The inaugural Asian Le Mans Series kicks off in May, crowning the efforts of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to boost the global impact of endurance racing.
The ACO created the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1923, and since then has continued to develop endurance racing on a global scale. The first of its continental championships, the American Le Mans Series, was formed in 1999 followed by the European Le Mans Series in 2004.
The Asian Le Mans Series will consist of six 3-hour races, with the opening half of the season taking place in China, with the second half visiting South Korea, Japan and Indonesia.
The new series also reinforces the ACO’s pyramid system, joining the American and European series at the bottom level, with the next step up being the FIA World Endurance Championship before reaching the pinnacle with the Le Mans 24 Hour Race.
Invites to the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours will be the prize for the championship winning teams, with the winners of LMP2, LM GTE and GTC class winners receiving invites to the race – the GTC class winner will compete in GTE Am at Le Mans. The winning LMPC car will be invited to take part in the 2014 Le Mans test day.
“On the day of the official launch of the Asian Le Mans Series I’m delighted to see that this Asian championship, which we’ve all been working on for a long time, has finally come to fruition.” said President of the ACO Pierre Fillon. “Like all the continental series run under the Le Mans label in the spirit that has driven the Le Mans 24 Hours for the last ninety years, the Asian Le Mans Series will enable manufacturers to showcase the reliability of their cars, promote their image and also demonstrate the validity of their new technologies on the crucial Asian market in a sporting and competitive spirit guaranteed by the values of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. The ACO is particularly proud to have contributed to the development of motor sport on the Asian continent by enabling teams, drivers and their partners to take part in endurance events, whose values are those which, since 1923, have underpinned the success of the Le Mans 24 Hours.”