Season opener in Japan, Round 2 in Shanghai, a return to Children’s Day in Thailand, and more night racing in Malaysia.
2020 / 2021 Asian Le Mans Series Provisional Calendar*
Round 1: Suzuka Circuit, Japan
29 November 2020
Round 2: Shanghai International Circuit, China
13 December 2020
Round 3: Buriram Chang International Circuit, Thailand
9 January 2021
Round 4: Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
23 January 2021
*Subject to the evolution of the Covid-19 situation
After another successful season, the Asian Le Mans Series has set its sights on a new season with new challenges and exciting racing. Taking into consideration the current worldwide impact of Covid-19, the Series is aiming to deliver a sensible and effective calendar.
Just as it did last season, the 2020 / 2021 Asian Le Mans Series will feature four races each of four hours in length. The Series start in Japan with the opening round of the season to be held at the iconic Suzuka Circuit (29th November 2020). This will be the first time that the Asian Le Mans Series will start in Japan and the first time at Suzuka. Read more here: http://www.asianlemansseries.com/news/article.php?id=54
The Chinese round of the Championship will be the second round and will once again be held on the impressive Shanghai International Circuit. This season it will be held a few weeks later on the 13th of December 2020.
Round three will be held at the Buriram Chang International Circuit in Thailand. After hosting the final round of the Championship last season, it will return to its traditional date of Children’s Day – 9th January 2021.
The Season finale will be held in Sepang and will finish under the magnificent lights of the Sepang International Circuit at the 23rd of January 2021.
The 2020 / 2021 Asian Le Mans Series short calendar has been designed to avoid clashing with other events in the region, whilst also taking into account the 2021 Chinese New Year break and is based on the best possible logistics route. It will also allow for transport times for those teams from around the world wishing to join the Series. Finishing earlier than previous seasons, it will allow teams to ship their cars back to Europe or America rather than airfreight.
The Class structure of the 2020/2021 Asian Le Mans Series will remain largely unchanged, with the Series continuing to provide a mix of both prototype and GT cars that is synonymous with Le Mans racing. There will be four classes; LMP2, LMP2 Am, LMP3 and GT.
The only change from the 2020 / 2021 will be to the cars eligible in both LMP2 Am and LMP3 categories. From the 2019/2020 Asian Le Mans Series, only the latest generation LMP2 cars will be eligible to race in both the outright and Am Trophy class.
The 2020 / 2021 Season will see the arrival of the latest generation LMP3 machines. Four manufacturers were selected by the ACO take the class forward: Ligier, Duqueine Engineering, Ginetta and Adess. You can read more about the new cars here – https://www.lemans.org/en/news/the-new-look-lmp3-for-2020/50910
The full details will be released as a part of the new Asian Le Mans Series presentation, technical and sporting regulations that will be released closer to the start of the Season.
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest:
“The world is facing an unprecedented situation that calls for exceptional measures. Motorsport series around the world are being postponed or even cancelled – it is our responsibility to help guide all ACO Series through this tough time.
“We need to give everyone ample notice, so that they can plan accordingly. We will of course be listening to the advice from the health authorities and will take all necessary steps to ensure the health and well-being of all those involved.”
Q&A with Cyrille Taesch Wahlen, Managing Director of the Asian Le Mans Series:
How can you plan this far in advance?
Despite the difficult times we are all going through, and the uncertainty we are all operating in, we feel it is important that we let our teams and drivers know what our initial plans are and provide them visibility of our new Season.
The health and well-being of our team, the competitors who race with us, our fans and all members of our paddock remains our priority. Therefore, we will continue to monitor the situation very closely and react immediately with a Plan B ready, should the situation require.
This season will finish earlier, why is that?
There were a number of reasons why we have condensed our season. In addition to seriously considering the current challenging climate, we also had to consider a combination of shipping constraints, track availability, plus avoiding clashes with other significant events in the region. We must also consider the Chinese New Year break (12th of February 2021) which prevents us from holding a race for most of February. As a result of finishing earlier, teams will now have sufficient time to ship, (rather than air freight), their cars and equipment back to their home base before the start of the European, American or Australasian Championships.
Why will you not be returning to The Bend this season?
The entire paddock enjoyed our first trip to Australia and in particular the exciting challenges The Bend Motorsport Park offered the drivers. Unfortunately given the current global situation and its economic consequences, coupled with the logistics and calendar constraints we had to make the very difficult decision not to return in the 2020 / 2021 season. We remain absolutely committed to returning to Australia and The Bend Motorsport Park as soon as possible.