In 2009, the first-ever Asian Le Mans race was held in Okayama, Japan, but that was only a single event. This year, Asian Le Mans becomes a series made up of four legs. It will do for now. This series is a "baby" version of the real 24 Hours of Le Mans since each leg is just three hours long. According to the series's website, Asian Le Mans is "open to LMP2 (Le Mans Prototype 2), LMPC (Le Mans Prototype Challenge), GTC and GTC AM. The latter category includes several types of cars such as the GT3s homologated by the FIA, the GT300, and a selection of cars from the single-make cups."
The first race of the series was held yesterday at Inje Speedium in South Korea. Taking overall honors was the KCMG team from China. The team's Morgan-Nissan car was piloted by Great Britain's James Winslow, Malaysia's Akash Nandy and Ireland's Gary Thompson. With the win, they also secured the LMP2 title.
In second overall was the AF Corse team, bannered by drivers Steve Wyatt (Australia), Andrea Bertolini (Italy) and Michele Rugolo (Italy). They also took first place in the GTC class with their Ferrari 458 GT3.
OAK Racing finished third overall and second in LMP2. The team featured drivers Ho-Pin Tung (China), David Cheng (China) and Jeffrey Lee (Taiwan) in their Morgan-Judd car.
The Taisan Ken Endless team of Kamui Kobayashi and Naoki Yokomizo took the GTE title in their Ferrari 458.
The next Asian Le Mans race is scheduled for September 22 at the Fuji Speedway in Japan. The last two legs, meanwhile, are slated for October 13 and December 8 at the Zhuhai International Circuit in China and the Sentul International Circuit in Indonesia, respectively.
Maybe we'll see a Philippine team next year?