AsLMS: 2nd win of the season for Jacki Chan DC in Buriram


Jackie Chan DC Racing are back at the top of the podium having won the 4 Hours of Buriram. The #35 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 03R Nissan came out on top, ahead of the #25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JSP2 Nissan and the #24 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JSP2 Judd. The #4 ARC Bratislava Ginetta LMP3 took the win in the LMP3 class, which gives Ginetta their first victory in the series, and the GT class win went to the #5 DH Racing Ferarri 488 GT3.

at Asia Le Mans Series 2016, Rd3, 6-8 January 2017, Chang International Circuit, Buriram, Thailand

26 cars took to the grid for the penultimate race of the 2016-2017 Asian Le Mans Series, held in Buriram, Thailand. After a visit from His Excellency Patrick Simiyu Wamoto, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from Kenya, along with Mr.James Nyongesa, his First Secretary on the Sunday morning, the teams got ready for the main event of the weekend, the 4 Hours of Buriram.

The race got off to a clean start and saw Ho-Pin Tung in the #35 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 03R Nissan create a gap from the beginning. This was lost when the safety car had to come out to retrieve the stranded CN car, but then was quickly regained. Despite a drive through penalty for overtaking under yellows, the #35 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 03R Nissan, shared with Thomas Laurent and Gustavo Menezes, managed to hold onto their lead and finished with a gap of over a minute and 20 seconds ahead of the other LMP2 cars. During the race, it looked hard for any of the others to catch up, which isn’t to say that they didn’t try. Algarve Pro Racing completed the podium steps, with the crew of the #25 Ligier JSP2 Nissan finishing second, with Matt McMurry, Andrea Roda and Andrea Pizzitola. Tacksung Kim, Michael Munemann and Mark Patterson were third with the #24 Ligier JSP2 Judd, which is a great result for a fully bronze line-up. The #8 Race Performance Oreca 03R Judd came 4th, after suffering from a few technical issues towards the end of the race. This means that the provisional standings see Jackie Chan DC Racing in the lead, but the gaps are close enough that we could see an Algarve Pro Racing crew win the LMP2 title in Sepang in a few weeks time.

Gustavo Menezes: “First of all, big thanks to Ho-Pin and Thomas who did a very good job, as well as the team. We’ve been mostly at the top the whole weekend, and Ho-Pin and Thomas created a massive lead which helped considering the small mistake that caused a drive through which was a bit of a shame. At the end, the car was fantastic the whole weekend. The team guided me to the end. Shame for that Algarve had the stop and go, as Pizzitola was driving very well. We had a small issue with the seat moving around, so I was a bit sore in the car. But got it home safe and got a lot of points so we can go into the last round leading the championship.”

The LMP3 class saw its first Ginetta victory of the season with ARC Bratislava claiming both top spots. The #4 ARC Bratislava Ginetta LMP3 with Miro Konopka, Darren Burke, Mike Simpson were first in the class, finishing 9th overall, and only 0.177 ahead of the sister car, the #7 ARC Bratislava Ginetta LMP3 driven by Neale Muston and Konstantins Calko. Once the two cars had made it to the head of the LMP3 field by the end of the second hour, they kept a hold of it. Third went to the #85 G-Print by Triple 1 Racing Ligier JSP3 with Hanss Lin, Shaun Thong Wei Fung, Ryuichirou Ohtsuka. It had also been a strong race from the #67 PRT Racing Ginetta LMP3, shared this time only between Ate De Jong and Charlie Robertson –  early on, they were racing at the head of the pack and even led overall for a lap. They crossed the line in 4th in class. It had also been a strong race for the #99 Wineurasia Ligier JSP3, with Scott Andrews, William Lok, and Aidan Read, who finished fifth.

at Asia Le Mans Series 2016, Rd3, 6-8 January 2017, Chang International Circuit, Buriram, Thailand

The other LMP3 teams had a couple of issues this race. The #1 Jackie Chan DC Racing Ligier had a few problems with the car that affected their performance, meaning that James Winslow, David Cheng and Hiroki Yoshida finished 6th in class. After an issue early on which forced them to pit for 20 minutes, the pole sitting #26 Tockwith Motorsports Ligier JSP3 that had been leading the LMP3 points didn’t manage to find the pace it had had the day before. Nigel Moore and Phil Hanson struggled with engine problems for the whole race, but still managed to finish 7th in class. The #69 Aylezo Ecotint Racing Ginetta LMP3 also had issues; for them it was their starter motor that failed, causing them to lose time in the pits, and so they ended 8th in class.

The GT class looked to be dominated by DH Racing this weekend, as the two cars claimed the top spots. The #5 DH Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 took the win, finishing 5th overall, with Stephane Lemeret, Michele Rugolo and Matthieu Vaxiviere sharing the wheel, passing their sister car at the very end to claim the class win. Unfortunately, they were penalised after the race for driving unnecessarily slowly in the fast lane in the pits and received a 24 second penalty, costing them the win. This left the #3 DH Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 to get their best result so far this season, finishing second, and so are now promoted to first, with drivers Rino Mastronardi, Alex Riberas and Olivier Beretta. They faced off strong competition from the rest of the GT field, especially from class pole sitters, the #37 Team BBT Ferrari 488 GT3 with Anthony Liu, Davide Rizzo and Alessandro Pier Guidi sharing the third step on the podium, making it a Ferrari 1-2-3. After the penalty, the #37 received second place points . FIST-Team AAI were also very strong this race, coming in 4th and 5th in class. The #90 BMW M6 GT3 took home fourth with Jesse Krohn, Akira Iida and Tom Blomqvist at the wheel and the #91 FIST-Team AAI BMW M6 GT3 of Jun San Chen, Ollie Millroy and Philipp Eng fifth. We also saw a good performance from the crew of the #51 KCMG Audi R8 LMS GT3. Despite starting from 24th on the grid, they managed to make it to the front of the GT pack for a few laps. The trio of Go Max, Toru Tanaka and Tetsuya Tanaka finished 10th in class.

The #6 VS Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 had to abandon in the pits mid-way after suffering from electronic connection problems. The #86 OD Racing Best Leader Team McLaren 650 GT3 had some back luck and less than 15 minutes before the end of the race, the car started to smoke, forcing them to retire in the pits.

at Asia Le Mans Series 2016, Rd3, 6-8 January 2017, Chang International Circuit, Buriram, Thailand

The CN entry, the #68 PS Racing Ligier JS53, with local drivers Tira Sosothikul and Medhapan Sundaradeja, didn’t get past the 6th lap of the race, stopping on the side of the track at T5, which brought out the race’s only safety car.

The GT Cup entry, Asian LM Sprint Cup regulars Team NZ had a consistent race with their #77 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, with drivers Graeme Dowsett, John Curran and Paul Kanjanapas sharing the drive, showing that they can last the time of an endurance race as well as they do sprint races.

There is only one race left to decide the champions of the 2016/2017 season, and it is still wide open, so the teams still have it all to play for in the final round in Sepang, held very soon from the 20th to 22nd of January.