Eurasia Motorsport has been one of the newcomers to the European Le Mans Series this year, with the Mark Goddard-led squad dipping its toes into the waters overseas in preparation for a future attack on the FIA World Endurance Championship. (En Français)
The team has entered the five-round ELMS championship with an Oreca 03R Nissan for Nick de Bruijn and Jun Jin Pu, in what Goddard describes as a learning year for all involved.
“For a team like Eurasia Motorsport, which is based in Asia, the ELMS championship is quite a challenge,” Goddard told Endurance-Info. “Everyone is in learning mode.
“Our drivers are discovering the circuits and we have chosen to implement a two-driver lineup to maximize the track time.
“For our first year, we’re hoping to finish in the top-five of the championship.”
While also competing in the Formula Masters China Series this year, Goddard has laid out plans for further expansion, which would include a bid on the global stage.
Goddard said the team could take part in next year’s FIA WEC round in Shanghai, should the Chinese race remain on the schedule.
“2015 is a season to learn,” he said. “Next year, the idea is to continue in the ELMS, but investing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans before a move to the FIA WEC.
“Continuing in the Asian Le Mans Series is also part of the plan because we believe in the championship. The goal is to run a new LMP2 car next season.
“The chassis is not yet determined but we’re fully satisfied with our relationship with ORECA.”
Known for fostering up-and-coming driver talent, Eurasia is also keeping a close eye on developments in the LMP3 category, which could help complete the team’s development program.
“This new category is interesting for several reasons,” Goddard said. “It introduces new drivers but also adds to the endurance format. We think we can put a [LMP3] program in place.
“Eurasia has detected young talent in the past. We proved that with Daniel Riccardo and Richard Bradley, who won the LMP2 category at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“We want to show that Asian Motorsport has its place outside of the continent. We have two Australian engineers and mechanics from the Philippines.”
While the team’s 2015-2016 Asian LMS program has yet to be fully defined, Goddard is upbeat about the future of the championship, which is now in the full control of the ACO.
“The championship was difficult last season but I’m confident for the future,” he said. “The idea to set up a winter series is good and I think it will spark the enthusiasm. This is positive for European teams, good for business and drivers.”