- #59 RLR MSport on podium [Copyright: Asian Le Mans Series]

Arjun Maini started his 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series campaign for RLR MSport in the #59 Oreca 05 Nissan team alongside John Farano and Andy Higgins in the LMP2 category's Pro-Am class in style in 4 Hours of Shanghai this weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit.

The team led the LMP2 Pro-Am class in both the practice sessions, while they were seventh in the overall standings. Maini's time was enough to hand them pole in their category but track limit infringement meant their quickest time was deleted, which dropped them to second.

They were still eighth in the overall standings. Maini made a solid start to the race as he made a quick work of his fellow Pro-Am rival and assumed lead in the category. He rose up to third before pitting to hand over to Farano after which Higgins took over.

The #4 ARC Bratislava took the lead in category when they pitted under Full Course Yellow and made the most of it. This pushed the team to re-install Maini in the car but to their luck, the #4 retired which left them with little competition in their category.

The trio saw-through the race unharmed to open the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series season with a victory in Pro-Am category as they ended up a solid sixth amongst the LMP2 Pro runners. They, naturally, lead the class as they aim to win a place in 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours grid.

"I’m quite happy with the result and my performance, although the victory came harder than expected," said Maini. "We were unlucky with the timing of the first Full Course Yellow, but I was actually disappointed that ARC Bratislava retired – I wanted to pass them on-track, because we were in a strong position to do so with our pace and strategy.

"However, it was a good fight, Andy (Higgins) did a great job in his maiden LMP2 race and John (Farano) performed brilliantly in his first competitive outing with the ORECA 05, and it’s comforting to know that we can make more progress with the car next time out in Australia."

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[Image courtesy: Asian Le Mans Series]

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