Interview with António Simões

Q.: After several years the team competed at the highest international championships level, ASM is currently without a definite program for 2013. What led to this?

António Simões (AS): What led us to this situation was the fact that we could not gather enough funds for the Blancpain championship that was our target.

As such we put ourselves on standby, so we can be available for something that we are working on… something more ambitious

Q.: In 2009 in addition of winning the championship in LMP2 Le Mans Series, ASM also won the main title in the Spanish GT Championship with a Ferrari GT2, therefore not lacking experience and results to the team in GT.

AS: Yes the team has also a lot of experience in GT races, either sprint or endurance, and although there is not a project at this point the team stands ready and prepared.

6312 6 314Q.: Last year ASM decided to compete with a car (McLaren GT3) that was taking its first steps, the results were less than you expected? Why this choice when there are several options on the market with proven results?

AS: The results were good for McLaren, the car throughout the year had 19 podiums, but for us and some other teams no, we had some reliability problems with the car, but I am convinced that those issues will definitely got solved with the improvements made in all GT3 McLaren´s for 2013, and the car will definitely show why ASM took this decision.

6312 1 191Q.: In 2012 you competed in the Blancpain and in the end of the year in Abu-Dhabi 12H race, but both results were not the desired. How were those experiences?

AS: From Blancpain left us some good memories, the excellent organization of the championship, and from Spa 24h the fact that Ricardo Bravo and Pedro Lamy showed good performance, it was a pity the big crash of Karim in practice on Thursday which affected us a better car preparation for the race where we gave up in the middle of the race.

Abu Dhabi was a fantastic race, gave us the pleasure to watch from the inside  the  healthy competition between two of the best drivers in GT, Alvaro and Rob, was the perfect way to finish the season and we did fastest lap on the last lap of the 12h race.

09NU7781Q.: The team has made numerous endurance races over the last few years and is currently one of the most experience teams in Europe with more rounds in 24h races. Do you consider that the team has specialized in this kind of racing?

We have much experience indeed in endurance and we may got specialists on it, all team members know what they need to do to stand a resistance race and are very well prepared to deal with the specificities of long distance races …. but, we do not close the door to sprint races.

Q.: Currently ASM do not have a set schedule for 2013, what future projects and aims to achieve?

AS: We work to be at Spa 24h this year with a competitive line up.

We also would like very much to return to Le Mans and do the WEC, as we still have a score to settle with Le Mans since we have never been very lucky there.

ASM has the desire to return with a well-structured project, to face the challenges that an international championship requires, we are eager to compete again and hope soon be able to announce what we will do in the future.