Di Resta, Hanson seal Asian Le Mans title at Sepang
Former Formula 1 driver Paul di Resta and Philip Hanson were crowned the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans champions following their fourth successive podium of the season in the Sepang finale.
The #22 United Autosports Ligier pair finished second in the opening two rounds of the season in Shanghai and Fuji, before clocking their maiden victory at Buriram in January.
The three-race podium streak meant they arrived in Malaysia 18 points clear of #24 Algarve Pro Ligier trio Harrison Newey, Andrea Pizzitola and Ate De Jong.
Di Resta and Hanson qualified second on the grid and soon found themselves in the lead when the pole-sitting #8 Spirit of Race Ligier was handed a drive through penalty for a jump-start.
The #24 Algarve Pro trio managed to jump di Resta and Hanson during the first safety car period, but a second place finish was enough for the United duo to clinch the title.
It marked di Resta’s third-ever championship triumph and first in any category since he claimed the 2010 DTM title with Mercedes.
Meanwhile, Jakub Smiechowski and Martin Hippe took the LMP3 crown with a victory at Sepang in the #13 Inter Europol Ligier.
GT class honours went to the #11 CarGuy Racing Ferrari of James Calado, Kei Cozzolino and Takeshi Kimura as the Japanese team successfully swept the season with four of four class wins.
United Autosports, Inter Europol and CarGuy Racing have all secured automatic entries for this year's Le Mans 24 Hours as a result of their title successes, with Inter Europol able to take up its invite in either LMP2 or GTE Am.
The fourth and final slot reserved for Asian Le Mans Series teams goes to ARC Bratislava for its title win in the Am subdivision of the LMP2 class with Darren Burke, Miro Kinopoka and Kang Ling.
Asian Le Mans Series to race in Australia
Cassidy to make prototype debut in Asian Le Mans Series
The final batch of auto-invites for this year's Le Mans 24 Hours have been handed out following the conclusion of the Asian Le Mans Series in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Mercedes' Formula 1 chief strategist James Vowles will take part in next month's Asian Le Mans Series, driving a McLaren 720S GT3 for Garage 59.
New Porsche driver Yifei Ye will make his debut with the German manufacturer in next month's Asian Le Mans Series ahead of a return to the LMP2 ranks.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo world champion Victor Gomez IV will race in next month’s Asian Le Mans Series in AF Corse’s GT Am-class Ferrari, teaming up with factory driver Alessandro Pier Guidi and Francesco Piovanetti.