Wineurasia Motorsport have claimed the top step of the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup podium for the 2nd time this weekend, with Matthew Solomon and Aidan Read leading for nearly the whole race in the #94 Ligier JSP3 at the Sepang International Circuit. The #1 DC Racing Ligier came 2nd, with James Winslow and Dean Koutsoumidis at the wheel, and the #27 Nexus Infinity ADESS 03 was third, driven by Adrian D’Silva and Garnet Patterson.
Starting on pole for the second race of the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup, Matthew Solomon took a great start in the #94 Wineurasia Motorsport Ligier JSP3, quickly creating a wide gap to his nearest rivals, which turned out to be the #1 DC Racing Ligier JSP3.
“Fantastic weekend for the team,” said Solomon. “They’ve done an amazing job since the start of the weekend. Everything’s been going forward since we got here. I took the start and pulled a decent gap, and just managed to conserve and save everything, bring it back for the pit stop and hand over to Aidan who did a fantastic job to bring it home. We were very comfortable on the car for our first weekend in LMP3, which is amazing. Great job by our team on all fronts. I’m really happy with the way it went, and hopefully we’ll be back to continue this performance.”
Having missed out on qualifying and the 1st race yesterday due to gear box issues, the #1 DC Racing Ligier managed to take part today thanks to a true show of sportsmanship from Team AAI who could not compete today due to a cracked gearbox, and who donated a part to the #1 DC Racing Ligier JS P3 so that they could race today. Jamie Winslow and Dean Koutsoumidis made the most of the opportunity and delivered a great performance, starting from last on the grid and making their way up into 2nd by the end of the 1st lap. Although they tried hard to reach them, the duo of Solomon and Aidan Read were too fast for them to catch up.
The #27 Nexus Infinity had a good consistent race, with Adrian D’Silva and Garnet Patterson going from their 5th place on the grid up into 3rd and holding that place for the majority of the race; they started to challenge the #1 DC Racing Ligier by the end, and crossed the line in third.
“I’d really like to thank Adrian, CQ, the whole team and/of Infinity Race Engineering for giving me a chance this weekend,” said Garnet. “It was really good. It’s my first race out of open wheel cars. It’s been a really good weekend. We had a really good race. Adrian had a good first stint, handed the car over quite well. I knew that James and Dean had a pretty good lead and tried to put my head down and put in consistent times to try and catch them. I could see I was getting closer, but time was running out. Credit to everyone else for the great race. It’s really good being here and hopefully we can develop the car; it’s got a few little issues, but it’s very promising first race. Really good speed. If we keep developing and catch the Ligiers, it could be a great year. I’d really like to thank everyone for the opportunity.”
The PRT Racing Ginetta LMP3, due to a problem with the oil pressure and a few spins on track, struggled a bit in today’s race and finished 4th, but Charlie Robertson still succeeded in setting the fastest lap of the race with a time of 2:00.686.
Sebastien Mailleux and Neric Wei in the #68 PS Racing Ligier JS53 had a good clean race. Mailleux took the start from 2nd place on the grid, managing to avoid the faster cars on the opening straight, and kept a good steady pace before handing over to Wei for the 2nd stint, where Wei brought it home in 4th place overall.
The GTCup class saw the most action, with a close fight from start to finish between the #77 Team NZ Porsche GT3 Cup and the #28 Team Lotus HK Lotus Evora GTC. John Curran in the #77 Porsche GT3 Cup started from the back of the field, having missed qualifying yesterday, but this didn’t get in his way, as he quickly joined the head of the pack and started to battle Dominic Ang in the #28 Team Lotus HK Lotus Evora GTC. Curran took the class lead and held onto it until the pitstops. Once the pitstops were over, the #28 was in the lead again, with Anthony Chan in the car, but Graeme Dowsett in the #77 caught up to him to claim the class win. The #28 Team Lotus HK Lotus Evora GTC crossed the line 2nd in class, and the #11 Team Lotus HK Lotus Evora GTC, driven by Robert Webb came third.
This has been a great opening weekend for the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup, with a diverse grid of cars and drivers, and we are expecting more teams to be joining the field for the next two rounds.
The next round will be held on 5-7th of August at the Sepang International Circuit.