***The No. 66 TianShi Racing Team Audi R8 LMS ultra has been ruled out for the remainder of the weekend following a heavy crash in Thursday’s second test session. The Sainteloc-run Audi sustained chassis damage. It was due to be raced by Peng Liu, Massimilano Wiser and Audi GT factory driver Christopher Haase.
***TSRT’s withdrawal should result in a 29-car field for Sunday’s Four Hours of Zhuhai, which still marks nearly a 50 percent increase in car count to last year’s season season finale, which drew 20 cars. This weekend, four LMP2 cars will do battle with ten LMP3 entries, 14 GT cars and a single CN car.
***Series officials took part in a traditional Chinese ceremomy on the pit straight to kick off the 2016/2017 season (pictured above). It involved the slicing of a roasted pig, which represents good luck and fortune.
***Both of the Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2s were held up in customs by more than 24 hours. The Portuguese squad’s containers did not arrive at the circuit until 6 p.m., which has put the team into a thrash to be ready for the start of official on-track activity tomorrow. They were, however, not scheduled to take part in today’s test sessions.
***Matt McMurry is among the drivers in the two-car Algarve lineup, joining fellow Americans Corey Lewis (VS Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) and Gustavo Menezes (Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 03R Nissan).
***Menezes’ LMP2 entry is carrying the colors of Jackie Chan’s upcoming film “Kung Fu Yoga”, which is due out in January during Chinese New Year. Third driver Thomas Laurent is absent this weekend due to his Porsche Carrera Cup France commitments.
***Eurasia Motorsport has continued to provide operational support to DC Racing, which has now expanded into a two-car operation with the addition of its LMP2 entry for Menezes and Ho-Pin Tung.
***The 2017/2018 Asian Le Mans Series and 2017 Asian Le Mans Series Sprint Cup schedules will be announced this weekend. It’s understood the calendar will see a lengthened gap between the European Le Mans Series season finale and the first Asian LMS round, to prevent logistical issues that some teams faced in the last two years.