After a long and arduous season, team Aylezo Ecotint Racing finally reached the final round of the 2016/2017 Asian Le Mans Series which took place at the 5.543km Sepang International Circuit. Although the race was now on their own backyard, they did not take the challenge easily as the level of competition has always been high and anything could happen throughout the four hours of racing.
For 28-year-old Riki Christodoulou, this was his first time competing at Sepang and he managed to learn the circuit while getting acclimatized to Malaysia’s ever-changing weather without a hitch. The team was definitely determined to make this final round their best performance as they clocked very encouraging lap times during both Free Practice sessions.
Despite being in the raining season, Sepang was mostly dry throughout the weekend and Weiron took advantage of this condition to clock a blisteringly fast 2:00.032 during Qualifying, allowing the team to start the race from P6 in class.
With all systems showing green, team Aylezo Ecotint Racing was looking forward in giving their best show in front of the home crowd and possibly bring back a podium finish. But the first challenge of the race presented itself almost immediately when their Ginetta LMP3 race car was tagged from behind by one of the GT cars at Turn 1 during the opening lap of the race.
The contact from the rear had unfortunately ruined the race car’s rear aerodynamics and the team was forced to perform an unscheduled pit stop to repair the damage, causing them to fall one lap behind during the process. Luckily for team Aylezo Ecotint Racing, the damage suffered was not that severe, but it did affect the handling of the car especially at the high-speed corners and the straights where it experienced extreme vibrations.
The team however was not going to give up easily without a fight and the Ginetta LMP3 race car was designed from ground up to be a reliable endurance machine. Zen, Weiron and Riki soldiered through the four hours of racing and had their fair share of tough battles throughout the race. With the car performing at its best, they had managed to fight their way through from 6th to crossing the finishing line in a satisfying 4th place for the LMP3 category.
“This is by far our best race for the season. Aside from the accident at Turn 1, we had a very smooth run which was exactly what we were hoping for,” said Zen. “We started the race in P6 and finished in P4. I think that’s a pretty satisfying result and we’ll definitely try again next season,” he added.
Team Aylezo Ecotint Racing managed to score 24 points after four rounds of racing, putting them in 7th overall in the LMP3 category. The team would like to extend their greatest gratitude to all the sponsors in making their journey to the 2016/2017 Asian Le Mans Series possible, and also to the loyal fans for their continuous support.