Ho-Pin Tung and Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport 4th in FIA World Endurance Championship 6 hours of Shanghai
At the finish line it was team co-owner Jackie Chan himself who flagged off the 6 hours race at the Shanghai circuit, yesterday. Seeing the famous actor waving the chequered flag meant the end of an eventfull and heavy race for the #38 DC Racing x Jota Sport squad with musketeers Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent. Their car finished fourth in LM P 2 and it was non less than a miracle that they managed to bring the car home with serverely damaged tyres. This heavily contended result makes that the FIA-WEC championship 2017 will be decided in Bahrain in two weeks time.
The grueling battle saw Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent fighting for position throughout the race. Laurent got off to a strong start, but a few challenges in the opening laps dropped him back in the order to eighth position. Laurent fought his way back up to fourth, before he handed the car to Ho-Pin Tung. Tung set about moving his way to the front of the field and despite being hit by a rival following a clean overtake (for which the competitor was later penalised), the #38 Oreca took the LM P2 lead, with Jarvis then continuing to widen the gap to 30 seconds. But just as Tung took over driving duties again, a second car made contact. While Tung recovered quickly the team’s hard-fought advantage had evaporated and the #38 cars’ tyres were left with severe flat spots. While Tung fended off his rivals for the next half hour, he, despite his efforts, was forced to relinquish the lead to the team’s title rivals. In the closing stages, they continued to push hard for a podium finish, but ultimately crossed the line in fourth.
Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport now lies second in the ultra-competitive LM P 2 category, just four points behind their championship rivals. Having led the championship all season, the team is determined to regain the lead as it looks to make history as the first Chinese FIA-WEC LM P2 champions.
Ho-Pin Tung: “This was one of those races where we definitely didn’t get the result we deserved. Thomas was unlucky to be in the wrong place in the first lap but did well to avoid the incident in front of him. We dropped back but showed spirit and pace and we fought our way to the front of the field into a commanding lead despite having been punted into a spin by the #24 car after a clean overtake.
Chances for victory were ruined after contact with Nico Müller in the #26 G-Drive car, a guy who’s here on a one-off appearance, not in the championship; it’s frustrating. Although he was penalised for the incident, it left me with four tyres with severe flat spots. Considering the amount of damage to the tyres, I was surprised to still be able to fight with Senna and others until, in the end, I had to settle in order to make it to the end. It shows what could have been. A big hats off to everyone at Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport who did a fantastic job the entire weekend. We are in the hunt now for the final round in Bahrain and it’s simple: we have to win and I believe we have all that’s necessary to do so.”
Shanghai, China, November 6, 2017