Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport and the #Mighty38 ORECA of Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis and 19-year-old Thomas Laurent wrote a new page in the motorsport history books as they became the first-ever Chinese team to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, taking victory in the LMP2 class and finishing second overall in the world’s greatest race. Tung is also the first-ever Chinese Le Mans winner in what was a dream race for the team.
The #FortuneCat37 ORECA of David Cheng, Tristan Gommendy and Alex Brundle joined their sister car on the podium, finishing third in LMP2 and fourth overall. With the team’s phenomenal performance at Le Mans, it increased its lead in FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) LMP2 classification.
Team founding partner Jackie Chan said: “How exciting! It’s exactly like when I got an Oscar. Really, watching it on video, I’m just sorry I could not be there. But, anyway, no matter where you are, we win! We have to continue now, work hard for next year, and coming years and years.”
The #Mighty38 ran well in the early stages of the race, but encountered a few issues that forced them to battle back. Midway through the race, and in the late hours of the night, the team worked its way back up to the front, taking the LMP2 lead and building a gap to its rivals. The #38 would finish two laps clear of its closest rivals.
While the #38 ORECA led the LMP2 cars, it was also holding strong in second overall. However, with three hours remaining, the leading #1 Porsche LMP1 was forced to retire and the #38 moved into the lead, becoming the first LMP2 car to outright lead at Le Mans. Tung led the race until its penultimate hour, when his LMP2 was overtaken by the eventual winners, the #2 Porsche LMP1.
The sister #FortuneCat37 also challenged for the class lead in the early stages of the race, but dropped down in the order. The team worked its way back up and, with less than six hours remaining, were fourth in LMP2 and fifth overall. With just forty minutes remaining in the race, the #37 ORECA moved into the third and final LMP2 podium position, solidifying an incredible, history-making race for the Chinese squad.
Team founder David Cheng was delighted with the weekend and gives us his thoughts on this historical moment: “From a driver’s perspective, it feels incredible for the #37 ORECA with Alex and Tristan to reach the LMP2 podium in the most highly contested race of the year. A big thanks to everyone on our Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport team, the calls from engineering were spot on, stops were quick and virtually flawless and the physio team kept the drivers going in gruelling hot conditions.
“From a team owner’s perspective, having both cars reach the podium and for the #38 ORECA of Ho-Pin, Thomas and Oliver to win in LMP2 and to have led outright the race to eventually finish second overall is an amazing feat. It’s also a number of firsts: for a Chinese team and driver, which makes what we achieved here quite historical. A big credit to Hugues de Chaunac and Oreca for the 07, which was incredibly fast, but was also reliable which gave us this opportunity.
“As for what’s next, first is to continue the WEC championship fight in strong form. The #38 now has a comfortable gap, but we will need to stay focused as the target is on our backs and there are many strong teams hunting us. As well the #37 ORECA had a big points pay day and has climbed up in the ranks.”
24 Hours of Le Mans
- 2/Porsche LMP Team/Bernhard, Bamber, Hartley/Porsche/LMP1
- 38/Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport/Tung, Laurent, Jarvis/Oreca 07-Gibson /LMP2/+1 lap
- 13/Vaillante Rebellion/Beche, Piquet Jr., Heinemeier Hansson/Oreca 07-Gibson/LMP2/+3 laps
- 37/Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport/Cheng, Gommendy, Brundle/Oreca 07-Gibson/LMP2/+4 laps
- 35/Signatech Alpine Mamut/Panciatici, Ragues, Negrao/Alpine A470-Gibson/LMP2/+5 laps
24 Hours of Le Mans – LMP2
- 38/Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport/Tung, Laurent, Jarvis/Oreca 07-Gibson /LMP2
- 13/Vaillante Rebellion/Beche, Piquet Jr., Heinemeier Hansson/Oreca 07-Gibson/LMP2/+2 laps
- 37/Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport/Cheng, Gommendy, Brundle/Oreca 07-Gibson/LMP2/+3 laps
- 35/Signatech Alpine Mamut/Panciatici, Ragues, Negrao/ Alpine A470-Gibson /LMP2/+4 laps
- 32/United Autosports/Owen, de Sadeleer, Albuquerque/Ligier JS P217-Gibson/LMP2/+4 laps
FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Teams (Top 5)
- Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport (CHN) – 90
- Vaillante Rebellion (SUI) – 50
- Vaillante Rebellion (SUI) – 48
- G-Drive Racing (RUS) – 38
- Signatech Alpine Matmut (FRA) – 38
FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Drivers (Top 5)
- Ho-Pin Tung – 90
- Oliver Jarvis – 90
- Thomas Laurent – 90
- David Heinemeier Hansson – 50
- Mathias Beche – 50
- Nelson Piquet Jr. – 50