The opening session of the second round of the 2015 Asian Le Mans Series season saw new-to-the-grid Algarve Pro Racing finish top of the time sheets at Sepang.
The team, featuring Michael Munemann, Dean Koutsoumidis and Jamie Winslow in a Ligier JSP2 quickly found their feet in the series clocking a 1:59.248 in the first practice session on Friday.
Their time couldn’t be bettered in either FP1 or FP2 with the next nearest challengers to their throne – the Race Performance Oreca 03R-Judd finished more than half a second down with a 1:59.858, Nicolas Leutwiler and Shinji Nakano are behind the wheel of that one.
For the only other team in LMP2 – Eurasia Motorsport – their Oreca 03R-Nissan couldn’t match the pace at all and ended the day a disappointing last in class not even able to break below the two-minute mark with a 2:04.829 the best they could set.
Jamie Winslow said after the day’s action: “It’s excellent being at the rejuvenated Asian Le Mans Series, and there are a few more cars and some very good drivers. I’m pretty happy to have gone P1 in the first session. We ran for a few laps yesterday, but had an alternator problem, so we couldn’t do many laps. So this morning was the real test. I did four laps and we went P1. My co-drivers Michael and Dean did a fantastic job and both went quick as well. We’re all enjoying it and enjoying being a part of it.”
Moving into the LMP3 class and it was David Cheng’s DC Racing Ligier JSP3 that took the spoils of the battle with Team AAI’s ADESS 03 with a 2:03.495 putting the Ligier five-seconds ahead of Team AAI who had to settle for a 2:08.711. It is worth noting that the second Team AAI ADESS 03 has been withdrawn from this round after suffering from technical issues earlier in the week – it has been replaced by a Mercedes SLS in the GT class.
Starting from this round there are an extra pair of prototypes as two CN cars join in the endurance-based fun. Both racing Wolf GB08s it was the Atlantic Racing Team entry of Zen Low, John Bryant Meisner and Toshiyuki Ochiai that got the better of the Avelon Formula car of Denis Lian and Giorgio Maggi.
Into the biggest class of the weekend – the GT3 specification GT class. Taking the honours in the eight-strong class was Fairuz Fauzy in the ARC Bratislava Audi R8 LMS Ultra who set a 2:07.503, the closest anyone else came to toppling Fauzy was BMW factory driver Dirk Müller in the Team AAI BMW Z4 GT3 who finished the day on 2:08.145. Behind them both and unlucky to only be third was the second Audi R8 of Absolute Racing which was only a tenth down with a 2:08.259.
Finally was the GT Am entry of KCMG – a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup peddled by Paul Ip, Christian Reid and Dan Wells. The car ended the day with a 2:15.474 to top the class – however, only being a one car class it could have set a ten minute lap time and still came out on top.
The three hour races takes place tomorrow.