Well begun is half done. Ho-Pin Tung wins season opener Asian Le Mans Series
In Asian Le Mans Series’ first race of the 2016-2017 season Ho-Pin Tung and the Jackie Chan DC Racing Team claimed victory convincingly. Place of action was the Zhuhai Circuit in China. Ho-Pin reports right after the race a very good performance of the team, a good balanced car and a good pace by both drivers. Gustavo Menezes and Ho-Pin Tung did an excellent job and impressed with consistant performance in spite of technical woes. ‘This result feels so good and it is a perfect preparation for me for the most important race of the year, apart from the Le Mans 24 hours, the 6 hours of Shanghai in the FIA WEC championship where in the Baxi DC Racing Alpine I will be striving for a simular result as today’.
At the Zhuhai track the Oreca 03R Nissan was fast all weekend. Fastests in first free practise and second fastest in the second fp. Qualifying brought second position on the grid, only a quarter of a second behind the Algarve Pro Ligier at the pole. At the start Ho-Pin Tung took the lead and pulled away from the rest of the field. First neutralisation by the safety car made the lead vanish, but Ho-Pin Tung created a new gap before the first pit stop. Gustavo Menezes took over and extended the lead with very strong lap times. The team used another SC period to pit earlier than planned and the two fold ALMS champion jumped in again. Unfortunately the Oreca 03R Nissan ran over debris on the track. In spite of damage Ho-Pin Tung managed to enlarge the lead to 48 seconds. But the car suffered from loss of aerodynamic performance and cooling problems. Right before a long pit stop for repairs the lead shrank to 30 seconds and the team rejoined in second position. Gustavo Menezes did the last driving duties and was again very quick. He closed the gap and was right behind the leader of the race when again a safety car procedure treathened the ambition of the Jackie Chan DC Racing Team. The teams’ race strategy worked well and brought the nr. 35 car again in the lead. A drive through penalty for Gustavo could not prevent Ho-Pin Tung and the team to claim victory. ’It is too early to talk about another championship, but today’s win makes the the season promising for us,’ Ho-Pin Ting stated.
Zhuhai, October 30, 2016.