Date posted on October 11, 2015 · Published by eurasiapr
The first round of the revitalised Asian Le Mans Series (AsLMS) at Japan’s Fuji Speedway (10-11 October) was a great success for the championship and for Eurasia Motorsport, which achieved a second place result overall with its ORECA 03R Nissan LMP2 prototype.
The AsLMS ran as part of the illustrious support package for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and boasted a reasonably large grid, with additional entries promised for forthcoming rounds.
But, for Eurasia Motorsport, the event didn’t get off to the best of starts when a water pump failure was identified in the paddock and sidelined the Asia-based outfit for free practice while NISMO constructed and installed replacement parts.
“We cannot thank NISMO enough,” said Eurasia Motorsport Team Principal, Mark Goddard. “They did an incredible job to solve the problem, which meant we had two drivers going into qualifying, having never driven the track; one, William Lok, who knew Fuji Speedway, but had never sat in an LMP2 car! Tristan Gommendy did an incredible job to qualify second overall after only three laps and both Tacksung Kim and William qualified within 115% of the pole time also with three laps each.” Gommendy was elected to start the race and swept past former Formula 1 driver, Shinji Nakano, at Turn 1, before building a lead of several seconds. The Frenchman’s buffer was negated when the Safety Car was deployed, but he would re-extend his advantage prior to the driver-change, allowing his Korean teammate, Tacksung Kim, to hold the initiative for a time as he continued acclimatising to the Fuji circuit’s intricacies. William Lok took over for the final stint and, while eight laps were lost due to a battery issue and a puncture, he also improved with every lap as he acclimatised to the car and its carbon brakes. “I cannot emphasise what an incredible job Tristan (Gommendy) did,” said Goddard. “The guy was ultra-impressive, incredibly professional and demonstrated that he is a world-class driver. Both William and Tack did a fantastic job in really trying circumstances and they will be much more competitive after plenty of testing prior to the next event at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit.”