Aurus 01, the G-Drive Racing team car that won the championship title in the Asian Le Mans Series (ALMS) for the season 2019/20
The Asian Le Mans Series (ALMS) is a competition that has only been running since 2009 and we can call it the younger brother of the European Le Mans Series. The popularity of this competition grows season by season and it attracts an increasing number of fans of motorsports, but also an increasing number of teams who decide to compete in it.
Of course, the motive that attracts all teams is the fact that a good result in ALMS brings an invitation to the most prestigious endurance race in the world – 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Among the teams that first appeared in this competition in the season 2019/20 is the G-Drive Racing team, and our team even managed to win the champions title in their debut in a very exciting season.
Four podiums in four ALMS races were enough for the Russian team to win first place and be crowned with another champions title.
The drivers who, with the flawless work of the entire team “behind the scenes”, presented this success are: the young Dutchman Leonard Hoogenboom, the American James French and the famous Russian driver, the leader of this team – Roman Rusinov.
How exciting the season really was is best explained by the fact that the G-Drive Racing team won the championship with 83 points, while the second-place Thunderhead team Carlin Racing had only one point less at the end of the championship.
But let’s start in a chronological order and “rewind” all the events that brought the champions title to our team.
4 Hours of Shanghai: A hint of champion ambitions of the G-Drive Racing team
The very beginning of the season indicated that our team came to Asia eager to prove itself and with the highest ambitions after winning the second place in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) in the general classification.
The Thunderhead Carlin Racing team car was the first that crossed the finish line, but it was later determined that there was a violation of the rules on the longest allowed time a driver can spend in a car, so after the British team was penalized, the first position was awarded to our team.
4 Hours of The Bend: Domination in the desert sun of Australia
After they left a great impression and triumphed in the first race in Shanghai, there was a break during which the World Endurance Championship (WEC) race 8 Hours of Bahrain was held and in which the G-Drive Racing team won fourth place.
This desert race served as a good preparation for the continuation of the challenges in the Asian Le Mans Series, and the whole team learned important lessons from Bahrain and traveled to Australia eager for another triumph.
The Russian team managed to win the first place in the very finale of this very exciting race, thus confirming the first place in the general classification and an increased point difference from the main rivals before the “second half” – it will prove that perhaps the last 20 minutes of the race in Australia decided the season champion.
4 Hours of Sepang: Thunderstorms in Malaysia
The race ended the way it started – with a thunderstorm. After the start of the race was delayed by almost two hours due to bad weather and after one situation in the second hour of the race that cost our team valuable time – winning the 4 Hours of Sepang remained an unfulfilled dream for the G-Drive Racing team.
The first triumph of the season was taken, symbolically, by the Thunderhead Carling Racing team – and the Russian team had to settle for third place behind second-placed Eurasia Motorsport team, yet retaining first place in the general classification.
Regarding the scoreboard, the G-Drive Racing team at this point with 65 points won had only 9 points advantage over Thunderhead Carlin Racing and 10 points advantage over the Eurasia Motorsport team – which promised an exciting finale to the season in Thailand.
4 Hours of Buriram: The culmination of an exciting season and the title of champion for the G-Drive Racing team
In the qualifying race, the pole position was won by the Thunderhead Carlin Racing team and thus approached the G-Drive Racing team by only 8 points difference. On the other hand, our team only finished qualifying race in fourth position, which led many at that moment to doubt the champion material of Roman Rusinov and his comrades.
However, as has been shown many times before (and afterwards) – one should never write off the G-Drive Racing team too soon. Our guys started in the second row, but during the race they easily compensated for this delay and until the very end they had an exciting fight for the first position with the drivers of the Thunderhead Carlin Racing team.
Remember the 8 point advantage from the start of the race? The fact that was in favor of the champion ambitions of the G-Drive Racing team is the data that 25 points are won for the first place, while the second place in ALMS races brings 18 points – so our team invested its efforts in keeping the second place.
Despite an exciting fight, the G-Drive Racing team still finished this race behind the Thunderhead Carlin Racing team. We congratulated our rivals on a splendid race and victory, but the prestigious title of the Asian Le Mans Series champion ultimately went to our team. You already know that old saying – “You may have won one battle, but you didn’t win the war”.
Follow new seasons and challenges on the Instagram page
As our faithful followers are already accustomed to, we will follow all the new challenges of the G-Drive Racing team on the Instagram page of G-Drive Serbia, so we recommend all endurance race fans who have not yet done so to follow our page.
Until some new opportunity, sports greetings!