Al-Manar racing by Getspeed trio of Al-Zubair, Konrad and Schiller set to begin Asian Le Mans series campaign in Malaysia

Sports Tuesday 28/November/2023 13:38 PM
By: Times News Service
Al-Manar racing by Getspeed trio of Al-Zubair, Konrad and Schiller set to begin Asian Le Mans series campaign in Malaysia

Muscat: The Al-Manar Racing by Getspeed trio of Al-Faisal Al-Zubair, Martin Konrad and Fabian Schiller begin their challenge for honours in the 2023/2024 Asian Le Mans series at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia this weekend.

The Omani, the Austrian and the German have entered a Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo in the competitive GT class in the series that makes a return to South East Asia with this weekend’s double header. Competitors then move on to the Dubai Autodrome and the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi in early February next year for the remaining rounds.

Al-Zubair teamed up with Konrad and German racer Luca Stolz at two rounds of the last Asian Le Mans series and finished third and seventh in the two four-hour races at the Dubai Autodrome.

They then claimed back-to-back GT class wins in rounds three and four in Abu Dhabi. Their Haupt Racing Team finished second in the GT Teams’ Championship and they ended the campaign in a similar position in the Drivers’ Championship behind the Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 trio of Chandler Hull, Nicky Catsburg and Thomas Merrill.

Al-Zubair said: “I am really looking forward to the start of Asian Le Mans at the end of this week. It’s a championship where we finished strong last year by winning both races in Abu Dhabi and we finished second in the championship. This year, we are aiming to go one better. We do understand that there is an extra round this year. The entry list also seems a lot stronger than last year.

“This is something we do bring into account and we know the competition will be tough. Myself, Konrad and Fabi haven’t been to Sepang before, so we will be learning the track as well. But we feel confident and hope to be on the pace relatively quickly. We will try and go for the win and try and get the Le Mans entry – that is our target. Last year we were with HRT and this year we are with the Getspeed crew.”

This year’s Al-Manar Racing Mercedes had been built and prepared by Getspeed from its base at the Nürburgring in Germany.

The 2023/2024 series will also mark the first as a joint venture between the founding Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), Asian Endurance Management (ALMEM) and SRO Motorsports Group.

Eleven teams have registered for the LMP2 category, five will compete for LMP3 honours and the Al-Manar Racing by Getspeed crew are joined by 22 rival teams in the GT class. Stand-out names on the list include the Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS, crewed by Dylan Pereira, Alex Aka and Andrey Mukovoz, a pair of Sainteloc Racing Audis, a second Getspeed Mercedes and the Optimum Motorsport McLaren 720S.

Other registered GT teams include AF Corse, GT Racing, Herberth Motorsport, Project One and Team Motopark.

The 5.543km Sepang International Circuit is situated 85km from Kuala Lumpur city centre and close to the city’s international airport.

The first 90-minute free practice for the opening 4H of Sepang gets underway at 13.30hrs on Friday (December 1) and a second session is planned for 18.00hrs. Qualifying takes centre stage from 10.10hrs on Saturday (December 2)morning and the first four-hour race of the new season fires into life at 15.00hrs.

Race two is scheduled for 15.00hrs on Sunday (December 3).