The first race weekend of the Asian Le Mans Series (23-24 November) in Shanghai (China) saw a very difficult beginning as the containers did not arrive in time. However, it ended on a high; another win for Nigel Moore and Martin Hippe in the #13 LMP3 after a faultless race.
The #33 LMP2 driven by Australians John Corbett, Nathan Kumar and Mitchell Neilson, qualified in seventh place by Kumar, and finished in sixth place. The #34 of Kuba Smiechowski, Mathias Beche and James Winslow started from fourth to finish fourth.
All drivers had a steady race pace, the #34 might have finished a bit higher, but both cars got handed a stop and go penalty of 3min50 sec for abusing the pass around during the safety car period.
For having worked with very limited equipment, the whole team did a great job, all crews helping each other out. This weekend really was all about team work.
Mike Rowe (engineer LMP3 #13): “We got lucky with the safety car, but we had a good pace anyway. The pass around on the safety car made life a lot easier. We won with over a minute so I am very happy with the drivers and the crew. Specially with the crew as they had to make do with little equipment.”
Martin Hippe: “A really good strategy by our engineers and a perfect car makes a great race. I am really happy to be on the podium again like last year. I enjoyed my fight with Tony Wells (Nielsen Racing) but once I got past him, it was all about managing the tyres and handing the car over to Nigel in the best condition.”
Nigel Moore: “We had a good race. We were pretty on top of it this week. We missed a lot of the equipment, but the team managed that quite well. We also did the least number of laps of all the cars in the practice sessions. We kept it simple. We were both happy with the car and so we have a good start of the championship and hopefully we can carry it on throughout the season.”
Next race: Asian Le Mans Series: The Bend, Australia, 10 – 12 January