Home Victory and Championship Leader for Jackie Chan Dc Racing X Jota Sport
19th November 2018
JACKIE CHAN DC RACING X JOTA SPORT scored three victories in a row with a stunning home race victory at the 6 Hours of Shanghai, leading the LMP2 championship as the first part of 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship concludes in China.
The team secured its first front row start in what was a home race for one half of the collaboration, Jackie Chan DC Racing ,with Ho-Pin Tung and Gabriel Aubry in the #Mighty38 edging teammates Nabil Jeffri and Jazeman Jaafar sharing the #Fortunecat37 for pole position in Saturday’s qualifying.
The race, however, encountered the worst weather through the three-day event, with heavy rain pouring down as the race started at 11am local time, when Stephane Richelmi and Jaafar took the start for their own car respectively.
All 35 entries had been driving in formation cautiously for only 17 minutes before the red flag was shown because of the dangerous circumstances , when the two ORECA 07-Gibson cars operated by JOTA Sport remained P1 and P2 in LMP2 class. Even the first two hours saw only 16 laps complete due to two Red Flags.
As the race resumed later, the 5.451km circuit was full of “rivers”, with incidents here and there, including a misfortune moment that cost a potential podium finish for #Fortunecat37, when Weiron Tan was behind the wheel. The 23-year-old Malaysian saved the car and continued to fight back from the back of the field.
At the half-way point, the #Mighty38 emerged in the top 2 after the second standard pit stop, recovering from a tough time, during which some mechanical parts was influenced by the long stoppage under low temperature.
In what was a brilliant strategy delivered by the JOTA Sport crew, Aubry took over the car from Tung with just 90 minutes remaining at the end of the 6-hour race. Despite the darkness and torrential rain, the French driver managed to maintain good pace and eventually took the chequered flag first in LMP2 class.
The Shanghai race, which marked the final WEC event of the year and completed a ‘hat-trick’ for #Mighty38: pole position, race win and championship leader, not to mention the milestone in Tung and David Cheng’s racing career, claiming the victory in Shanghai in front of the local fans.
It is worthwhile to note the Chinese national anthem was sounded for the very first time on the top step of class podium at an FIA World Championship event held in China.
Now Tung, Richelmi and Aubry in #Mighty38 lead the LMP2 championship by 10 points, while their Malaysian teammates in the other JOTA Sport-operated #Fortunecat37, who fought back through the field and finished in fourth, still remain the title contenders. More importantly, the China-flagged team carrying strong momentum as a team since Silverstone tops the championship for LMP2 teams.
The next round of the 2018-19 WEC Super Season will take place in the famous Sebring in three months. Jackie Chan DC Racing and JOTA Sport presenting the racing spirit of Richard Mille will return to the action much stronger to charge for the LMP2 title and another attempt at the season-finale: 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Sam Hignett, Director of JOTA Sport
“A fantastic result for Jackie Chan DC Racing and JOTA Sport. To hear the Chinese national anthem on the top step of podium in China is very proud for the team and a great achievement. The #Mighty38 just did a great racing. Of course, we want #Fortunecat37 to be there as well, but all the drivers did their best and it was great work by the team as well. We will come back next year and push for more victories.”
David Clark, Director of JOTA Sport
“What an amazing result to win in China, not only for Chinese people, Ho-Pin, David, Jackie Chan, but also for JOTA Sport, for the whole team. Let’s come back next year and win again. Now we are leading the world championship.”
David Cheng, Co-founder of Jackie Chan DC Racing
“It’s a great race for the entire Jackie Chan DC Racing and our partner JOTA Sport. Specially for #Mighty38, their performance in such tough conditions are incredible. With the excellent strategy, we actually remained in the battle for victory all the time and managed to keep the gap once we took the lead. The last stint was pretty intense, but we finally came out on top, achieving the goal we have chased for years. The dream has come true. For the crew in #Fortunecat37, they had very strong pace but a small error cost them a lot. They kept fighting from the back and still finished in fourth. This is racing, I am sure they would learn from it. Because of the unpredictable weather and unforeseen circumstances, it was an incredibly difficult race, which made the result more satisfied. Also, for all our partners, sponsors, friends and families, we delivered what we wanted to show them at our home race. If both cars were on the podium, it would be the cheery on top of the cake. More importantly, we have built strong momentum so far this season. I am confident when the season resumes, the team will keep the strong performance.”
Ho-Pin Tung, Driver of #Mighty38 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport
“Five years ago, David and I started this journey together, also in China, last year racing in WEC full season and winning in Le Mans, this year finally cracking at our home race, where we always had bad luck before, is just a fantastic achievement. We have been very strong since Silverstone. The race today was really tough, especially when we were suffering with some minor car issues and the visibility in the car was very poor, but we managed to nurse the car in right way keeping accurate pace and making right decisions for strategy. It was a stunning job from everyone in the team. I want to say thank you to our partners and fans, who keep supporting us all the way, even coming to the race in such bad weather. They are our biggest energy to get the business done.”
Stephane Richelmi, Driver of #Mighty38 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport
“To start the race was not easy, obviously because of the conditions. I was a bit unfortunate at the beginning losing some position. But I think we took some risks in the choice with tyre pressure and I had to stay out on track due to red flags. But the race was long, even in P5, the win was still possible. We went back on track after the second red flag and we made good choices to pit for overtaking the order. The Safety Car also helped us take the lead. And the last Safety Car toward the end of my stint, the pace was good. I was able to keep the gap. Then it was the great job by Ho-Pin and Gabi. They maintained the advantage we had made and now we win the race together!”
Gabriel Aubry, Driver of #Mighty38 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport
“There were a lot of scary moments in the last stint. The whole race for me was king of a roller coaster emotionally. I had battles with other, a contact with LMP1 car, running the intermediates in full wet condition…all kinds of challenges you could imagine. I was really happy to see the chequered flag. Standing on the podium with Jackie Chan DC Racing, Ho-Pin, Stephane and David made me very proud of.”
Jazeman Jaafar, Driver of #Fortunecat37 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport
“It was a super tough race for us. The circumstance was so difficult that you barely saw anything from the cockpit. That was the reason why there were two red flags. Overall, the strategy and tyre choice from the team was great and we keep working hard as a team. We lost some time on the damp track, but we could be happy with our performance. Obviously, we could have been better, but the season is half way to go, we believe we could fight until the end.”
Nabil Jeffri, Driver of #Fortunecat37 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport
“It was not the ideal result we wanted. We were starting from P1 and P2. Unfortunately, we made a mistake, but we will learn from it. Now we just unite together, we work together even harder. We are four points behind the second place on the championship, we still have our chance to win it.”
Weiron Tan, Driver of #Fortunecat37 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport
“Firstly, congratulation to our teammates in #Mighty38. The home victory is what they well deserved. I am also very happy for Jackie Chan DC Racing and JOTA Sport for such a great achievement. For us, we were not that lucky. It just didn’t work out for us. But we would definitely learn a lot from this weekend. We will come back stronger next time in Sebring.”