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Asian Le Mans Series

Spirit of Race to Miss 4H Buriram; 19 Cars on Entry

Shanghai-winning LMP2 squad Spirit of Race to skip this weekend’s round in Thailand…

Photo: MPS Agency

LMP2 title contender Spirit of Race will miss this weekend’s Asian Le Mans Series penultimate round at Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand.

The Swiss-entered Ligier JS P2 Nissan, which won the opening round of 2018-19 in the hands of Pipo Derani, Come Ledogar and Alexander West, will be absent due to “family commitments”.

Its omission means a total of 19 cars will enter the 4 Hours of Buriram, one fewer than the previous race held at Fuji Speedway.

LMP2 points leaders Paul di Resta and Phil Hanson therefore have an advantage heading into round three, with their United Autosports Ligier JS P2 Nissan sitting three points ahead of Spirit of Race in the standings.

The next-closest entry is the LMP2 Am Trophy-leading ARC Bratislava Ligier-Nissan of Kang Ling, Darren Burke and Miro Konopka which is 10 points off the United pair.

In LMP3, Jim McGuire returns to the No. 3 United Autosports Ligier JS P3 Nissan after skipping the Fuji round, while the only other change in the class sees Stephanie Kox return for the first time since the Shanghai opener in the R24 Ligier-Nissan that she will share with Marie Iwaoka.

Inter Europol Competition’s Martin Hippe and Jakub Smiechowski currently hold an 11-point lead in LMP3 heading to Thailand following a victory and second-place in the first two races.

The GT grid once again features five cars, with each sporting a three-driver lineup.

Tianshi Racing Team has made three changes to its two-car Audi R8 LMS GT3 entry, with Audi factory driver Dries Vanthoor absent.

The 20-year-old Belgian will be replaced in the No. 88 car by FIA World Touring Car Cup race winner Jean-Karl Vernay who is set for his first GT3 outing since 2015.

Vernay will share the car with team ever-present Chen Wei An and Hong Kong’s Alex Au in place of Anthony Liu Xu, while Tianshi’s No. 66 car will see Lo Kai Fung sub in for Xu Wei.

Qualifying for the 4 Hours of Buriram will take place on Friday, Jan. 11 at 4:35 pm local time (4:35 am ET, 9:35 am UK) with live coverage on the series’ YouTube and Facebook pages.

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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