Time for the interview of the week! This week we talk with Tenyi Jiang about his successful racing career in China and how he's hoping Asian Le Mans can help him raise his exposure to a regional or even global level.
Tengyi Jiang is one of China’s up and coming drivers, having achieved very impressive results racing for Ford Racing in the China Touring Car Championship. Now he’s looking to bring that experience to the Asian Le Mans Series and let the rest of the racing world learn a little more about what those of us in China have known for a while. Tengyi Jiang knows how to drive!
Moving onto the CTCC and Ford Racing in 2009, Jiang delivered outstanding results again in China, making regular podium finishes including one win and two 3rd place finishes in 2011 and one win and 6 podium finishes in 2012.
Jiang is looking to translate his recent success with Ford Racing in China to a successful drive in the inaugural Asian Le Mans Series.
How did you get to know the Asian Le Mans Series? Did you hear about it before the newswas released? I got the information through my friends. In my friend’s circle, anything about Le Mans will thrill us, so the news travels fast and I got this news very early.
As a Chinese driver, I think this is good news for you. How do you think other Asian drivers will treat this new competition? This is of course good news. Sports events in all Asian nations, especially China, are developing rapidly. So it is a good time for other various sporting events to join in. For the Asian drivers, it’s great news because it brings more opportunity and more chance to cooperate and compete with European drivers.
You’re currently driving in the China Touring Car Championship (CTCC) and you’ve generally focused your driving career on other races and series based in China. While you’ve achieved some great results, it’s also limited your opportunity to drive in other competitions both in Asia and around the world. Now you’re widely known in China as an excellent Formula driver, but do you think the Asian Le Mans Series will be a good opportunity for you to show your driving skills to the rest of the world? Definitely. I will of course face the challenge of an endurance competition, which is quite different from other competitions I’m involved with. However, I think it will provide a great stage to show my driving skills and I expect to surprise a lot of other drivers.
A big difference for the Asian LMS compared to other series is that every car needs at least one Asian driver and also be made up of a combination that includes at least one amateur. This is obviously a different type of driver set up. Do you know if other Asian drivers will be interested in it? I think others will be very interested because there have been few competitions like this before in Asia. However, it is a demanding requirement for both the driving skills and cooperation! For drivers, they feel happier in competition than any other sports events.
Prototype cars are allowed to take part in the competition, do you want to try other classes or take part in GT? For me, if I have an opportunity to take part in the competition, I’ll be happy with whatever car I can drive. As I’m still a relatively young driver with little experience in this kind of racing, experience is more important than lap records for me. I see the 2013 Asian Le Mans Series as a precious learning opportunity.
Asian Le Mans Series