Jackie Chan DC Racing Takes Double Prototype Victory at 4 Hours of Fuji


Jackie Chan DC Racing by Jota took victories in both LMP2 and LMP3 as the #8 car took its second consecutive Asian Le Mans Series victory at the 4 Hours of Fuji.

The #8 ORECA was involved in a race long duel with the delayed pole-sitting #37 BBT Ligier which was only decided in the final hour.

After days of overcast and wet weather, the race day greeted the crews with glorious sunshine and a fully visible Mount Fuji.

Stephane Richelmi in the #8 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry got a blinder of a start to leapfrog the pole sitting #37 BBT Ligier of Anthony Xu Liu into the first corner.

Half-way round the lap, light contact with the #7 Jackie Chan of David Cheng entry resulted in Liu spinning and dropping to the back of the field.

That left Richelmi well in front and he built up a lead while behind him, the sister ORECA of Cheng was having a mighty tussle for second with the #4 ARC Bratislava Ligier of Rik Breukers.

However by the end of the first hour both of them would have been passed by the recovering #37 of Liu.

When Liu handed over to Pipo Derani, who gave the BBT team pole in qualifying, he immediately set about reducing the gap to the leader, sometimes by up to 2 to 3 seconds a lap.

Derani’s 87 lap double stint eventually gave BBT a 23 second lead after the final pitstops, but Thomas Laurent, now aboard the #8, he began his own charge and brought the gap down rapidly, eventually taking the lead with a daring pass either side of the #66 GT Audi.

Laurent held the lead to the end with the #37 and the #7 completing the podium.

In LMP3 the first half of the race proved to be a tight battle between the #18 KCMG Ligier and the #11 Taiwan Beer GH Motorsport.

Despite spins for each car they dominated proceeding before the #18 ground to a halt with a suspected broken drive shaft just before the halfway point of the race.

That gave the lead to the #11 car, but the #6 Jackie Chan Ligier of Guy Cosmo was closing fast and soon took over the lead, which was extended in the last hour when the #11 was hit by a drive-thru penalty and then retired with mechanical woes.

The attrition saw the #65 Viper Niza Racing take second with the much delayed Japanese #99 TKS Ginetta squad rounding out the podium.

In GT it was again a big battle between the two Team AAI cars, with the #90 Ferrari eventually taking honours after team-mate #91 BMW was hit with a  2 second stop and go penalty for a violation of mandatory pit stop time.