Engine issues blight Salih Yoluc’s Asian Le Mans race weekend in Thailand
Salih Yoluc continued his impressive debut in the Asian Le Mans Series at the weekend with United Autosports with a solid run to sixth position in the highly competitive LMP2 class at Buriram International Circuit in Thailand. The result was especially noteworthy given the ongoing engine issues that the team were forced to endure throughout the race weekend.
The third and penultimate round of the championship saw Salih team up once again with Patrick Byrne and Guy Cosmo in the #23 Ligier Nissan, and while the overall result proved to be disappointing for the Turkish racer, he took the maximum out of the package – when able - and was the fastest of the three drivers in race conditions.
The team opted to take part in unofficial practice earlier in the week, something especially useful for Salih as he was new to the circuit. Adapting well to the car and circuit, the team headed into official practice where they completed 73 laps over the two sessions.
Guy was charged with qualifying duties again and did a solid job to record the fourth fastest time in the class before handing over to Patrick to start the race.
Patrick was aggressive off the line, defending his position initially before losing out to the #65 of Nigel Moore. After 31 laps, Salih took over for his stint in fourth position, but a subsequent loss of power – not the first time of the weekend - combined with a questionable drive through for contact, lost the team time.
This was compounded by a long stop at the end of Salih’s stint as the team pushed the car back into the garage in an attempt to cure the power issue. Despite their best efforts, the team were unable to trace the problem and Guy took over to the run to the flag, finishing sixth overall.
Salih, sixth in the overall standings, now prepares for the final round of the championship in Malaysia next month hoping for a change in fortune.