As the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup resumed for the first time in two months at the Sepang International Circuit on August 5th-7th, news broke that the stewards had excluded double race winners, WINEURASIA from round one, held in May.
The team fell foul of the sporting regulations, which at that point did not permit an entry to field two Silver rated drivers, the #94 WINEURASIA Ligier JSP3 was driven to victory by Aidan Read and Matthew Solomon who are both silver rated. The team unsuccessfully appealed Read’s silver categorisation meaning their driver line-up did not conform to the regulations and therefore they have lost their points and, significant championship lead. The sporting regulations have been updated since round one, now allowing for two silver drivers, but the revision is not retrospectively applicable.
Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup, round two, race three:
Jamie Winslow found himself having to drive the #1 DC Racing Ligier JSP3 LMP3 alone over the weekend after his team-mate, Dean Koutsoumidis was unavailable to drive due to his father being taken to hospital. On Saturday, he qualified the car on pole position and in the intense Malaysian heat, led from the start, keeping the lead for the majority of the sixty-minute race despite having to fend off the close attentions of debutant, Tanart Sathienthirakul who drove the WINEURASIA Ligier JSP3 LMP3 during the first half of the race.
The Thai driver, who had started on the front row of the grid was faster than Winslow at the beginning of the race and was able to overtake him several times during the first half of the race, but couldn’t make any of his passes stick and Winslow was able to get back ahead. Ate de Jong, driving the #67 PRT Racing Ginetta LMP3 was in third place and running well, but had fallen back from the two leaders.
After the pit stops (which have a minimum time), Winslow emerged in the lead, ahead of Australian, Aiden Read, now driving the #94 WINEURASIA Ligier which had been slightly delayed in the pits whilst the driver change was taking place. This meant that with only half an hour remaining he was unable to catch Winslow and had to settle for second place, finishing eight seconds behind the #1 DC Racing Ligier at the end of the race, both having completed twenty-five laps.
Jamie Winslow said after the race; “Tanart was quicker than me at the beginning of the race, we had a good dice. He came past me, then I passed him, three or four times, I lost count! I tried to save the tyres a bit because I knew when Aiden would jump in, he’d be fresh and quick, so I saved on the breaks and the tyres, and in the end the car was pretty good. The team did a fantastic job, DC Racing and Eurasia. We weren’t very quick yesterday and they turned it all around for us today, all credit to them”.
Finishing in third place, a further twenty seconds back after a clean race was the PRT Racing Ginetta in the hands of Charlie Robertson, having taken over the car from de Jong during the pit stops and took the fastest lap of the race (2m,01.210s). Crossing the line in fourth place was the Ligier JS53 CN class entry of PS Racing driven by Neric Wei and another driver making his series debut, Lori Kimura
In the GT Cup class, the #77 Team NZ Porsche 997 GT3 Cup driven by Graeme Dowsett and John Curran claimed the win, and fifth place overall after having to fight their way past the three Team Lotus HK cars due to starting at the back of the grid. Dominic Ang and Anthony Chan were the final classified finishers, bringing the #28 Team Lotus HK Lotus Evora GTC home in sixth place overall and second in the GT Cup class.
The two other cars from the GT Cup class were also Team Lotus HK entries, but suffered from a difficult race, and failed to finish. The #11 of Robert Webb and Julio Acosta had an engine fire and the #98 Lotus Exige crashed into the tyre barrier after a puncture with Eric Wong at the wheel.
The other retirement from the race was the #48 PS Racing ADESS 03 LMP3 of Ringo Chong and Alan Yeo. Nexus Infinity Racing were unable to start the race due to gear box failure on their ADESS 03 LMP3 and Team AAI, who were on the original entry list had to withdraw their ADESS 03 LMP3 having not been able to repair the damage the car suffered in round one.