HOME VICTORY AND CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER
JACKIE CHAN DC RACING X JOTA SPORT scored three victories in a row with a stunning home race victory at the 6 Hours of Shanghai, leading the LMP2 championship as the first part of 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship concludes in China.
The Chinese team secured its first front row start at home race, with Ho-Pin Tung and Gabriel Aubry in #Mighty38 edging teammates Nabil Jeffri and Jazeman Jaafar sharing #Fortunecat37 for pole position in Saturday’s qualifying.
The race, however, encountered the worst weather through the three-day event, with heavy rain pouring down as the race started at 11am local time, when Stephane Richelmi and Jaafar took the start for their own car respectively.
All 35 entries had been driving in formation cautiously for only 17 minutes before the red flag was shown because of the dangerous circumstances , when the two ORECA 07-Gibson cars operated by JOTA Sport remained P1 and P2 in LMP2 class. Even the first two hours saw only 16 laps complete due to two Red flags.
As the race resumed later, the 5.451km circuit was full of “rivers”, with incidents here and there, including a misfortune moment cost the potential podium finish for #Fortunecat37, when Weiron Tan was behind the wheel. The 23-year-old Malaysian saved the car and continued to fight back from the back of the field.
At half-way point, what kept the team boosted in the dramatic race was that, with the efforts of Richelmi and Tung, #Mighty38 emerged in Top 2 after the second standard pit stop, recovering from a tough time, during which some mechanical parts was influenced by the long stoppage under low temperature.
With the 90 minutes left to the end of the 6-hour race, Aubry took over the car from Tung. Despite the darkness and torrential rain, the French driver managed to maintain good pace and eventually took the chequered flag first in LMP2 class, which was also favoured by the brilliant strategy called by the team.
The Shanghai race, which marked the final WEC event of the year, witnessed the ‘hat-trick’ for #Mighty38: pole position, race win and championship leader, not to mention the milestone in Tung and David Cheng’s racing career, claiming the victory in Shanghai in front of the local fans.
It is worthwhile to note the Chinese national anthem was sounded for the very first time on the top step of class podium at an FIA World Championship event held in China.
Now Tung, Richelmi and Aubry in #Mighty38 lead the LMP2 championship by 10 points, while their Malaysian teammates in #Fortunecat37, who fought back through the field and finished in fourth, still remain the title contenders. More importantly, the China-flagged team carrying strong momentum as a team since Silverstone tops the championship for LMP2 teams.
The next round of the 2018-19 WEC Super Season will take place in the famous Sebring in three months. Jackie Chan DC Racing presenting the racing spirit of Richard Mille will return to the action much stronger to charge for the LMP2 title and another attempt at the season-finale: 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ho-Pin Tung, Driver of #Mighty38 Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport
Five years ago, David and I started this journey together, also in China, last year racing in WEC full season and winning in Le Mans, this year finally cracking our home race, where we always had bad luck before, is just a fantastic achievement. We have been very strong since Silverstone. The race today was really tough, especially when we were suffering with some minor car issues and the visibility in the car was very poor, but we managed to nurse the car in right way keeping accurate pace and making right decisions for strategy. It was a stunning job from everyone in the team. I want to say thank you to our partners and fans, who keep supporting us all the way, even coming to the race in such bad weather. They are our biggest energy to get the business done.