9th April 2018

Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport accomplished a productive and positive start for the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season during the two-day official Prologue at Circuit Paul Ricard.

The 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours-winning squad brought two ORECA-Gibson 07s to the two days of testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France, where all the WEC competitors assembled for the preparation prior to the first event of the Super Season.

The Prologue marked the debut appearance of the first ever full Malaysian driver line-up in WEC, with Nabil Jeffri, Jazeman Jaafar and Weiron Tan behind the wheel of the #Fortunecat37.  Afiq Ikhwan Yazid was absent from the test due to prior commitments but will remain as the reserve driver of the crew throughout the season.

The reigning Le Mans winning car, the #Mighty38 returned to WEC field for the first time with a revised driver line-up, with core driver Ho-Pin Tung joined by Stephane Richelmi and Gabriel Aubry.

While the official 30-hour test session ran from 10am on Friday to 4pm on Saturday, Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport opted not to attempt a Le Mans-length simulation; instead, the team focused on helping the five newcomers integrate with the ORECA 07 Gibson powered cars.

Rather than focussing on fastest laps in LMP2 class, both ORECA-Gibson 07s focussed on a different strategy, including set-ups and long run durations, which all matched the expectation.

As the test concluded on Saturday afternoon, the #FortuneCat37 and #Mighty38 recorded a combined 483 laps, a total distance of 2830km, on the 5.861km long circuit located in Le Castellet, with only a tenth of a second difference between the two crews’ fastest lap times.

Overall, the China-flagged team were pleased with the progress from the final on-track preparations for the forthcoming campaign.

The entire team has returned to its operation base in UK to study all the data and information from the test and put the finishing touches toward the 6 Hours of Spa, the opening race of the 2018-19 WEC season, in Belgium on 5th of May.

David Cheng, co-founder of Jackie Chan DC Racing

All the drivers got the car back in one piece, which is good. We have done a lot of work on set-up and long runs, trying to build a good foundation instead of setting blinding fastest laps.

We also paid attention to all the details of the new Dunlop tyres to get a better understand of their structure. All in all, it’s been really productive and successful two days. All six boys are ready for Spa. I think we are well prepared and are really look forward to the season kicking-off.

Sam Hignett, Director of JOTA Sport

It’s been a very successful test. This is the first test the team has done for the year, and we have two new driver crews, so we focussed on getting them familiar with both cars. We spent time on orientation practice, drivers change practice and so on.

In terms of on-track, we didn’t go for ultimate pace because there was a slight issue with Dunlop tyres that we had to manage. So instead, we focussed on long runs with high fuel trying to teach the drivers how to drive the car. Overall, we are pretty happy with the pace of the car especially the long run race pace, which is the most important thing in endurance race.

Nabil Jeffri, driver of #Fortunecat37 car, Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport

Everything was good. There are a lot of new things for me. It’s endurance racing. It’s not about the fastest lap time. It’s about the consistency you need to have for every lap. For sure, there are a lot of things for me to learn, but I think it’s going to the right direction. I am confident we have good chance to do quite well in the season. Now I can’t wait for going to Spa.

Jazeman Jaafar. #Fortunecat37, Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport

I really enjoyed the test and driving the car. Settling into Endurance racing means everything is more about paying attention to details. I got more than I expected over the two days.  This also includes learning about the Dunlop tyre, which  is new to me. We have made huge progress working together as a team. It’s the first time we have worked together as a trio, and. I am looking forward to more things to come.  As we develop the right technique, right speed and right set-up, I think the whole package will come together.

Weiron Tan. #Fortunecat37, Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport

The car is amazing and probably one of the best I have driven until today. I am really happy about the progress we made over these two days. Ultimately, it’s all about learning as much as we can.

We have done a lot of test items, and we focussed on all of the areas we wanted to. As we aren’t returning to Paul Ricard during the season, we didn’t base our programme on lap times, we focussed instead on on our own plans and everything went well so far.

Ho-Pin Tung. #Mighty38, Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport

We ticked all the boxes. It was a very good test again. Last year in Monza, we had a good start of the year and this year was similar again.

We worked through quite an extensive programme over the winter, and we know the car from the last year. So, the objectives for Prologue was very clear: not try to do any quickest lap time; but try to maintain the philosophy we have carried from last year, where we were quite strong.

We do have some areas which have changed, especially the Dunlop tyres, and the team has done a lot of work trying to find improvement. Mainly, the Prologue was to test the data we have found and to try different things. We are pretty happy it all worked as we had expected, and many things were confirmed. Now we will head to Spa quite confident.

Stephan Richelmi.f #Mighty38, Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport

I am very happy to come back to WEC and the new LMP2 car feels much better. It’s a great car and fast everywhere, with more downforce, giving you more confidence to go faster.

This kind of car is what I like compared to GT cars. Also, back in this championship reminds me of the great year when I scored a Le Mans victory. I want to keep going with this great team and David and Ho-Pin whom I have known for many years. I’d like to thank the team again to give me the opportunity. They have achieved great results in the past and you could feel the energy right way. I think it will boost us heading to the first race in Spa.

Gabriel Aubry. #Mighty38, Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport

Even I have driven the LMP2 car in Bahrain test last year, it’s still amazing to feel how fast the car can go with such downforce. It is just a little bit difficult to adapt from single seater, but it looks good so far. I was really taking all the track time I could get and trying to learn as much as I can.

There is always something that can help you grow up as a driver.  As long as you adapt to it quickly, you can drive faster. Having Ho-Pin and Stephan next to me is very positive, they really helped me a lot to get the transition done.

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