Eurasia Motorsport continued in the LMP3 category of the 2018/2019 Asian Le Mans Series in Thailand, fielding a Ligier LMP3 car for Japanese gent Nobuya Yamanaka and long-time Eurasia driver Aidan Read. It was another strong performance for the team as a whole as the gentleman Japanese driver continues his development under the experienced guidance of the team.
This year’s Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 championship is extremely competitive with many front-running teams and drivers from the European Le Mans Series joining Eurasia, stalwarts of Asian Motorsport, in a bid to win the series and the coveted entry to the 24 hours of Le Mans itself, where Eurasia have been the sole true Asian representative for the last three consecutive years.
The Yamanaka/Read partnership is in the true spirt of the organisers Amateur/Pro driver line ups with 58-year-old gentleman racer Yamanaka looking to learn, compete and develop alongside 19-year-old Read, who has developed his early skills with Eurasia in both formula and prototype cars since his entry into the sport four years ago.
The team had conducted some tests for the pairing in Buriram last year in preparation for this event and the practice paid dividends quickly with Nobu down to a decent bronze pace quickly and Read topping the timesheets throughout most of practice.
Qualifying was given less importance by both team and drivers opting to save tyres for a stronger race than outright grid position; nonetheless sixth was a fair starting point.
In a race started by Yamanaka and run largely under green flag conditions, it will always be an uphill battle to fight for the podium however after the ‘Genuine Bronze’ Japanese put in his strongest stint to date, getting close to the target lap times set by the team.
His efforts gave Read a chance to bring the car back into a competitive third position before handing back the car to Nobu to complete his minimum driving time before handing back to Aidan to bring the car through the last hour.
Both drivers drove strong second stints with Nobu getting within 2,5 seconds of the ultimate fastest lap of the race and Read consistently fastest on track to recover the deficit to take a solid sixth.
“It’s quite satisfying to see the pair develop together with the team,” said Team Principal Mark Goddard. “Aidan has been a Eurasia trained driver for some years now and he has the pace of the field in this series in race conditions and put in to very strong and impressive race stints again today.
“To see Nobu starting to develop, becoming more consistent and to put in the occasional quick lap, shows that he’s growing in the car and also has some talent as a driver. Eurasia are well known for developing young drivers – and old alike – and look forward to see if the pair and our team can push a little higher up the results in Sepang in a month’s time.”
The Asian Le Mans Series continues to its fourth and final round in Sepang, Malaysia on the 22-24 February 2019.