Asian LMS

Algarve Pro Racing take a dominant victory in the final race of the Asian Le Mans Series

Asian Le Mans Series
12 Feb. 2024 • 8:45
© Asian Le Mans Series / ACO

Algarve Pro Racing have claimed a dominant win in the final race of the 2023 / 2024 Asian Le Mans Series, finishing over a minute ahead of the #22 Proton Competition entry, with the #30 Duqueine Team finishing 3rd.


After a chaotic race yesterday, Race 5 at the Yas Marina Circuit began in similar fashion. The track was declared wet after significant rain throughout the day, and as the clock ticked down towards the 4pm race start, the lights were already on around the track.


Before a lap had been completed, there was a significant incident with the Championship leading #4 CrowdStrike Racing by APR Oreca 07 - Gibson George Kurtz spun, he was able to rejoin but was well down the order. The #83 AF Corse Oreca 07 – Gibson being driven by Francois Perrodo was also involved. He was also able to get going again but the accident had caused a puncture and whilst returning to the pits the car suffered significant body damage leaving debris on the track. It made it back to the pits but was pushed back into the garage. They were able to re-join the race, but were 3 laps down.


The #47 COOL Racing LMP2 was also involved, but a quick trip to the pits and they returned to the track. The pole sitting #9 GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO was not so lucky, they made contact with the #58 GG Classic Cars Ligier JS P320 – Nissan. The #9 was out immediately and while the #58 made it back to the pits, it too was pushed into the garage.


The safety car was deployed and when racing resumed it was the #90 TF Sport driven by Salih Yoluc leading the way from John Falb in the #30 Duqueine Team and the #22 Proton Competition with Giorgio Roda behind the wheel in 3rd. After 30 minutes, the #4 had progressed to 9th in the LMP2 class.


In LMP3, it was the #17 COOL Racing Ligier JS P320 - Nissan of Alex Bukhantsov pulling away out in front once again. Most impressive was the pace of the #65 Viper Niza entry being driven by their pro driver Dominic Ang who made his from last in class, to be in second place.


In GT it was the #7 Al Manar Racing by GetSpeed - Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo with Anthony Liu driving, leading the #91 Pure Rxcing Porsche 911 GT3 R being driven by Alex Malykhin. As they have been for much of the UAE races, the pair were locked in a tight battle.


Just before the end of the first hour the race a heavy accident between the #55 Proton Competition of Paul Loup Chatin and the #8 EBM Porsche 911 GT3 R of Johanes Setiawan Santoso saw the race red flagged for almost an hour.


In what would turn out to be significant moment in the race, the #25 Algarve Pro Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson pitted from the lead to refuel just as the red flag was shown. When the race restarted, they were sent out ahead of the s/c to join the rear of the pack. As the #25 was still effectively leading the race, the entire field was then given a wave around.


Once the race was restarted, the battles were intense in all three classes.


With 90 mins to go, the rain returned, not heavy enough for wet tyres, but enough to make the track very slippery. The fight for the GT class win was intensifying with wheel-to-wheel battles throughout the field. After being pulled behind the barrier on the formation lap with an issue, the #27 Optimum Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 Ollie Millroy had made their way to the front of the field and was pulling out a lead from the #88 Triple Eight Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO with Luca Stolz behind the wheel.


One hour to go and things in LMP2 appeared to have settled into a rhythm, with the #25 being driven by Toby Sowery leading comfortably, with the #3 DKR Engineering of Tom Dillmann in 2nd and #30 Duqueine Team of Carl Wattana Bennett in 3rd. In LMP3, Series newcomers Bretton Racing were leading the way from the #20 High Class Racing with Seth Lucas behind the wheel.


In the closing stages of the race, last minute pitstops and pitlane penalties saw changes in both the LMP2 and LMP3 classes.


The result was a comfortable win for the #25 Algarve Pro Racing team.


The impact was significant for the #2 CD Sport team however as a drive through penalty dropped them to 3rd, behind the #17 COOL Racing entry – a result that was enough to seal the Championship victory for COOL Racing.


In GT the #19 Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO 2 crossed the line to take the victory but a post-race penalty for a driving time infringement handed the win to the #88 Triple Eight entry, with Championship winners Pure Rxcing finishing 2nd.


With race wins in Sepang and in yesterday’s race,  7th place for the #4 CrowdStrike Racing by APR team was enough to secure them the 2023 / 2024 Asian Le Mans Series LMP2 Championship title. 


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