24 HOURS OF LE MANS – HO-PIN TUNG: “IT’S ONLY TEST DAY!”
Ho-Pin Tung set the record straight by setting the fastest lap in LMP2 on Sunday’s Test Day for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Last year’s Le Mans was a disappointing race for Jackie Chan DC Racing, especially after the class win and overall second place in 2017, but the Chinese-Dutch driver can breathe easier this week.
Ho-Pin Tung set the record straight setting the fastest lap in LMP2 on Sunday’s Test Day for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Last year’s Le Mans was a disappointing race for Jackie Chan DC Racing, especially after the class win and overall second place in 2017, but the Chinese-Dutch driver can breathe easier this week. Sunday evening after the 24 Hours of Le Mans Test Day, it was smiles all round in the Jackie Chan DC Racing camp. The #38 Oreca 07-Gibson topped the LMP2 tables with 03:28.504, sending out a clear message that not only is the outfit back on form at Le Mans, but it will be battling to the line to lay claim to the FIA Endurance Trophy for LM P2 Teams in this last round.
“We’re only four points behind Signatech Alpine after a full Super Season”, commented Tung, who put his name to the team’s fastest lap. “It’s going to be tough. Everyone wants to win Le Mans, but this year whoever wins is champion.”
When competition is this stiff, topping the tables on Test Day sends out signals to rivals. But the Tung is quick to minimise its importance.
“It’s good for morale, but that’s all.” The time itself is one thing, but more importantly, we did all the tests we planned. We were too slow last year, we lacked pace and its encouraging to see that we’ve made progress on our lap times.
He emphasises that he doesn’t mean the team is going all-out for performance. “We can still tighten up, but so can our competitors. We’ll analyse the day, but it’s not easy to read much into the results with factors like fuel levels and traffic to take into account. Everyone will improve, but the work on pure performance will help us for the race.”
Before the next track action, drivers and tacticians will pore over the data collected. “We’ll examine the data between now and the next session. It’s our priority this week. We’ll go over it with a fine-tooth comb to try and be as fast as possible in qualifying and in the race, although clocking a fast lap doesn’t necessarily mean being fastest over the course of the race.”