G-Drive Racing By Algarve has won the 2019-20 Asian Le Mans Series championship with a second-place finish in the 4 Hours of Buriram despite Thunderhead Carlin Racing taking race honors.
The No. 26 G-Drive Aurus 01 Gibson had to finish no lower than second should its title rivals, the No. 45 Carlin Dallara P217 Gibson, win the Thailand season finale.
Despite a ferocious battle between the pair, Carlin’s victory was not enough to deny G-Drive the title as the latter came home second, with Roman Rusinov, James French and Leonard Hoogenboom crowned champions.
As a result, the squad also receives an entry invite into the LMP2 class for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
K2 Uchino Racing took third in LMP2 with its No. 96 Oreca 07 Gibson, ahead of the No. 34 Inter Europol Endurance Ligier, which was pushed into the garage in its last scheduled stop, promoting K2 Uchino to the overall podium.
Jack Manchester dropped off in the lead during the opening two hours, however, a strategy call saw the Carlin squad surrender the top spot after holding an early advantage.
Carlin elected to stay out under the second full course yellow and allow Manchester to complete his drive time while its LMP2 class rivals all came in.
When Manchester did stop in the third hour to hand over to Harry Tincknell, G-Drive’s Hoogenboom inherited the lead before co-driver Rusinov came under pressure from Ben Barnicoat in the final hour.
Rusinov and Barnicoat were embroiled in a thrilling squabble in the lead up to the final round of stops with the latter snapping up the lead with a decisive pass on-track where he remained until the checkered flag.
Eurasia Motorsport’s championship charge took a blow in the final hour when Nick Foster suffered a puncture that left the No. 36 Ligier in the gravel and out of the title hunt.
Nielsen, HubAuto Secure LMP3, GT Titles
Nielsen Racing was crowned LMP3 champions as its No. 2 Norma M30 Nissan of Colin Noble and Tony Wells finished the second in the race.
ACE1 Villorba Corse claimed class honors as its No. 12 Ligier JS P3 Nissan of Alessandro Bressan, Gabriele Lancieri and David Fumanelli took the flag ahead of the Nielsen car.
Help came for Nielsen in the second hour when the LMP3 points-leading No. 13 Inter Europol Competition entry stopped on track with gearbox issues, causing the first FCY.
HubAuto Corsa doubled up with the GT race victory and with it the class title with its No. 27 Ferrari 488 GT3 of Marcos Gomes, Liam Talbot, and Tim Slade.
Ferraris populated the top three in GT courtesy of Car Guy and Spirit of Race, while JLOC, which led the GT standings coming into Thailand, only finished the race fourth with its No. 88 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.
The class pole-sitting T2 Motorsports Ferrari lost a chunk of time in the garage during the second hour while the D’station Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 retired to the pits after only 43 laps.
Rick Ware Racing’s No. 52 Ligier JS P2 Nissan of Cody Ware and Gustas Grinbergas won the LMP2-Am class championship, with Ware having clinched the title last time out in Sepang, while the sister No. 25 entry claimed the race victory in class on Sunday.
RESULTS: 4H Buriram