Christan Olsen earned a breakthrough result in the final round of the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series season today at the Sepang International Circuit.
The young Danish driver, backed by Composite World, finished second in the LMP3 category (the biggest class in the field) with his teammate Nick Adcock, after four hours of battling against competitors on track and the searing heat trackside.
Adcock started the race from second place on the grid in the Ecurie Ecosse / Nielsen Racing #7 Ligier JS P3, after the duo promoted to the front row of the grid after a post-qualifying penalty was handed to the original pole-sitter.
When the lights went out Adcock dropped down to sixth but he didn’t let that setback fluster him. He quickly found a rhythm and spent the opening hour of the race producing consistent lap times to ensure Olsen could climb in at the start of Hour 2 with good track position to work with.
Olsen, like Adcock, got up to speed quickly in the near 40-degree heat too and climbed up to fifth place before the first of two safety car periods in the race occurred, just before the 90-minute mark.
The aforementioned safety car bunched up the field and prompted Olsen to pounce on the car ahead shortly after the action restarted, before taking third off the team’s sister Ligier JS which was running third.
From there, Olsen was able to reel in the second-place driver through traffic and keep the car in contention for a podium before Adcock climbed in for his second stint early in Hour 3.
Then, a second safety car period in the third hour once again benefitted the Olsen and Adcock crew, costing cars behind Olsen valuable time, setting him up nicely for the dash to the flag.
The Dane then maintained second place despite receiving a drive-through penalty and with the temperatures still incredibly high took a comfortable second place finish after pushing hard to the flag while other contenders dropped away due to penalties and incidents.
Christian Olsen commented after the race: “The heat was ridiculous, it was like driving in a sauna, but you couldn’t get out when you want. Good thing we have an air-conditioned room to escape to after stints. Aside from a couple of moments, the car felt amazing, and in the last stint, I was able to get the job done.
“I’m disappointed to have been handed a drive-through penalty, but this is still a memorable result and performance. Every time I drive I take a step up, I’m going to keep working, I’ll be happy with my results when I start winning races.
“2018 was always going to be a learning year, now I feel I’ve done that and I’m ready to go full throttle. I’ll be heading to Barcelona next for two days of testing before the ELMS Prologue. I can’t wait to get started with the European season.”