Jackie Chan DC Racing x Jota Sport took a resounding class victory in the opening round of the of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), getting the new collaboration off to a superb start and making motorsport history by becoming the first-ever Chinese team to take a win in the prestigious series. As the team swept to victory, Ho-Pin Tung also became the first Chinese driver to win an FIA WEC race.
In front of more than 50,000 fans, the #38 ORECA of Tung Ho-Pin, Oliver Jarvis and WEC newcomer, 19-year-old Thomas Laurent, crossed the finish line 19.376 seconds clear of their nearest LMP2 rivals, having taken complete command of the race in the final hour of a grueling 6 Hours of Silverstone in difficult weather conditions, which saw the track change from dry to wet.
In a race packed with drama, a Full-Course Yellow and Safety Car Period shook up the order in the final hour. Jarvis, making his LMP2 debut, took advantage to seize the lead and pull away from his rivals. The #37 ORECA of David Cheng, Alex Brundle and Tristan Gommendy fared less well in the late-stage events, after failing to get a wave by under the Safety Car and losing a lap, finishing 8th. However, this did nothing to detract from the jubilation of the team’s well-earned win.
“This was a really huge day for the team,” said an excited David Cheng. “We walked away with maximum championship points from the win and building our momentum for the big one in Le Mans in a couple of months. This is the perfect way to start off the championship. We really showed our strength as a team with Jackie Chan DC Racing x Jota Sport. Coming in to the season we all knew we could do the job, but to have it done and to show it is really important not just to us, but also to our competition. Looking at this achievement we’ve built together over the months, even years; myself, Ho-Pin and Rémy [Brouard], and now with Jota Sport. Everything has come together with all the drivers on the team, having two cars and with such a good atmosphere with all six drivers. We’ve got a lot more work done together, and this shows the strength of the team and the collaboration we’ve created with everyone working together here; Jackie Chan, Sparkle Roll and Jota Sport. This win is a testament to everyone.
The historic victory in the world’s most respected sportscar endurance championship is the culmination of years of work by Cheng, Tung, team manager Gary Holland, Jota Sport team directors Sam Hignett and David Clark, team director Rémy Brouard, staunch supporters Jackie Chan and Sparkle Roll, and the new collaboration with Jota Sport.
Ho-Pin Tung: “A fantastic, perfect start to the season. I couldn’t be happier. Since 2013, I’ve been working with David [Cheng] towards this result. To be here at Silverstone, at the first race of the 2017 FIA WEC and to claim a fantastic victory for Jackie Chan DC Racing x Jota Sport makes me really proud. I think it’s the first time ever a Chinese team has won a race or been on the WEC podium. I know how much work has gone into this by everyone; by the guys at Jota Sport who have worked literally flat out from the beginning of the year to this first race. It’s a new era of LMP2, a first win for the ORECA 07, which I’m glad we have to our name.
We’ve had so much support from China, being on the podium, hearing the Chinese national anthem and seeing the Chinese flag being raised is just phenomenal. After all the years of work – myself, David [Cheng], Rémy [Brouard], Sparkle Roll and of course Jackie Chan – it’s a moment we should all enjoy and hopefully the start of a fantastic season.”
Already the team is looking ahead to the next FIA WEC round, the formidable 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium from May 4th to 6th. There, the team which has proven to itself – and it its rivals – to be a true tour de force, will reunite as Jackie Chan DC Racing x Jota Sport continues its quest for the FIA WEC LMP2 championship crown.