APLMS: Malaysia Race of Champions - 50 days to go

Panoz Motor Sport young guns Frank Lagorce and Klaus Graf are out to follow in the foot-steps of their winning team-mates at the Le Mans Series Race of Champions in Malaysia from November 9-11. The French/German combination has show great form...

Panoz Motor Sport young guns Frank Lagorce and Klaus Graf are out to follow in the foot-steps of their winning team-mates at the Le Mans Series Race of Champions in Malaysia from November 9-11.

The French/German combination has show great form of late with Lagorce qualifying only .05 of a second behind team-mate Jan Magnussen at Laguna Seca recently.

Graf also starred at the Le Mans 24 Hour in France this year, moving from 21st on the grid to actually grab the race lead in the early stages of the event.

For both drivers, the trip to Malaysia will be their first to this part of the world.

"I have spoken to a few friends who have driven on the Sepang circuit in Formula One and they have said it is a fantastic track to drive on, the type of track where you can gain great satisfaction from a good lap," Lagorce said.

"This will be my first time to Malaysia and I am really looking forward to the race.

"It also looks like the type of circuit which should suit our cars, lots of very long corners, long straights and some heavy braking areas as well.

Unlike a number of competitors, Graf will be unable to stay for a few extra days to enjoy Malaysia's tropical paradise - impending fatherhood having to take priority.

"It looks like a beautiful country and I am always keen to experience new countries and new cultures," Graf said.

"The facilities look amazing and from what I've been told, a German was the architect for the track so I am really looking forward to seeing the place.

"The track also looks extremely safe with lots of run-off, but it also has great spectator facilities.

"I would love to stay for a holiday on the beach after the race, but my wife is due to give birth to our first child not long afterwards, so I will have to rush back."

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Up to three of the popular Panoz prototype machines will be in action at the Le Mans Series Race of Champions with the Lanesra Racing team car, which has been competing in the European Le Mans Series, scheduled to make the trip.

Lanesra Racing won the final round of the European championship at Vallelunga in Italy with Brit Richard Dean and South African Garry Formato behind the wheel.

The car was also driven by Czech, Thomas Enge, at the Most round of the ELMS championship in the Czech Republic. Enge recently made his Formula One debut for Ligier at the Italian Grand Prix, filling in for the injured Luciano Burti.

Lanesra team owner Dave Simms is a passionate football fan as well as a motor racing enthusiast. Take a look at his team name - spell it backwards, and you will see who his favourite UK Premier League team is!

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A strong fleet of Porsche GT3-RS machines from Europe will be out to make life tough for the pacesetting BMW's in the GT class at the Le Mans Series Race of Champions.

Leading European teams including PK Sport, Paco Orti Racing, Seikel Motorsport, Harlow Motorsport and Sebah Automotive have also confirmed entries for the event.

Brits Mike Youles and Robin Liddell have headed the charge in the ELMS pointscore table in GT for the PK Sport squad.

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The Le Mans Series is set to go to air on local television in Malaysia for the first time with five 30-minute "showcase" programs going to air from October 7.

The programs will highlight the action and excitement of the Le Mans Series as well as playing an educational role for the local Malaysian fans who are set to witness top-flight sportscar racing for the first time in November.

"These programs will play a key role in the build-up for the Race of Champions," Event Director, Rob Curkpatrick said.

"They are actually going to air at 7.00pm on Sunday nights on TV3 which is the top television networks in Malaysia."

TV3 will also be the host broadcaster for the event at the Sepang International Circuit.

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On behalf of event promoter, Automobili Motorsports, the Le Mans Series Race of Champions would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families and victims of the terrorist activities in the US last week.

To our many friends and colleagues in the American Le Mans Series, our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

Our 60 day countdown - scheduled for release last Tuesday, was delayed as a mark of respect to the terrible tragedy which occurred.

-APLMS/ALMS-

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About this article
Series ALMS , Road racing
Drivers Luciano Burti , Tomas Enge , Jan Magnussen , Klaus Graf , Robin Liddell , Richard Dean , Mike Youles