The 2023-24 ALMS (Asian Le Mans Series) season is witnessing a fascinating trend: numerous junior single-seater stars are venturing into the world of sportscars. This season is proving to be a pivotal moment for these racers as they transition from open-wheel to endurance racing, marking a significant evolution in their careers.
Carl Bennett's Versatile Racing Journey
Carl Bennett, currently placed eighth in the ALMS standings, is a perfect example of this transition. His journey through the 2023-24 ALMS season with Duqueine Team is the culmination of a diverse racing year. Bennett's experience spans several series, from the Formula Winter Series to the Eurocup-3, United States F4, and Brazilian F4. His mixed results in these series, including a notable win in the United States F4, have set the stage for his current sportscar endeavor and his upcoming participation in the European Le Mans Series.
Toby Sowery and Alex Garcia: Rising Stars in Sportscar Racing
Toby Sowery, just behind Bennett in the standings, is another impressive talent making waves in the ALMS. His transition from Indy Nxt, where he achieved podium success, to joining Algarve Pro Racing in Asia, and his planned participation in the prestigious Daytona 24 Hours, exemplifies the dynamic career shifts happening in the 2023-24 ALMS season.
Alex Garcia, despite a modest 20th place finish in the 2023 FIA Formula 3 Championship, has successfully won the ELMS’ LMP3 class. His step up to LMP2 in the ALMS with Nielsen Racing, followed by a stint with Cool Racing in ELMS, is paving his path to the pinnacle of prototype sportscars – the Hypercars class – with Isotta Fraschini in the World Endurance Championship.
Gregoire Saucy's Transition to WEC and IMSA Endurance Cup Prospects
The 2023-24 ALMS season is also significant for Gregoire Saucy, who dominated the 2021 Formula Regional European Championship. Saucy's move to United Autosports to pilot the McLaren 720S GT3 Evo in the WEC, and his LMP2 drive with TDS Racing in ELMS, demonstrates the allure of sportscar racing for single-seater stars. Additionally, Hunter McElrea's signing with TDS for the IMSA Endurance Cup after a stellar Indy Nxt season underscores the increasing crossover between single-seater and endurance racing formats.
Christian Rasmussen and Christian Bogle: New Faces in Endurance Racing
Reigning Indy Nxt champion Christian Rasmussen and Christian Bogle, 11th in the Indy Nxt standings, are also part of this exciting transition. Rasmussen's participation in the Daytona 24H with Era Motorsport and Bogle's stint with Project 1 Motorsport in ALMS in the BMW M4 GT3 further illustrate the diverse opportunities available to junior racers in sportscar formats.
Lorenzo Fluxa's Entry and the Future of Sportscar Racing
Lorenzo Fluxa, known for his performances in FREC and FRegional Middle East, is joining the ALMS grid with Cool Racing. His team-up with Toyota’s F2-bound Super Formula champion Ritomo Miyata in ELMS showcases the blend of emerging and established talent in the sportscar arena.
The 2023-24 ALMS season is more than just a series of races; it's a transformative phase in the careers of junior single-seater racers. As they adapt to the intricacies of sportscar racing, these drivers are not only expanding their skill sets but also contributing to the rich tapestry of motorsport's evolving landscape. The season is setting a precedent for future transitions, proving that the path from single-seaters to sportscars is not just viable but potentially career-defining.