The first Race grid for the inaugural Asian Le Mans Series was decided this afternoon with Qualifying for tomorrow’s 3 Hours of Inje race.
Ho-Pin Tung secured pole position for OAK Racing in their #24 Morgan-Judd with a fastest lap of 1:25.162 – setting a new lap record for Inje Speedium at the same time, and leading the LMP2 teams.
As expected the competition was incredibly close and KCMG qualified in second place, less than half a second behind OAK Racing. Gary Thompson set a fastest lap time of 1:25.608 in their #18 Morgan-Nissan on their final lap of Qualifying, giving the Qualifying session a very dramatic ending.
Taisan Ken Endless’ #70 Ferrari 458 GTE, the GTE entry in 3 Hours of Inje, will start third on the gird after Kamui Kobayashi clocked a fastest lap time of 1:31.937 . Taisan Ken Endless finished only fractionally ahead of GTC leading team Craft Racing who had a fastest lap time of 1:32.178 set by Stefan Mücke in their #007 Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
Craft Racing pipped AF Corse, whom they have battled with throughout the Practice Sessions, to top spot in the GTC class. AF Corse’s Michele Rugolo set their fastest lap time of 1:32.299 in their #77 Ferrari 458 GT3, just over one tenth of a second behind Craft Racing – truly every millisecond counted.
With AAI’s #91 and then #92 McLaren MP4-12C GT3’s finishing only slightly behind AF Corse, and Taisan Ken Endless’ #26 Porsche 996 GT300 only just behind AAI, tomorrow’s Race promises to be a truly historic event.
BBT were unable to participate in Qualifying due to technical issues with their #37 Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 and will have to start their quest for the podium from the back of the grid. After solid results in Free Practice they will be confident and determined to successfully round off the week.
With a warm up first thing in the morning and then only tomorrow’s Race left to focus on teams will now be readying themselves for the challenge. KCMG’s Akash Neil Nandy has become the youngest ever driver in Le Mans racing at just 16 years and 6 months.
Regardless of experience all teams, cars and drivers will be tested in tomorrow’s 3 hour endurance race, but with excellent sessions behind them everyone will be raring to go. Tomorrow is set to be full of all the drama and excitement that typifies the Le Mans series’ and one thing’s for sure – there’s a whole lot more racing still to come!