Jackie Chan DC Racing Seizes FIA WEC LMP2 Points Lead After Double Bahrain Podium
16th December 2019
JOTA took command of the battle for FIA WEC LMP2 title honours with another spectacular double podium finish in Sunday’s Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain.
The No.38 crew of Anthony Davidson, Roberto Gonzalez and Antonio Felix da Costa consolidated their first victory as a trio last time out in Shanghai by comfortably securing the runner-up spot at the floodlit Sakhir International Circuit, where extra points were on offer owing to the race’s length.
Meanwhile, Will Stevens, Ho-Pin Tung and Gabriel Aubry took the sister Jackie Chan DC Racing-entered No.37 car to third place to put themselves at the head of the championship order with four races down of the 2019/20 season and four left to go.
JOTA was once again able to demonstrate its prowess in both over a single lap and the race distance, as Stevens and Aubry booked a slot on the front row by qualifying second, two spots ahead of Davidson and Gonzalez.
The early stages proved challenging for Tung and Davidson, who were both forced to take evasive action at the first sequence of corners as two LMP1 cars collided and spun off the track ahead. That relegated the two JOTA-run cars to seventh and eighth places, but as the race progressed both fought their way back up the order.
By the time Davidson concluded his double-stint to hand off the No.38 Oreca to Gonzalez just shy of the 90-minute mark, he was back up to fourth, one place ahead of Stevens who took over the No.37 car at around the same time from Tung.
As the Goodyear-shod JOTA cars both came alive at nightfall, Gonzalez and Stevens continued their progress up the order. Aubry and da Costa took over shortly before the end of the third hour, and soon after had established themselves firmly inside the top three.
In the end, despite coming within 16-seconds of challenging for the lead, the No.38 car, with Da Costa at the wheel for the run to the flag, finished behind the winning #22 United Autosports Oreca, while Stevens brought home the No.37 car third resisting late race pressure from the G-Drive Racing entry.
After their third podium finish in a row, Stevens, Tung and Aubry now find themselves three points ahead of the United Autosports crew at the head of the LMP2 standings, while da Costa and Gonzalez are only 10 points off the championship lead in fourth place.
David Clark – JOTA Co-Owner
“We picked up a very strong points score in Bahrain and a double podium which is very useful for the championship especially as there were more points available for the slightly longer race distance.
“The No.38 JOTA entered car executed a very well-managed race and maximised the tyres and fuel saving elements that were needed over the course of the 8 hours.
“The results mean that Will, Ho-Pin and Gabriel now head the points table, so all in all it was a positive weekend and one which gives us a strong foundation for the second half of the season.”
Antonio Felix da Costa – Driver No.38 JOTA Oreca-Gibson LMP2
“It was a very demanding race in Bahrain and it all came down to tyres and how the LMP field managed them particularly over the second stints.
“Again we worked very well with the Goodyear engineers and we were able to make a lot of progress as the race went on.
“We weren’t quite able to challenge the winners but the team did a fantastic job on pit stops, so the result was probably the maximum we could achieve.
“It feels nice to be in contention in the title fight as we have had a strong first half of the season.”
Will Stevens – Driver No.37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca-Gibson LMP2
“A super challenging race but one in which we got a decent result with some hard work and strategy adaption.
“It was a race where we had to manage the tyres cleverly and also to save some fuel late in the race to make our strategy work. This is never easy but full credit to the team because we got another podium and now lead the championship table.
“I’m really looking forward to the American leg now as I have good memories after we won at Sebring last March.”
The 2019/20 FIA WEC season continues with a visit to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on February 21-23.