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Asian Le Mans trims to four races, postpones opener for 2013

Asian Le Mans Series The relaunched Asian Le Mans Series has postponed the start of the 2013 championship and cut its calendar to four rounds.

Series organisers, acting with the consent of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, confirmed that Shanghai and Ordos have been dropped from this year's calendar.

The planned opener at Zhuhai has been pushed back from May to October in the reshuffled schedule.

That means the slimmed-down championship is due to commence at the under-construction Autopia track on August 4.

The intention is then to travel to Fuji on September 22, Zhuhai on October 13 and Sentul for the season finale on December 8.

Organisers said in a statement that the new structure will allow "even more teams to take part in this year's series" while "decreasing dramatically" the costs of competing.

Other changes include the abolishing of the LM GTE class and the merging of all GT cars into one category controlled by the ACO's balance of performance guidelines.

As an added incentive, the ACO has agreed to award automatic entries for the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours to the top two finishers in the GT class.

Aston Martin announced it would compete in the category, in which Super GTs will be eligible, in October last year.

The deadline for entries into the new championship has been extended to June 20.

"The organisers are confident that these sensible changes will secure the success of the series in its first year and help to build a stronger platform for the future," the statement concluded.

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