Today saw the first official session of Round 4 of the 2013 Asian Le Mans Series - 3 Hours of Sepang - on a very warm day in Malaysia. Starting the day with the Team Managers and Drivers briefing, almost all the cars were then out on the brilliant Sepang International Ciruit for the 1st of 3 Free Practice sessions, which stayed dry throughout.
LM P2 - Off the back of a win in Zhuhai for Round 3, OAK Racing Team Total had the fastest time of the day amongst the LM P2 cars with 1:58.632.
The 2 driver line-up of Ho-pin Tung (CHN) and David Cheng (CHN) will be battling this week with KCMG and their driving pair of James Winslow (GBR & current LM P2 Drivers Championship leader) and Tsugio Matsuda (JPN) for the LM P2 Team Championship and the coveted 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans invitation.
However OAK and KCMG have been joined in LM P2 by Craft Racing, who showed their intent from the off by posting the 2nd quickest time of the day at 1:59.233 in their Oreca 03-Nissan. Craft will be hoping to make it 1 from 1 in Sepang with their drivers Pu Jun Ji (CHN), Dan Polley (IRE), and Richard Bradley (GBR & who won Round 2 of the 2013 Asian LMS in Fuji with KCMG).
GTE - AAI-RSTRADA ran their first official GTE session today in their #35 Porsche 997 RSR. The driver partnership of Morris Chen (TPE) and Marco Seefried (GER) will be competing in GTE with Team Taisan Ken Endless who did not take part in today's session. Chen and Seefried have previously run in GTC for AAI-RSTRADA and will be aiming to break Taisan's unblemished record in 2013. #35 set a fastest lap time of 2:09.293 in today's session.
GTC Asian LMS newcomers Clearwater Racing finished top of the GTC class with a quickest time of 2:04.867 in their #33 Ferrari 458 GT. The Malaysian team's drivers are Mok Weng Sun (MAS) and Toni Vilander (FIN), fresh from a class win at last weekend's WEC finale in Bahrain. Behind them were #009 Craft Racing's Aston Martin Vantage and then #91 AAI-RSTRADA's BMW Z4, who are in the hunt for the 2nd 24 hours of Le Mans invitation available to GTC teams. Current Team Championship leaders #77 AF Corse were in 4th with their 458 GT.
GTC Am - GTC Am was led by Team Primemantle Aylezo in their #69 Lamborghini Gallardo. The team of Zen Low (MAS), Dilantha Malagamuwa (SRI), and Giorgio Sanna (ITA) will be up against Gama Racing, and Mike Racing, for the first GTC Am title of the inaugural Asian LMS. Both Gama Racing and Mike Racing are also running Lamborghini Gallardos.
It is still very early days in the weekend, but today's quick lap-times are a great sign for the racing to come. Teams will be using this time to make the required preparations ahead of tomorrow's Free Practice 2 from 10:30-11:30.