This weekend, nine ORECA 07s hit the track at the Dubai Autodrome for the first two races of the two races of the 2023 Asian Le Mans Series season.
After the tests dominated twice by the ORECA 07 of Cool Racing, it is finally Charles Crews who offers to Inter Europol Competition the two poles of the weekend thanks to his two best times in qualifying session.
Starting from pole, the Polish team’s ORECA 07 dominated the early part of the race but unfortunately had to retire with 26 minutes to go due to a problem with the left rear wheel.
If the ORECA 07 of DKR Engineering seized one time the reins of the race, it is finally Algarve Pro Racing which opened its counter of victories at the end of a perfectly controlled race. Always with the front-runners, it is at the time of its last passage with the pits that James Allen, recent winner with Daytona in IMSA, took again the advantage on #3 of DKR Engineering to snatch the victory.
The trio of Charlie Eastwood, Salih Yoluc and Ayhancan Guven put in a strong performance on the track and finished on the second step of the podium, just 9 seconds behind the winners. The #98 ORECA 07 took third place, while bronze driver Gonçalo Gomes was new to the LMP2 class.
On Sunday, Inter Europol Competition had a revenge to take on the day before and it’s done! At the end of a race chopped up by two safety cars and a full race yellow, and despite a spin at the start, the Polish team crossed the finish line in the lead, synonymous with its first success in LMP2.
It is with 26 minutes of the arrival that DKR Engineering lost the head to finish second with 18 seconds. A penalty of 10 seconds and a drive through prevented the Luxembourg team from winning the bet.
Nielsen Racing, the 2022 champion, finished third ahead of the previous day’s winners, Algarve Pro Racing, slowed down by a puncture in the second hour. COOL Racing and 99 Racing followed.
Despite a good start to the race, the #22 and #23 United Autosports ORECA 07s finished seventh and eighth, while the #44 ARC Bratislava car closed the gap.
The last two rounds of the 2023 Asian Le Mans Series are set for February 18 & 19 in Abu Dhabi.
Points after the first two races:
- Algarve Pro Racing Team: 37 points
- DKR Engineering: 36 points
- Inter Europol Competition: 27 points
- Nielsen Racing: 27 points
- 99 Racing: 23 points
- United Autosports (#22): 16 points
- Cool Racing: 14 points
- United Autosports (#23): 12 points
- ARC Brastilava: 8 points