Even after the conclusion of the mainstream motorsports season, there’s still plenty of racing action to be had around the world! Namely, the Asian Le Mans Series, whose 2016-17 season rolls into their second round of the season, the 4 Hours of Fuji at Fuji Speedway.
The Jackie Chan DC Racing duo of Ho-Pin Tung and American phenom Gustavo Menezes took the overall victory in the first round of the season in Zhuhai International Circuit, China, and now they look to double up at the foot of Mount Fuji.
The biggest competition will be had in the GT class, headlined by several current and former drivers from the Autobacs Super GT Series, returning to Fuji for another thrilling race, and headlined by GT500 drivers Yuhi Sekiguchi and Andrea Caldarelli.
The 4 Hours of Fuji will mark the Asian LMS debut of Sekiguchi, driving for Vincenzo Sospiri Racing (VSR) in their Lamborghini Huracán GT3 alongside Lamborghini Team Direction driver Kei Cozzolino, and American Corey Lewis.
Sekiguchi is coming off a sensational breakthrough season in Super GT with Lexus Team WedsSport BANDOH, with a win in Buriram, Thailand and a career-best fourth in the GT500 Drivers’ Championship. Plus an equally impressive first year in Super Formula with Itochu Enex Team Impul, winning two races and finishing third in the Drivers’ Championship.
For Sekiguchi, it is a reunion of sorts with Sospiri, the former team principal of Euronova Racing, for whom he drove in the 2008 International Formula Master Championship.
VSR finished third in the GT class at Zhuhai with Cozzolino, Lewis, and fellow Lamborghini Team Direction driver Adrian Zaugg.
FFF Racing with ACM will once again be headed up by Lexus Team Wako’s LeMans driver Andrea Caldarelli, who was second in the GT500 Drivers’ Championship with Kazuya Oshima. This time, he’s driving a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 with former Cars Tokai Dream28 driver Hiroshi Hamaguchi, and British sports car ace Matt Bell.
KCMG can make a case to be one of the premier organizations in all of motorsport, and their Audi R8 LMS will be driven by a lineup anchored by veteran driver Tetsuya Tanaka, former Super GT driver for the likes of NISMO and Hasemi Motorsports, and now team director at Gainer. He is joined by fellow countrymen Toru Tanaka and Go Max.
Clearwater Racing switched from McLaren to Ferrari this season, but they still remain a threat to win in the GT class, with a lineup featuring former GT300 class race winner Keita Sawa. Matt Griffin is the team’s ace driver, joined by Sun Weng Mok of Singapore.
OD Racing Best Leader Team will be led by Kiwi Super GT rookie Jono Lester, who debuted this season with Lamborghini Team Direction – but in the Asian Le Mans Series, he’s driving a McLaren 650S GT3 with co-drivers Fairuz Fauzy, who competed in Super GT from 2012 to 2013, and Tang Chi Lun of China.
Completing the Super GT contingent are two drivers at two different cars from Team AAI. In the #90 BMW M6 GT3, former GT500 Champion Akira Iida will again be joined by BMW factory DTM driver and second-generation star Tom Blomqvist, with Yu Lam completing their lineup.
In the #92 Mercedes-AMG GT3, it will be former Super GT veteran Tatsuya Tanigawa, notable for his time at Toyota Team SARD and Cusco Racing, partnered by Wen He Zhang and Huang Chi.