Ho-Pin Tung and Baxi DC Racing Alpine team 8th in FIA-WEC 6 hours race at Circuit of the Americas, Texas
Ho-Pin Tung, Nelson Panciatici and David Cheng, in the Baxi DC Racing Alpine took the chequered flag after six long hours in eighth position following a troubled race, this weekend at the Texas Circuit of the Americas, in extreme wheather conditions.
During free practise and qualifying all went well. In the hands of David Cheng and Nelson Panciatici, the LM P2 Baxi DC Racing Alpine A460 Nissan achieved its best grid position to-date for a six-hour race as the pair lapped fifth-quickest in LM P2. The green flag dropped at 5:00pm on Saturday under the stifling Texas sun, with an air temperature of more than 35°C.
These conditions unsurprisingly took a physical toll on the drivers, with Panciatici being forced to abandon a planned double stint early on in the race. Suffering from dehydration, the Frenchman found himself having to hand over to Cheng before being taken to the circuit’s medical centre to recover.
The Baxi DC Racing Alpine was then struck by further misfortune at the beginning of Ho-Pin Tung’s second stint behind the wheel. A heavy impact with a kerb prompted a return to the garage to change the front end of the car and its front suspension, but following a swift 17-minute repair job, Ho-Pin and David brought the car safely home in eighth place in-class.
Ho-Pin Tung: “That was a very difficult race. We found ourselves having to modify our strategy and physically, it was extremely tough to handle the heat, not to mention tyre wear. My first stint I was quick and the beginning of my second stint I could even improve my pace. During my second stint at night-time, I caught a large kerb on the inside of a corner. That caused quite a lot of damage, but the mechanics did an amazing job to repair it, which allowed us to finish and score some more points. Ultimately, it just wasn’t our weekend, but we can take confidence from having taken another step forward in terms of overall performance.”
Austin, Texas, USA, September 18th, 2016.