The Asian Le Mans Series is preparing for the 2013 season with special interviews. Long time Le Mans driver Soheil Ayari shares his thoughts.
Q: How did you find out about the Asian Le Mans Series? Has there been much buzz about the race? For me it is very attracting to race in Asia due to the development of the continent and since the 2013 season will gather interesting and new circuits. The other advantage is that it is linked to Le Mans regulation and the taking part to Le Mans 24 Hours. I have already raced Macau F3 Grand Prix (Winner in 1997!) and Suzuka 24 Hours and I keep fantastic souvenir of the Asian ambiance. The new Asian Le Mans Series is also a fantastic championship for the numerous Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Indonesian spectators and fans who will discover more how fantastic is endurance races!
Q: Could you briefly introduce your previous record and share a little on why you want to participate in the 2013 Asian LMS? I raced 11 times Le Mans 24 Hours, ranking 8 times in the top-10, I run also in ALMS and ELMS (Champion in GT1 class in 2007), being crowned in ILMC 2011 (LMP2 class), have raced in 2012 in FIA WEC, that is why racing in the Asian Le Mans Series represents a logical choice for me for next season.
Q: Most of Asia is still in its infancy in terms of the development of a strong motor sports culture. From your experience in other race series, could you give some suggestions on the development of 2013 Asian LMS? The Asian Le Mans Series 2013, totalizing 6 races (some on brand-new circuits), will become an attracting championship as it is already for ELMS or WEC. My major suggestion is to be able to gather as many Prototypes as GT cars, in order to interest everybody, drivers, teams and of course fans and medias. I think with 6 rounds the Asian Le Mans Series 2013 will have a real echo in Europe and will attract more and more competitive European contenders, mixed to Asian ones. For sure, it is already one of the major championships of the coming years.
Q: The 2013 Asian LMS category will be divided into LMP2, LMPC, GTE and GTC. Which category will you participate in and what do you expect of the competition? My experience and price list allow me racing in all categories but I target in priority LMP2 or GTE classes. I am certain all kinds of cars will be exciting to run of the 6 tracks scheduled in the 2013 season.
Q: What are your personal objectives for the Series? How about your team? To win the series and to find team and teammates permitting me to reach that goal.
Asian Le Mans Series