The Asian Le Mans Series has announced their 2019/20 schedule, with a few surprises.
The series has been 50/50 split between first half of the season and second half of the season, so far. That will change in the upcoming season.
The season starts at Shanghai International Circuit on 24 November, two weeks after the FIA World Endurance Championship round on the same track.
All teams will go on a really long Christmas holiday, since the cars won’t drive until 12 January in Australia, at the new The Bend.
One month later it’s time for the third round of the season, which will be at Sepang International Circuit. As a new feature, the first half of the race will run in day light, whereas the second part will be run in the dark.
The 2019/20 season finale will be on the Buriram track in Thailand, just one week after the Sepang race. That round has previously been run in January, but they will now close the season.
So there will be no Japanese Fuji round this time around. The race was usually run in December, with the teams having really difficult conditions with temperatures barely going double digits.
The Asian LMS will be aiming at 5 races in 2020/21, but it’s still unclear if that gives a comeback to the track near the legendary mountain.
The 2019/20 season will be very much alike to the 2018/19 campaign, regarding the event and TV presence. There will be one change to the technical regulations, with the new generation of LMP2 cars being allowed in the series. They will have to run in the “Pro” category, while LMP2 Am will be in the cars that was outfaced in the FIA WEC and ELMS after the 2016 season. There are still four tickets for the 24 Hours of Le Mans to be handed out – one of each of the class winners in LMP2, LMP2 Am, LMP3 and GT categories.
The series has improved a lot over the last few years, and with an Australian circuit on the calendar, there are hopes to get even more interest from the local teams. There is a LMP3 series running in Australia, so those teams will hopefully appear at one or more Asian LMS rounds.
The 2018/19 final will be run this weekend in Malaysia at the Sepang International Circuit, where all four championships still are up for grabs.
The 2019/20 schedule looks like this:
22-24 November, Shanghai International Circuit, China
10-12 January, The Bend, Australia
14-15 February, Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
21-23 February, Buriram – Chang International Circuit, Thailand