A not so inspired Jackie Chan DC Racing team saw Race Performance take overall honors at the 4 Hours of Fuji, second round of the 2016/2017 Asian Le Mans Series season, with none of the race winners from Zhuhai not repeating the feat in Japan.
Race started and as always it didn’t took long to the Algarve Pro Racing to lose terrain as the lead went to the No. 35 DC Racing ORECA 03, to then see the first Safety Car period come due to a crash of the No. 48 PS Racing ADESS 03.
When the action came back to green the LMP2 class became a private battle between DC Racing and Race Performance, with Ho-Pin Tung pushing and opening the gap. When Giorgio Maggi started to turn the tide in favor of Race Performance, the second Safety Car visit came Nasrat Muzayyin spun and stopped the No. 38 Spirit of Race Ferrari.
With all cars pretty close after the caution period, this was the opportunity for Race Performance to take the lead, and so they did immediately with Fabian Schiller passing Thomas Laurent. The Algarve Pro Racing entries finally became able to catch up with the lost time, as initially both entries were slower than the leading LMP3 competition, along with a series of pit stops for the No. 24 Ligier JS P2.
Of all difficulties that the No. 35 DC Racing car could have on track, they had one of the Algarve Pro Racing Ligier car trying get unlapped, which slowed Laurent considerably while Schiller kept going with fastest lap after fastest lap.
The LMP3 class had a tight battle for the lead between the No. 85 G-Private by Triple 1 Ligier and the No. 26 Tockwith Motorsports Ligier after a big period of lead by the No. 4 ARC Bratislava entry, but the GT traffic was playing quite a part to avoid that the LMP3 leader and runner-up met each other. The GT class had quite a period of lead with Team AAI, but then it turned into a Ferrari battle, with Team BBT leading while the No. 5 DH Racing car followed it closely, with the cars trading places with an hour and a half to go.
In the final moments, Gustavo Menezes wasn’t managing to catch up with the Race Performance entry, instead losing ground to Andrea Pizzitola in the No. 25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier, but Pizzitola’s efforts didn’t change the podium order. After coming close at Zhuhai, Tockwith Motorsports finally won in LMP3 with its Ligier JS P3, while DH Racing won in GT class after a final Ferrari battle.
The Asian Le Mans Series now takes a break to return in 2017, with the 4 Hours of Thailand at Buriram.
PHOTO: Asian Le Mans Series