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Asian Le Mans Series

GT3 Class Dominates Record 39-Car Entry for 2022 Season

Large GT3 contingent headlines 39-car grid for Asian LMS; only four entries in LMP2…

Photo: Asian Le Mans Series

The Asian Le Mans Series has published the provisional list of entries for its 2022 season, with a bumper field of 25 GT3 cars forming a large portion of the 39-vehicle total.

The outright number is a new record for the championship, which posted a previous-best 36-car entry for this year’s four-round campaign that was also held at Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina Circuit due to travel restrictions in the Asia-Pacific region.

Only four cars are listed in the top LMP2 category with Am-class competitors Graff, High Class Racing and ARC Bratislava going up against Nielsen Racing for the overall wins.

Six LMP2 cars contested the full season this year, however none of those participants including champion squad G-Drive Racing – which is focusing on its Rolex 24 at Daytona debut next month – are returning for the series’ second UAE-based edition. 

The standout of the provisional entry is the GT3 class which involves several new participants alongside returning names from the 2021 season.

Reigning GT3 champion Herberth Motorsport will expand to a trio of Porsche 911 GT3 Rs for its class title defense, with one of the cars competing in the Am division.

Many European teams have committed including TF Sport (Aston Martin), AF Corse (Ferrari) and Inception Racing (McLaren) as well as series newcomers SPS Automotive Performance and Haupt Racing Team with their Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo operations.

Walkenhorst Motorsport will run two examples of the new BMW M4 GT3 after fielding the previous-gen M6 model in Asian LMS this year.

Chinese outfit YC Panda Racing has filed two entries for the new Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II which, like the M4, is also making its customer racing debut next year.

An Audi team has not joined the Asian LMS grid since TSRT in 2018-19.

S’Aalocin by Kox Racing is the only UAE-based team in the series and will be present with a single Porsche.

TF Sport is also running the Oman Racing and D’station Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3s, which is the joint-most common car in class alongside the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.

Garage 59 is returning to the Asian LMS with a pair of Aston Martins, while the other Vantage is being run by Hong Kong-based Evisu Racing.

Ferrari’s involvement comes from a three-car AF Corse stable, plus two entries from Kessel Racing and one from Rinaldi.

The LMP3 category consists of 10 cars spread across the Ligier, Duqueine and Ginetta constructors.

Ligier is the best-represented brand with half a dozen JS P320 Nissans on the grid from Graff, Nielsen Racing, Inter Europol Competition, BHK Motorsport and CD Sport, which is running two cars.

DKR Engineering, which ran this year’s European Le Mans Series champion Laurents Hoerr, forms part of the Duqueine camp with Koiranen Kemppi Motorsport and Rinaldi, while Konrad Motorsport is bringing the sole Ginetta G61-LT-P315 Evo Nissan.

“It is very positive to see such a strong grid for the 2022 Asian Le Mans Series,” commented ALMEM and LMEM CEO Frederic Lequien.

“I would like to congratulate the entire Asian Le Mans Series team who have worked incredibly hard to deliver such a strong grid.

“I would also like to thank our teams, our partners Michelin and TotalEnergies, and both the Dubai Autodrome and the Yas Marina Circuit for their ongoing support.

“This season will be my first with the championship, and I am very much looking forward to working with them all to deliver a season full of thrilling racing.”

ACO President Pierre Fillon added: “This new season of the Asian Le Mans Series looks promising once again.

“With 39 cars coming from different horizons, the show on track will be exciting.

“The competitors will be able to battle it out during a fortnight that will see them compete on two circuits, both day and night.”

The opening four-hour of the 2022 Asian LMS season will take place at Dubai Autodrome on Feb. 11.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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