Tockwith Motorsports win Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 Championship 

Tockwith Motorsports have won the 2016/2017 Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 Championship.

Nigel Moore and Phil Hanson took a commanding win in their Ligier JS P3 during the 4 Hours of Sepang, marking their second visit to the top step of the podium in the four-race series.

Nigel took the start of the four-hour race on Sunday afternoon from pole position, after he set the fastest LMP3 time during Saturday’s qualifying session. Nigel made a fantastic start and was leading overall by the end of the first lap. Nigel dropped to second overall during the first hour, but still maintained the LMP3 lead until his pit stop to hand the Ligier JS P3 over to teammate, Phil Hanson. Phil drove a great double stint in the Malaysian heat, and handed the car back to Nigel in third place after his faster rivals dropped him down two spots. Nigel quickly made up positions, bringing the #26 Ligier JS P3 home in fourth overall, to win the LMP3 class and to claim the team’s maiden prototype championship title.

The team celebrated their win at the championship awards ceremony on Sunday evening, where they collected their championship trophy. Phil was also awarded the Rookie of the Year award at the ceremony.

Throughout the season, Tockwith Motorsports has scored two wins (Fuji and Sepang), a second place (Zhuhai), three pole positions and has topped the timing screens during many of the official practice sessions. The team were leading the championship after the second round at Fuji, but a crash in testing at Buriram meant a second Ligier JS P3 chassis had to be flown out to Thailand by Ligier UK, so the team could compete. Tockwith were immediately fast with their new chassis, scoring a pole position only hours after receiving the car, but more bad luck before the race on Sunday meant they were unable to compete to their full ability, pushing the championship challenge onto the final round in Sepang.

As a result of their LMP3 championship win, the team automatically receives an entry into the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours, which they will enter with their newly-acquired Ligier JS P217. The team will also enter the 2017 European Le Mans Series in their Ligier JS P217 and are working out plans to enter the 12 Hours of Sebring with the same car. They also wish to enter the ELMS LMP3 class and the British Henderson Insurance LMP3 Cup Championship with their trusted Ligier JS P3s but plans are still to be finalised for those championships.

The final round of the Asian Le Mans Series was also highly successful for French manufacturer Onroak Automotive, having four Ligier JS P3s fill the first two rows on the grid and scoring a podium lock out with their LMP3 cars.

The 2017 European Le Mans Series begins on 28-29 March with the official Prologue in Monza, Italy. In the meantime, Tockwith Motorsports will be testing at Portimao, Portugal in mid February.

Nigel Moore, driver, Tockwith Motorsports:

“I’m so happy to have won the Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 Championship. The team has done a great job all year and I’m really pleased with how Phil has progressed too. I’m looking forward to going back to Le Mans now we know we are guaranteed an entry. I raced there in 2009 and took part in the 2016 Road to Le Mans race so I’m quite familiar with it. I’d like to thank everyone at Onroak Automotive for building a great car in the Ligier JS P3 - the support they have given us over the season has been amazing. Thanks also to the guys at United Autosports for their customer support and getting a car out to us after our incident in Thailand. I can’t wait to go testing with our LMP2 car now and look forward to the start of the ELMS and to heading back to Le Mans.”

Phil Hanson, driver, Tockwith Motorsports:

“I’m really pleased with our result. I couldn’t have asked for more in only my first year of car racing. When you look back to how far Tockwith have brought me on this year, a Le Mans Series championship title is amazing - and I’m only 17! It’s set me up with the confidence going into LMP2 and Le Mans. I want to say a big thank you to Nigel, Simon and my father for coaching me and giving me all their support - I wouldn’t be where I am without my dad. The whole team deserves this championship, they have worked endless nights this season to get the car out on track, especially after my incident in Thailand - it shows that this really is a team sport. All the guys at Onroak Automotive have been great too, providing support at every race, proving that their reputation isn’t earned half heartedly.”

Simon Moore, Team Principle, Tockwith Motorsports:

“I’m so thrilled for all the team to take away the Asian Le Mans Series championship. They have worked so hard this year and thoroughly deserve all the praise. I’m thrilled for Phil too. He’s come a long way since we first put him in a car and for him to win Rookie of the Year proves that. Now we’ve got to concentrate on our ELMS LMP2 campaign and our Le Mans entry. Hopefully we can continue our run of success into the rest of the year.”

Richard Dean, Ligier UK:

“I’m thrilled for Simon, Nigel, Phil and everyone at Tockwith Motorsports for their Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 Championship win. They thoroughly deserved it as they have worked so hard towards the Asian series. | have known the Moore’s for a long time and to see how far they have come in such a short space of time is fantastic. To win their automatic entry to Le Mans is great for them too.”