The 2016-17 Asian Le Mans Series (AsLMS) was revealed as the latest addition to FFF Racing Team’s bi-continental competition programme at an official season launch in Zhuhai, China today (Sunday 18 September).
The AsLMS was resurrected by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) in 2013 as a successor to the now defunct Japan Le Mans Challenge.
Modelled on the American and European equivalents, it is open to both prototypes and GT-spec machinery and tours Asia’s greatest motorsport venues, including Fuji Speedway, Zhuhai International Circuit, Sepang International Circuit and the newly inaugurated Chang International Circuit in Thailand.
FFF Racing, meanwhile, was founded on a campaign in the 2015 GT Asia Series, but has gone on to launch a bi-continental programme that also encompasses the fledgling Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup, Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe and sporadic exploratory outings in the International GT Open and the season-ending FIA GT World Cup in Macau.
The Pescara, Italy-based team has quickly burgeoned into a winning force in both Europe and Asia and title glory will be the sole objective when it makes its AsLMS debut at the Zhuhai International Circuit next month (29-30 October) with a solitary Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
The 2016-17 AsLMS season and a strong entry was officially launched to hordes of media representatives at an event led by Asian Le Mans Series Managing Director, Cyrille Taesch Wahlen, in Zhuhai on Sunday (18 September).
Speaking of the forthcoming season and FFF Racing’s involvement, Taesch Wahlen said: “It is a very positive sign that more and more teams are considering the Asian Le Mans Series as an important part of their racing programmes. Obviously the fact that manufacturers such as Lamborghini support teams’ efforts in the Asian Le Mans Series confirms not only the growth, but also the attractiveness of our series. In addition, the platform that we are establishing in Asia, which now includes both the Asian Le Mans Series and the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup, offers choice and complementarity.
“We have monitored FFF Racing since it was founded and there's no doubt it is a force in sportscar racing. I am in contact with Andrea Caldarelli on a very regular basis and I am glad FFF will make its AsLMS debut this season when we will enjoy a very interesting and competitive grid. The balance between prototype and GT cars is ideal and perfectly matches what Le Mans is about. It demonstrates that Asian motorsport is getting stronger as a whole. Where drivers, teams and mechanics are concerned, more and more have now integrated the 24 Hours of Le Mans as an objective. That's why I believe our racing pyramid makes perfect sense.”
Head of Lamborghini Motorsport, Giorgio Sanna, added: “We are proud to support a young and very professional team like FFF Racing, which is doing a very good job in Europe and especially in the Asia-Pacific region, where it has achieved excellent results with a solid line-up of GT3 Junior Drivers. The debut of the Huracan GT3 in the Asian Le Mans Series is an important addition to the Lamborghini Squadra Corse customer racing programme in Asia, which is a fast-growing market in terms of motorsport, and we’re expecting to achieve significant results thanks to the characteristics of our racecar.”
FFF Racing Team Owner, Sean Fu Songyang, said: “The Asian Le Mans Series is an important and exciting addition to FFF Racing’s programme. The series has emerged as a strong and compelling choice and its growing stature in the global sportscar racing scene is evidence of the increasing popularity of motorsport in Asia. The strength of the entry revealed today in Zhuhai validates this, but FFF Racing has quickly established itself as a winner in three dovetailed campaigns on two continents and we are determined to perform at the same level as a Lamborghini Squadra Corse representative in the AsLMS.”