Ho-Pin Tung first Chinese Le Mans winner – #38 and #37 on Le Mans podium
La Sarthe, France – June 19, 2017: 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.
(*) Rebellion was found to be guilty post-race of "modifying a homologated part and using it partly during the race," and has been disqualified from the results. The disqualification promotes the second DC Racing LMP2 car, the #37 machine shared by Alex Brundle, Tristan Gommendy and David Cheng, to second in class and third overall.
Quotes (before Rebellion disqualification)
#37 David Cheng: “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 grueling 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.”
#38 Ho-Pin Tung: “It’s still hard to believe that we are Le Mans winners! It didn’t come easy and we really had to push hard for it. We stamped our authority on the race in the night where we moved all the way to the front and were able to control the race from there on. To lead outright for a while was amazing, history was written as we were the first-ever LMP2 to lead at Le Mans. Whilst we were always focused on the LMP2 class win it was amazing to finish second overall. I am exceptionally happy that our sister car came home in third and we crossed the line side-by-side, which was a perfect reflection of our team, a very well deserved result for them after a very strong race. This was a monumental race for Jackie Chan DC Racing.
The first time our Chinese team takes on Le Mans, we bring home a win and a third place. David, Rémy and I started our journey exactly five years ago in 2013 at Le Mans and now we have not only won Le Mans but have also extended our lead in the World Endurance Championship. I must say a huge thank you to all the boys and girls at JOTA Sport, both cars ran flawlessly and every pit stop was sharp, fast and on point. Another person to thank is Hugues de Chaunac and all his staff at Oreca, Dunlop Motorsport and Gibson. The Oreca 07 Gibson Dunlop package was superior for the entire 24 Hours of Le Mans."
Rémy Brouard, Jackie Chan DC Racing: “What an incredible race! Only Le Mans, which has been running since 1923, can give such results and such intensity. Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport led this race for three hours against Porsche and Toyota and less than an hour later we had an incredible ending as it was a ‘David (Cheng) against Goliath!’ with the Porsche!
“In this 85th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport took the LMP2 victory against the 25-strong field, we placed two cars on the podium and finished second overall!
“This result is also due to the JOTA Sport: Sam Hignett and David Clark, team manager Gary Holland and the engineering team of Taka and Greg and all the mechanics. Congratulations to all!
“Congratulations to the six drivers of the team, who all had a remarkable race! We remain at the top of the FIA WEC LMP2 standings with the #38 ORECA, while the #37 is also in the title race as we go to Nürburgring in July.
“I am very proud of the journey we have taken with David Cheng, Ho-Pin Tung and Wennie Cheng since 2013! We travelled from the first Asian Le Mans Series race to yesterday’s victory. The Chinese team of Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport has entered into Le Mans history. Thanks to all our fans and partners for their support!"
David Clark, JOTA Sport: "What a fantastic result for all the team. First and third in class and second and fourth overall is our greatest achievement yet at Le Mans and to have led the race overall for a significant period of time, makes this a special victory for all of us.
“This was a huge team effort from all the staff at JOTA, Jackie Chan DC Racing, Sagcom and of course our drivers, all of whom drove exceptionally well and dealt with the unique issues that Le Mans can throw at you with great expertise. We are also incredibly grateful for the support of our major partner Sparkle Roll without whom none of this would have been possible.
“Lastly we should all be very proud that for the entire 24 hours, neither car had to go into the garage which is an outstanding achievement in itself."
Jackie Chan DC Racing
24 Hours of Le Mans - Overall
1. 2/Porsche LMP Team/Bernhard, Bamber, Hartley/Porsche/LMP1
2. 38/Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport/Tung, Laurent, Jarvis/Oreca 07-Gibson /LMP2/+1 lap
3. 37/Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport/Cheng, Gommendy, Brundle/Oreca 07-Gibson/LMP2/+4 laps
24 Hours of Le Mans – LMP2
1. 38/Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport/Tung, Laurent, Jarvis/Oreca 07-Gibson /LMP2
2. 37/Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport/Cheng, Gommendy, Brundle/Oreca 07-Gibson/LMP2/+3 laps
3. 35/Signatech Alpine Mamut/Panciatici, Ragues, Negrao/ Alpine A470-Gibson /LMP2/+4 laps
4. 32/United Autosports/Owen, de Sadeleer, Albuquerque/Ligier JS P217-Gibson/LMP2/+4 laps
Supported by team founding partner, Hollywood superstar Jackie Chan, the team was established in 2015, and immediately claimed the 2015-16 Asian Le Mans LMP3 championship. For the team’s 2017 FIA WEC campaign, Jota Sport brings almost two decades of endurance racing expertise which includes class wins in both the Le Mans and Spa 24 Hours.
Flying the flag for China and Chinese motorsport development across the world, Jackie Chan DC Racing has brought together the strongest driver line-up in its history in its quest to capture the LMP2 title in the world’s most prestigious endurance racing championship. The combination of multiple championship and race winners with fledgling talent creates a potent formula for success at the highest echelon of the sport:
#37 - David Cheng / Alex Brundle / Tristan Gommendy
#38 - Ho-Pin Tung / Oliver Jarvis / Thomas Laurent
Le Mans Prototypes (LMP) are closed cockpit cars with no production minimum required. Generally produced specially for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but also for FIA WEC Endurance Championship / ELMS / IMSA races, these cars are developed exclusively for on-track competitions, fulfilling the requirements of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s technical regulations. Because of their superior performances and level of technological development, they have a star status within Endurance Racing.
Engine: Gibson Technology normally-aspirated, 4-litre, V8 delivering 600bhp
Drivers: A crew of 2 or 3 drivers must include at least one FIA Silver or FIA Bronze classified driver.