Mercedes Formula 1 chief strategist James Vowles will race a McLaren 720S GT3 in this year’s Asian Le Mans Series.
Vowles will partner last year’s ALMS LMP3 champion Manuel Maldonado (cousin of 2012 Spanish Grand Prix winner Pastor Maldonado) and GT World Challenge Europe regular Nicolai Kjærgaard aboard one of Garage 59’s two entries into the championship.
It will mark Vowles’ international racing debut, although he does have testing experience with a Mercedes GT3 and GT4 and has been a competitive motorcycle racer at club level.
Vowles has been a key architect of Mercedes’ eight-successive constructors’ world championships and has been a part of the Brackley outfit since it was BAR in 2001.
This year’s ALMS, which will be live-streamed on The Race’s YouTube channel, will be comprised of a quartet of four-hour races at the Dubai Autodrome and the Yas Marina Circuit, with back-to-back races at each circuit on consecutive weekends.
The multi-class series features LMP2, LMP3 and GT machinery with 37 cars listed on the 2022 entry list.
The season will kick off with the first four-hour race in Dubai on February 12 and will conclude one week later on February 20 with the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
F1’s first 2022 pre-season test at Barcelona begins a few days later on February 23.