Sepang, 20 January 2017 – It is only January but Ferrari has the first title of 2017 in its sights. This weekend sees the final round of the Asian Le Mans Series 2016-17. As well as the continental title a place in the 24 hours of Le Mans is also at stake. The entry list for the race on 18 June will be announced on in Paris on 2 February.
Five Ferraris in contention. There are six teams in the running for the title, five of which race with Ferrari 488 GT3s, the car that has clearly shown itself to be the best in the championship. The favourite is car no. 5 of DH Racing, crewed by Michele Rugolo, Stephane Lemeret and Matthieu Vaxiviere. The car of the China based team is 14 points ahead of the Ferrari of BBT team, driven by Anthony Liu Xu, Davide Rizzo and Alessandro Pier Guidi, and 35 in front of its teammates Alex Riberas, Rino Mastronardi and official Ferrari driver, Olivier Beretta in car no. 3. The 488 GT3 of Clearwater Racing with Weng Sun Mok, Keita Sawa and Matt Griffin, is also in with a shout, as is the Spirit of Race car, crewed by Nasrat Muzayyin, Marco Cioci and Rui Aguas. The Lamborghini of VS Racing with Key Cozzolino and Corey Lewis still has a mathematical chance of victory.
Drivers. Italy’s Michele Rugolo is favourite for the Drivers’ title, topping the standings 12 points ahead of fellow Ferrari drivers Lemeret and Vaxiviere. Car no. 3 of DH Racing and Rugolo would seal the title with third place, regardless of who wins the Sepang race.
Qualifying and the race. The cars took to the track on Friday for the free practices, but the event proper gets underway on Saturday with qualifying. The session of just 15 minutes is scheduled for 5:15 pm local (10:15 am CET) while the race, lasting four hours, will start at 12:15 (5:15 am CET) on Sunday.