Le Mans, it has been left to their Partner teams to carry the flag of the iconic British marque within these international series but with significant assistance from the factory team in the process.

Partner team’s TF Sport, Garage 59 and D’Station Racing all take the plunge this season within the ALMS running a staggering five AMR Vantage GT3 cars between them in the 36-car grid that is expected this year.

TF Sport were the first to indicate their intentions as Ahmad Al Harthy and his Oman Racing Team looked to the ALMS as a suitable stop gap for the COVID-19 affected British GT Championship hopes that never materialised for last season as the Omani hooks up again with 2020 Le Mans winner Johnny Adam and 2019 AMR Drivers Academy and British GT GT4 Champion Tom Canning.

They were soon joined by two new names to the AMR and TF Sport arena as John Hartshorne and Ollie Hancock swapped to the AMR GT3 platform. They will be joined by AMR factory junior driver Charlie Eastwood ‘fresh’ from his exploits at the Rolex 24 at Daytona a couple of weeks ago.

Fellow British team Garage 59 also confirmed that attendance within the series for the first time with a two car GT3 effort of their own as drivers Alex West, Maxime Martin and the 2020 AMR Drivers Academy winner Valentin Hasse-Clot team up within the #88 car whilst team newcomers Mike Benham, Marvin Kirchhofer and Yuki Nemoto crew the #89 car.

Finally but certainly by no means least and after having recently confirmed their full season WEC entry with an AMR Vantage GTE in the process sees Japanese team D’Station AMR get in some early ACO rules racing under their belts as they return to the Series with their svelte green liveried car for team owner Satoshi Hoshino, resident team Pro and new team manager Tomonobu Fujii and Tom Gamble, who returns to the team having helped them out at the series finale last season with Ross Gunn's diary clash with the WEC.

Each round will run for four hours and will consist of cars within the LMP2, LMP3 and GT3 classes and will be screened live via their website and social media channels.

Can’t wait!!

Photo credits - TF Sport / ALMS / Garage 59 / D'Station / GTWCE

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