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2021 Asian Le Mans Series Kicks off in Dubai


Yas Marina, 10 February, 2021

With the first private tests concluded on Wednesday, the spotlight is on the Dubai circuit, which will host the two 4 Hours of Dubai on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14. The races count as the first and second round of the Asian Le Mans Series.

Some teams have modified or added to the line-ups announced in the provisional entry list in recent weeks. There are also changes for two of the seven crews racing the 2020 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo. However, the two AF Corse crews are unchanged, with Pier Guidi-Negri & Jr-Piovanetti and Fisichella, Flohr & Castellacci. Nor are there any changes for Rinaldi Racing, with Rigon, Perel & Mastronardi entered in the GT3 class and Hook-Lauck-Kujala in the GT3 Am.

After announcing the trio of Kimura, Ledogar & Jensen who will represent the 2019 champions Car Guy, Kessel Racing brought in the German Tim Kohmann to join Giorgio Roda and Francesco Zollo. Kohmann made his debut in last year’s Ferrari Challenge Europe. Formula Racing has also swapped out one of its drivers: Frederik Paulsen will be replaced by Alessio Rovera , who links up with his future FIA WEC teammate, Nicklas Nielsen and Johnny Larsen. “It will be a very important experience and an opportunity to prepare even more strongly for the world championships”, commented the Italian on the eve of the event. “Overall, we have a competitive set-up. We’ll just have to evaluate the Balance of Performance, but I have experience in the 488 GT3, and I know the track from the 24 Hours of Dubai a few years ago. So we are starting the season on the right footing”.

Two free practice sessions will take place on Thursday while qualifying on Friday from 9:55 am to 10:10 am local time, will decide the starting grid for both races. On Saturday, the first four-hour race sets off at 2:15 pm (11:15 am in Italy), while on Sunday the second round of the series starts at 12:45 pm and finishes 240 minutes later.

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The announcement on Wednesday of the provisional entry list for the 2021 Asian Le Mans Series kicked off the countdown to the season’s opening race, scheduled for Dubai on 13 and 14 February. Seven Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020s will contest the championship, which will be condensed into two consecutive weekends, the second being at Yas Marina.

The thirty-six crews are divided into the LMP2, LMP3 and GT classes.
The latter, the most crowded with 19 teams, promises to be particularly hard-fought partly because it offers an automatic invite to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After the announcement in recent weeks of the Rinaldi Racing crews with Davide Rigon, Rino Mastronardi and David Perel in car no. 55, and Christian Hook, Manuel Lauck and Patrick Kujala in no. 66, the other line-ups in the Maranello cars were also officialised.
AF Corse’s well-established crew of Alessandro Pier Guidi, Francesco Piovanetti and Oswaldo Negri Jr, will be joined by the FIA WEC LMGTE Am class crew of Giancarlo Fisichella, Thomas Flohr and Francesco Castellacci.

Kessel Racing will field two cars on its return to the series after some years out. The first will carry Car Guy’s colours and will see 2019 champion Takeshi Kimura flanked by Côme Ledogar and Mikkel Jensen, reuniting the crew that took part in last season’s closing race. Giorgio Roda and Francesco Zollo will drive car no. 27.

Formula Racing will be making its debut in the category with a Danish line-up led by Nicklas Nielsen. His teammates will be Frederik Paulsen, the Ferrari Challenge Europe champion in the Trofeo Pirelli Am, and Johnny Laursen.