Looking for a change in fortune at Yas Marina as the Asian Le Mans Series battles out to the end in Abu Dhabi

Thursday, February 17, 2022


Just where has this week gone as we arrive at a vast rate of knots at this weekend’s concluding double header finale of the Asian Le Mans Series from the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi!!

Last weekend in Dubai, we saw the three TF Sport prepared Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 crews battle hard for scant reward as the McLaren and Ferrari powered teams dominated the two opening four hours races there.

Despite that, the #69 Oman Racing crew of Ahmad Al Harthy, Sam De Haan and Charlie Eastwood came away from Dubai in fifth place overall thanks to their P6 and P5 finishes respectively but they find themselves already more than a race win down to the present McLaren powered Inception Racing class leaders. 

For the #77 D’Station Racing and #95 TF Sport AMR entries of Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii, Tom Gamble and John Hartshorne, Jonny Adam and Henrique Chaves respectively, their weekend in Dubai was one of progression and consistency as lap times improved and race results were either improved upon or at least maintained.

For all the TF Sport crews, tyre wear and degradation was obviously an issue (as it was for all of the runners around the Dubai Autodrome) and it is hoped that the change of circuit style and type at Yas Marina will help improve upon that situation for as long as unnecessary drive through penalties for contact or track limits can be avoided this time!

Looking back through the lap times for these three cars at last year’s rounds in Dubai as well as the 24H Series Dubai 24 (although on differing rubber with that one) the lap times put in last weekend were roughly the same as they were last year, so the differences in pace and track position will be down to track discipline, tyre management and the differing abilities within each car’s three drivers compared to the rest of the GT class.

Last years results from Yas Marina did show that the Vantage had pace and durability during that season with the five Aston Martin’s that started both races at Yas Marina then, all bar two finished within the top 10 for each race.

Additionally and since the end of race 2 in Dubai, both the Ferrari 488 GT3 and the McLaren 720s GT3 platforms have had a Balance of Performance adjustment made against them by the ACO with both platforms having a turbo boost reduction in time for the first official track session at Yas Marina tomorrow.

The question here though will be – will it be enough to bring the Aston to the forefront of the class battle in time to make it a Championship battle?

Like last weekend, the framework will again be two Free Practice sessions on Friday before Qualifying for both races later in the evening before Race 1 starts at 14:30hrs local on Saturday and Race 2 and final round of the 2022 ALMS season starting at 16:30hrs on Sunday.

Photo credits – ALMS / Team
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