JACKIE CHAN DC RACING X JOTA SPORT ON TOP OF FUJI
19th October 2018
JACKIE CHAN DC RACING X JOTA SPORT enjoys the taste of victory in LMP2 class at the 6 Hours of Fuji, the fourth round of 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship, with the full Malaysian line-up in #Fortunecat37 backed by Sepang International Circuit claiming their maiden win at the highest level of endurance racing.
The team heads into the race taking place in the foothills of Mount Fuji, being the fastest squad qualifying on Dunlop tyres. #Fortunecat37 piloted by an all-Malaysian trio of Jazeman Jaafar, Nabil Jeffri and Weiron Tan started from second place on LMP2 grid, followed by sister car, the #Mighty38 of Ho-Pin Tung, Stephane Richelmi and Gabriel Aubry, in third.
As the race kicked off under light rain, which had lasted since early morning, most entries chose to run with intermediate tyres on the damp 4.563km circuit.
The first 30 minutes was full of actions and incidents, inevitably bringing out the safety car to clear the circuit, when the JOTA Sport-run team called both cars in and changed to the slicks.
Jaafar and Tung, who took the start for #Fortunecat37 and #Mighty38 respectively, re-joined to the field and drove carefully, waiting for the opportunities to come, before they eventually picked up the real pace of both ORECA 07s powered by Gibson on the drying track.
By the time the race reached the second hour mark, the two cars had gained a significant gap to the rivals. Despite their first time to race at Fuji Speedway as a joint force, the Malaysian trio displayed strong pace and great commitment. After the efforts made by countrymen Tan and Jeffri in the middle of the race, Jaafar took the chequered flag first in LMP2 class for #Fortunecat37.
In the previous round at Silverstone, JOTA Sport enjoyed a tight but clean battle at the closing stage between the two cars carrying the auspicious cloud livery. Coming to the iconic circuit in Japan, the team presented another great show, as Abury and Richelmi sharing the cockpit in #Mighty38 managed to close the gap to the leading sister car, before handing over to Tung for the last 90 minutes.
The Chinese driver made his best effort to catch Jaafar, before crossing the finish line in second place. With the #Fortunecat37 crew clinching a historic victory at Fuji by becoming the first all-Malaysian crew to win an international FIA race event, Jackie Chan DC Racing and JOTA Sport wrapped up the event with a second consecutive 1-2 finish in the last four races.
Motived by the dominant performance in recent races, the team will head back to JOTA Sport’s operation base in UK to make sure we will come back even stronger at the fifth round of the WEC Super Season, which will be held in China for the 6 Hours of Shanghai on 16-18 November.
Sam Hignett, Director of JOTA Sport
Great result for the #37 crew standing on top of the podium and being the first all-Malaysian crew to win an international FIA race, which we all should be proud of. Good job by all the drivers and the entire team. It was very impressive to have the second 1-2 finish of the season after Silverstone. Now we will focus on the preparation for Jackie Chan DC Racing’s home race in Shanghai next month. Hopefully we would deliver another great result there.
David Cheng, Co-founder of Jackie Chan DC Racing
Both cars had an amazing race today. The beginning of the race was very trick. For #37, the starting position really help them out, while it was a little bit tougher for #38. But as the race went on, both cars really did terrific job. As a team, we call the strategy perfectly: we decided to come in under the safety car go on the slicks, which help us get a very big early lead. Towards the end of the race, the Full Course Yellow came out right after we had pitted in. Despite losing a lot of advantage, all the boys raced strongly. Today we put pace, performance and strategy together to achieve a dominant win. For the Asia leg of the tour, as a Chinese team, taking an all Malaysian line up to the top step shows the progress these boys have made with us from when they started with us here in Fuji last year in our Asian Le Mans program and now to win on the world stage is something I’m really proud of and a real pleasure to see come to fruition.
Jazeman Jaafar, Driver of #Fortunecat37 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport
It was a hard battle at the beginning. I fought very hard with Anthony (Davidson), when the track started to dry. So we pitted early with the slicks under the safety car, which was a right decision to eventually give us an advantage on pace and took the lead in the race. Our car has improved in every practice session. We missed the pole position in qualifying, but we had faith in our race pace. Everything went very well, and we got our first victory in WEC. We are here to fight for the championship. Now we have made another step. I appreciate Jackie Chan DC Racing and SIC to give us the chance to fight for our ultimate dreams.
Nabil Jeffri, Driver of #Fortunecat37 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport
Today we achieved the biggest result so far since we teamed up: the national flag of Malaysia flew over for the very first time at such a big international race event. Big thanks to SIC and Jackie Chan DC Racing, who give us the opportunities to race in WEC. We together have gained more experience from the first three races and improved a lot race by race. Jazeman and Weiron also did fantastic job in the race and we trust each other to get such an amazing victory.
Weiron Tan, Driver of #Fortunecat37 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport
Firstly, big thanks to Jackie Chan DC Racing and SIC for making it possible. It was a great effort by the entire team to get our first win in WEC. We absolutely enjoy it. There was a lot of fun in the race. We had known we would have a chance to win today after qualifying. Jazeman did very good job at the beginning, and then Nabil built on very well too. Standing on the top of the podium at Fuji was just very special for us.