Dominant double victory for Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport in Fuji
3rd December 2017
Asian Le Mans Series Round 2 Fuji, Japan
• #Super8 of Thomas Laurent, Stéphane Richelmi and Harrison Newey takes second straight Asian Le Mans Series win
• Guy Cosmo and Patrick Byrne earn first LMP3 victory
• Podium finish for the #7 ORECA of David Cheng and LMP2 debutant Jazeman Jaafar
Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport charged to its second consecutive victory in the Asian Le Mans Series, with the #Super8 Oreca 05 Nissan of Thomas Laurent, Stéphane Richelmi and Harrison Newey winning the 4 Hours of Fuji. It was a strong race for the entire Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport team as Guy Cosmo and Patrick Byrne in the #6 car celebrated their first series victory in the LMP3 category, while David Cheng and Malaysian Jazeman Jaafar, making his LMP2 debut this weekend, were third overall in their #7 Oreca 05 Nissan LMP2.
Starting from second on the grid in the #Super8, Richelmi’s goal was to get past his rival as quickly as possible. Richelmi did just that, grabbing the lead at the first corner, before he began to build a gap to his rivals, pushing throughout his double sting before handing the car over to 19-year old Newey.
Newey emerged after the second pit stop in second position and set to work. The FIA Formula 3 European Championship driver in only his second sportscar race drove a solid stint and handed the car over to Thomas Laurent, fresh off of finishing second overall in the FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 class with Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport. Laurent soon closed the gap to the team’s rival and with just over an hour remaining, the 19-year old took the lead. From there he never looked back, building up a minute’s lead at the chequered flag to seal a hard-fought victory for the team.
In the #7 car team co-owner and co-founder Cheng had an incredible start, moving into second position just behind Richelmi in the #8 car. A few laps later, Cheng engaged in some tight battles with his rivals as he fought to defend his position. Following his double stint, Cheng, in third position, handed the car over to Jaafar, who was racing an LMP2 car for the first time this weekend as Cheng’s usual partner Ho Pin Tung had FIA Formula E Championship commitments this weekend. Jaafar maintained the #7’s position, with Cheng bringing the car home in third for the final stint of the race.
With Cosmo and Byrne having finished third in their Asian Le Mans Series debut in Zhuhai, the all-American pairing were hoping to improve in Fuji. Byrne started from fifth in the category, moving up a position in the opening laps and then into podium contention by the first hour and then into second position a half hour later. Following a long, tough stint he handed the car over to Cosmo, who dominated the final two hours of the race. Narrowing the gap to his rival, with just under an hour and a half remaining, Cosmo took the lead. He never relinquished the leading position, taking the chequered flag for a much deserved win.
Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport will be back in action in January, with Round 3 of the Asian Le Mans Series – the 6 Hours of Buriram – set to take place January 11-13 at Thailand’s Chang International Circuit.
David Cheng, #7, Team Co-Owner and Co-Founder:
“A really great result for the #Super8 car, building on our lead for the championship. For the #7 car, with Jaafar coming in and with the circuit being a little tougher for the ORECA, it was a big challenge for us and I tried to offset the pressure a little bit with a good start, stayed in second for a while but as the tyre pressure came up, we started to overheat and it was really hard to maintain position.
But we fought back and came back to a podium finishing position. I’m really happy for the team and also for the #6 car, a very critical win here especially as a lot of the championship contenders retired which means we’re in a good championship points spot, but of course we still need to work and push hard.”
Sam Hignett, Director JOTA Sport:
“Great result for the team and a fantastic effort by all the drivers. I’m really pleased to see the LMP3 car winning, both the drivers and the crew deserved that. The Ligier proved to be a real threat but we beat them on pace in the end.”
Gary Holland, Team Manager:
“We’re very happy with the result here in Fuji. Both the LMP2 and LMP3 results show our strength and depth as a team. We were made to work very hard by BBT and also the Team Taiwan guys so we’re pleased that we executed and it gives us a chance to have a little break before Buriram and to come back and try to repeat the result. We’re pleased and we’re looking forward to the next race already.”
Thomas Laurent, #8:
“Stéphane did a really good start and took the advantage in the first corner on the BBT car. On my stint I had to manage to tyres and to push and overtake the BBT car so it was not easiest for me. We did it with quite a good move and after I tried to manage the tyres until the end of the race. I’m quite happy about this race – it was not easy this weekend but we worked really hard to maintain a really good car for the race and we will see in Buriram but for sure we will have a good car in Buriram.”
Patrick Byrne, #6:
“Constantly battling. We went from fifth to second and I got out and Cosmo got in and he just demolished it. We went up to first, then we had a huge time gap and we knew we were comfortable and we could do the pit stops. It was an enjoyment to watch, enjoyable to be with the crew – it’s a great team, great mechanics.”
Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport
4 Hours of Fuji – Results
1. #8 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport/Richelmi, Newey, Laurent
2. #37 BBT/Liu, Rizzo, Derani/+1:00.354
3. #7 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport/Cheng, Jaafar/+2 laps
1. #6 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport/Cosmo, Byrne
2. #10 Viper Niza Racing/Khoo, Ang, Winslow
3. #99 TKS/Sano, Kamimura, Shirasaka
Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport
#6 – Patrick Byrne / Guy Cosmo
#7 – David Cheng / Jazeman Jaafar
#8 – Stéphane Richelmi / Harrison Newey / Thomas Laurent
Supported by team founding partner, Hollywood superstar Jackie Chan, the team was established in 2015, and immediately claimed the 2015-16 Asian Le Mans LMP3 championship. For the team’s 2017 FIA WEC campaign, Jota Sport brings almost two decades of endurance racing expertise which includes class wins in both the Le Mans and Spa 24 Hours.
Flying the flag for China and Chinese motorsport development across the world, Jackie Chan DC Racing has brought together the strongest driver line-up in its history in its quest to capture the LMP2 title in the world’s most prestigious endurance racing championship. The combination of multiple championship and race winners with fledgling talent creates a potent formula for success at the highest echelon of the sport.
2017-18 Asian Le Mans Series Calendar
October 27-29 – 4 Hours of Zhuhai (China)
December 1-3 – 4 Hours of Fuji (Japan)
January 11-13 – 6 Hours of Buriram (Thailand)
February 2-4 – 4 Hours of Sepang (Malaysia)