RLR MSport is set to return to the Asian Le Mans Series with a sole Ligier JSP320 for American single-seater contender Bijoy Garg, Dubai-based Radical racer Amir Feyzulin and LMP3 podium finisher Andres Latorre.
Garg, aged 20 from Atherton, California, learned his trade in karts in his native USA between 2015 and 2019, when he also made his car racing debut in the Formula 4 Western Championship.
A two-pronged 2020 season that encompassed partial USF2000 and F4 United States Championship campaigns followed, but he has since established himself as a regular top ten finisher in USF2000 to get a foothold on the next rung of the ‘Road to Indy’, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship.
However, he is now looking far beyond American single-seaters to explore the opportunities within the world of endurance sportscar racing, and he will make his LMP3 competition debut with RLR MSport in the 2023 Asian Le Mans Series after recently enjoying a successful test at Sebring International Raceway.
“I’m pretty happy with where I’m at on the ‘Road to Indy’, which hasn’t been without its challenges, and my ultimate aim is still to compete in the IndyCar Series, but I recently tested an LMP3 car at Sebring and I think it was pretty good for my first time in a Le Mans Prototype,” said Garg. “It was a very different experience from what I’m used to in single-seaters because there’s a lot more weight and it requires a far less aggressive driving style. My approach still needs a little bit of work but there was definitely a lot of improvement that day and I’m comfortable with the car going into the Asian Le Mans Series.
“I’ve always been interested in exploring endurance sportscar racing and I’ve been inspired as friends and peers have gone on to do it and be very successful. If the first few races of 2023 go well, there could be a valuable future in it. However, I’ll just be focused on doing my absolute best and improving as a driver. Endurance racing with its multi-class, multi-driver format is still new to me so there will be a lot to learn, but I’m excited about racing overseas for the first time and I’ll be happy to show my pace.”
Feyzulin is a veteran of the Gulf Radical Cup (GRC), having held an entry from 2018 to the present day, and appearances in the Gulf 12 Hours with a BMW M4 GT4 two years running yielded a third-place result.
In the New Year, the Dubai-based racer will return to the GRC in a Radical SR3 XX, but he will also step into Le Mans Prototypes for the first time.
Since testing one of RLR MSport’s Ligiers with coaching from Alex Kapadia at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in October, Feyzulin has signed up for the British team’s return to the Asian Le Mans Series.
And, as the four-round championship will once again be held entirely at Dubai Autodrome and Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit – tracks he knows so well – he’s confident he will start on a strong footing.
“Testing one of RLR MSport’s Ligiers in Portimao was an amazing experience,” said Feyzulin. “The team and Alex (Kapadia) helped me a lot and I got down to pretty good lap times over the course of the two days, which was very satisfying. While I was shocked by the Ligier JSP320’s performance, it was clear my Radical experiences are very relevant to LMP3, both being “aero cars”.
“It was after testing that I decided to participate in the 2023 Asian Le Mans Series. For me, Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina Circuit are very familiar and this is why I believe I will be capable of good results, and, as I have lived in Dubai for the past seven years, I’m also hoping there will be some kind of home advantage. I would love to achieve podiums, but it’s racing and anything can happen, and I’m expecting the field to be very competitive.”
Latorre is also a relative newcomer to motorsport because, having raced karts with coaching from ex-Formula 1 and IndyCar driver Juan Pablo Montoya in his youth, he only recently returned to competition.
Following spells racing a Ferrari F430 Scuderia, Maserati GT4 and Fiat Abarth 695 Assetto Corse in categories like the Production Sports Car Racing Association of Australia (PSCRAA) Championship, the Colombian turned his attention to LMP3.
In 2021, the Managing Director of Latorre & Dutch Coffee dovetailed sporadic outings in the Australian Prototype Series with the Michelin Le Mans Cup, in which he notched up a maiden career podium in a dramatic race at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Imola earlier this year.
Now, he’s expanding his reach to the United Arab Emirates for a run at the Asian Le Mans Series, and he said: “First of all, I want to thank RLR MSport, as the team has been so supportive of me and my vision for this project. The Asian Le Mans Series builds you up nicely for the European season with an intense programme of practice, qualifying and races over the course of two weeks. I’m really excited about getting the track time and returning to the cockpit of an LMP3 car, and I have very high expectations of myself.
“I did some karting when I was very young and one of my coaches was Juan Pablo Montoya, who had a very successful career in F1. Unfortunately, we never had the funds to go any further, but that gave me the drive to build a successful business in Latorre & Dutch Coffee so I could return to racing. I’ve learnt a lot since entering the Michelin Le Mans Cup and I achieved my first podium earlier this year, but, as a relatively young Bronze driver, I have a lot of potential and I hope to extract more from myself, improving my racecraft and getting in among the top Ams in the Asian Le Mans Series.”