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Cumbrian driver Frank Bird kicked off his 2022 circuit racing season is style with a superb performance at the Frank Birdopening two rounds of the Asian Le Mans Series (ALMS) held at the Dubai Autodrome over the weekend.

The 22-year-old from Penrith was contesting the pair of four-hour races in the United Arab Emirates driving a McLaren 720S in the GT class for the UK-based Garage 59 team along with teammates Alexander West from Sweden and German driver Marvin Kirchhofer as part of a 23-car field in the GT class and 36 cars in total.

Having qualified for Saturday’s opening race in fifth position, Bird and his team were able to drive into darkness to maintain their position to the flag and in doing so, gained valuable time in the McLaren in readiness for Sunday’s race.

Despite starting further down the grid for the second of the four-hour encounters, Frank and the rest of the #88 team battled through the field before a full course yellow (FCY) halted their progress and as a result, had to settle for a top eight position at the chequered flag.

The third and fourth rounds of the ALMS takes place this forthcoming weekend at the YAS Marina Circuit in neighbouring Abu Dhabi where Frank and the team hope to build on a solid opening weekend.

Frank Bird: ‘I’m very happy to make a solid start to the Asian Le Mans Series with a fifth and eighth place finish in Garage 59 the two races. Both races went to plan really apart from being unlucky in the second race with the timing of a full course yellow where we lost some time. But overall, I’m delighted with the weekend, and we showed great pace in both races. This weekend was always about learning the car and new team then to see where we are at for next weekend’s two races in Abu Dhabi. Thanks to the team, our sponsors, and my teammates for a doing a brilliant job and I’m looking forward to the next two races.”

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