On August 19th in the midst of the AUTOBACS SUPER GT Round 5 held at Suzuka Circuit, GTA Co, Ltd, the promoter of SUPER GT, announced a collaborative initiative with the Asian Le Man Series in 2013. At the venue of announcement, the company exchanged memorandums with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the holder of series’ hosting rights. With the agreement, the SUPER GT’s GT300 class cars will be accepted for all 6 races of the Asian LMS in 2013.
Now, the JAF GT300, FIA GT3, and single-make Cup cars will be able to participate in the GTC class of Asian LMS. GTC class is a lower class than the LM GTE, a class of GT cars in the Le Mans 24 hour, and is incorporated in the Asian LMS, American Le Mans Series, and European Le Mans Series. As a consequence, the level of performance of the GT 300 cars will be balanced by the ACO and the GTA by considering the LM GTE superior to the GT300 class vehicles.
GT300 class vehicles, however, will be allowed to compete in only the Asian LMS, and cannot compete in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 hour, which do not have GTC class in their race categories.
o enable the teams that own a GT300 vehicle and the drivers to compete in both series, the GTA and ACO revealed that they will consider their respective calendars to avoid any conflicts in the schedule. In 2013, the Asian LMS will be consisted of six races and held across Asia including Japan, China, Indonesia, etc, which the race in Japan will be held on September 22nd at Fuji Speedway.
Collaboration between the GTA and ACO, organizations that have achieved a huge success in their respective races, will surely contribute to the development of both the SUPER GT and Asian Le Mans Series in Asia as well as the motorsports in Asia.
Chairman of GTA Masaaki Bandoh’s comment at the press conference.
“The ACO, organizer of the legendary Le Mans 24-Hours race, will launch the Asian Le Mans Series in 2013. I’m particularly grateful to Messrs Pierre Fillon, the ACO President, and Rémy Brouard, the ACO Director of International Development, to have accepted our request, namely: to allow the GT 300 cars to take part in the Asian LMS. “Through this collaboration, I feel sure that our Asian strategy, the organization of GT 300 races in Asia and the training of local teams and drivers will be a strong factor in the development of the motor racing industry in these countries.
“Today, the collaboration between the ACO, the GTA and the 2SM Group, the Asian LMS promoter, is taking its first steps. I believe and hope that together we can contribute to the development of motor sport in Asia.”
Rémy Brouard (ACO Global Development Director), who made appearance to the press conference along with GTA RD Bandoh shared his thoughts on the collaboration:
“Like the Le Mans 24 Hours, the SUPER GT series is a benchmark in Japan and Asia with well-attended races, major car manufacturers present with works teams, very good drivers and great circuits! It’s an honor for the Asian Le Mans Series to work with such an organization in its future development.
“In what is a difficult economic context for all those involved in motor sport this decision should lead to combined meetings in Asia and Japan in the future: it will also help bring about cost reductions for the Asian teams.
“I’m very happy with this agreement with the GTA team concerning GT 300 in the Asian Le Mans Series, and I’d like to thank the whole GTA team for their welcome, their collaboration and their in-depth involvement!”
Pierre Fillon (ACO President) showed acknowledgement for the agreement in writing:
“To be able to count on the support of the GTA in our development in Asia is great news for the ACO, and also for our new Asian Le Mans Series in 2013 as well as its promotional category, GTC.
“I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to President Bandoh and his team who came to the Le Mans 24 Hours in June to make this proposal to us. I’m sure that the ACO/GTA balance of performance will be a big success for the two championships in 2013.”
Mark Thomas (on behalf of the Asian LMS promoter) provided a comment that shows enthusiasm of the Asian LMS towards this collaboration: “With eight months to go to its launch the 2013 Asian LMS is taking on an increasingly clear shape every day with circuits and major countries like Japan, China, and Indonesia, future entrants in the four categories, LM P2, LM PC, GTE and now GTC combining the FIA GT3s, GT 300 and single-make Cup cars. We’ll soon have more good news in the coming weeks on the media coverage and the full 2013 calendar.”
ACO International Technical Delegate Daniel PERDRIX(photo left)
ACO Global Development Director Remy BROUARD(photo center)
GTA Chairman Masaaki Bandoh(photo right)