Asian Le Mans Series

Sepang Win Gives OAK Racing AsLMS Title

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OAK Racing snatched the Asian Le Mans Series (AsLMS) title from KCMG with victory in the season ending 3 Hours of Sepang.

The KCMG Morgan-Nissan started from pole postion in the hands of James Winslow, but fell back to second as Richard Bradley brought the Craft Racing Oreca 03 to the lead from third on the grid with OAK Racing driver David Cheng falling to third.

Bradley led for his much of 45-lap double stint to start the race, only being passed on lap 41 by a KCMG car now driven by pole position winner Tsugio Matsuda. With both Matsuda taking over driving for KCMG and HoPin Tung in the OAK Racing Morgan-Judd at the first pitstop and driving to the finish while the Craft Racing team cycled through the three drivers it was to be a duel between the title rivals to the end of the race.

A short stint, potentially the OAK Racing team back-timing the three hour race, split the strategies of the top two, meaning that Tung took the lead when the KCMG team pitted for the second time.

Matsuda would briefly retake the lead when Tung pitted for the final time a little over 40 minutes before the checkered flag, but his own stop ten minutes later restored Tung to the lead that he held to the end of the race, eventually winning by 1:19, though a large chunk of that gap only appeared in the closing laps as Matsuda slowed losing 50 seconds to the leader.

Richard Bradley brought the Craft Racing entry home third overall, another 35 seconds in arrears.

OAK Racing’s win, their second in the four race campaign also gave them one of the invitations to the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans on offer to team from the series.

Though the pair of Craft Racing Vantage GT3 dominated the opening stint of the race the GTC class became a battle of Ferraris. Toni Vilander, sharing with Weng Sun Mok in Clearwater Racing’s car – battled the class champions elect AF Corse with Michele Rugolo, Steve Wyatt and Andrea Bertolini sharing driving duties.

With Mucke relegated to third – a process that began with a slow first stop – the Ferraris swapped places as they cycled through the pitstops, Vilander winning the class by 26 seconds, while the AF Corse trio secured the team’s title. Mucke’s third place was enough to win Craft Racing an invitation to the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the #91 BMW finishing two laps further back.

The trio of Naoki Yokomizo, Shogo Mitsuyama and Akira Iida were comfortable victors in the GTE class, their Team Taisan Ken Endless Ferrari 458 completing six more laps than their only opposition in the class, provided by the AAIRSTRADA Porsche of Marco Seefried, Ryohei Sakaguchi and Morris Chen.

The #69 Lamborghini Gallardo entered by Team Primemantle Aylezo won the GTC Am clas

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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