09 Jan 2020

First Time In Oz - Asian Le Mans Races Into The Bend

09 JAN 2020
09 JAN 2020

More than 2 million people across the world are expected to have their eyes on South Australia’s newest race circuit, The Bend Motorsport Park, when the Asian Le Mans Series comes to town this weekend – its first time in Australia.

Round Two of the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series will also be the first time the Le Mans Prototype (LMP) vehicles have raced in South Australia for 20 years. 

Racing at speeds close to those seen in Formula 1, with a recorded top speed of 343km/h, the LMP2 cars are set to break the current lap record on The Bend circuit. 

The Asian Le Mans series is one of the biggest on the Australian motorsport calendar and this event will be broadcast in nearly 100 countries, including on multiple Chinese live streams featuring a dedicated Chinese commentary. 

South Australian Tourism Commission’s Events South Australia Executive Director, Hitaf Rasheed said the world-class race will attract domestic and international visitors and put Tailem Bend on the map to millions around the world.

“The SATC is proud to help bring the 2020 Asian Le Mans Series to Australia for the first time – as people from across Australia and overseas are expected to attend over the three-days, with millions tuning into broadcasts to 95 countries including China – our largest international market for tourism into our state,” Ms Rasheed said.

“Last year’s Asian Le Mans Series was watched by 5.81 million people worldwide, with the Chinese live streams alone attracting an audience of over 1 million, so this is fantastic news for the Murraylands region and South Australia. 

“The Series has long-wanted to come to Australia but until The Bend Motorsport Park, there hasn’t been a venue suitable to accommodate the race. The event is not only a big item for motor enthusiasts but adds further to the international reputation of South Australia.”

The Asian Le Mans Series is the Asia-Pacific region’s only direct pathway into a world championship for both LMP and GT race cars, and into the world’s most significant endurance race – the 24 Hours of Le Mans – where the top speed of 343.3km/h was recorded in 2018. 

President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, Pierre Fillon said that they were incredibly happy to be bringing the event to Australia. 

“We are very happy to bring the ACO endurance racing formula to Australia and are looking forward to delivering an exciting race for the teams, drivers and of course the Australian audience.

“Twenty years ago, Don Panoz gave South Australia a taste of prototype racing, and we are hoping that we will once again capture the attention of motorsport fans here,’ Mr Fillon said. 

Managing Director of the Asian Le Mans Series, Cyrille Taesch Wahlen said he was pleased to be racing in South Australia after considering it as a venue for quite some time.

“We are very pleased to be racing in South Australia as a part of the 2019/2020 Asian Le Mans Series,” Mr Wahlen said.

“We had been considering racing in Australia for quite some time and after visiting the Bend for the first time in 2018, the decision was made. 

“The high standard of the track and the facilities, along with the enthusiasm being shown by the circuit management team, made it an easy decision.”

For more information, visit http://www.thebend.com.au/2020-asian-le-mans-series-round-2 or http://www.asianlemansseries.com/