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DC Racing Preparing for Two-Car Daytona Effort

Jackie Chan DC Racing finalizing details for two-car effort for Rolex 24 at Daytona; TPNAEC plans…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Plans for Jackie Chan DC Racing’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut are quickly falling into place, with the Jota Sport-run organization finalizing details for its two-car effort in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

It would mark the first Chinese-flagged team to compete in the famed Florida endurance classic.

“I think we just have to work out the fine details of the logistics. But the idea is definitely there. Right now the plan is two cars,” team co-owner David Cheng told Sportscar365.

The Anglo-Chinese squad is coming off a breakout year in the FIA World Endurance Championship, highlighted by a 1-2 class finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, while in the LMP2 title fight with one round to go.

Cheng said the team’s two Oreca 07 Gibsons would likely need to fly direct from next weekend’s season-ending Six Hours of Bahrain to Florida for pre-season testing.

It’s not yet determined if the team will be taking part in the December Daytona test.

“The cars do need to go from Bahrain over quite quickly,” Cheng said. “We have a good idea of how we’re going to set up in the U.S. and where we’re going to base.

“I think it will be a very strong program. Sam [Hignett, Jota director] and I are going through the list every day, on things that need to be ordered.

“There’s a lot of changes to the car, like [wiring] looms, and we need to get a handle on the whole package for Daytona.

“We need to be testing and get a good understanding of the package.

“It’s quite easy to underestimate Daytona. I’ve done the race many times as a driver. You can’t rule anything out there. The strategy is so complex there.”

Cheng said they have a “good idea” on drivers, although admitted they’ve yet to finalize the lineup for the second entry.

“We’re still talking to people,” he said. “The nice part about the market is that we have a lot of options as well, with drivers wanting to do it.

“We’re just trying to put something together that works, based off our experience.”

The Daytona effort will mark the team’s third different program in the span of two months, and comes in the middle of its three-car Asian Le Mans Series campaign.

The third round of the 2017/18 season in Buiram, Thailand falls one week after the Roar Before the Rolex 24, with the season finale in Sepang directly following the Rolex 24.

Cheng said they plan to leverage Jota’s partnership with Arden Motorsport, as well as its growing crop of Asian-based mechanics, in the coming months.

“Luckily with Jota we have good partnerships,” he said. “We have our core group of Asian mechanics.

“We brought eight of them [to Shanghai] to really study the WEC program and apply what they’ve learned to the Asian Le Mans Series.

“That whole program is part of our pyramid, which is not just drivers.

“That’s the benefit for us running Asian Le Mans. We’re developing a whole other crew to take on when we have capacity [issues] like this.”

TPNAEC Plans Materializing

Cheng said the idea would be to have one car contest the entire Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup, although admitted the results from Daytona could have an influence on the overall program.

“We’ll see after Daytona what happens points-wise,” he said. “I really like the idea of the NAEC. I guess it all falls down to where Daytona leaves us.

“Luckily there’s some good amount of time between Daytona and Sebring to get that sorted.

“By that time, the Asian season will be finished so we could upgrade one of the cars.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Chad

    November 6, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Wow, the prototype grid for Daytona is going to be insane. How many cars does that make now? It has to put it close if not over 20 cars fighting for overall honors.

    • Pete

      November 6, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      The last time I did a headcount I was at 21 confirmed and 24-25 possible. I’ll be interested to see if teams like Racing Team Nederland and TDS Racing decide to do it like they both talked about earlier this year. Wonder if we’ll see Dragonspeed again now that they have an LMP1 program to worry about.

    • Overtake24

      November 6, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      I’m sure John will have the annual silly season for all classes up soon. I’ve done some research and found 18 confirmed so far. Another 7 as likely/possible so far.
      Confirmed: Likely/Possible:
      2-Penske 1-BAR1
      2-AXR 1-CRP
      1-WT 1-D3
      1-VF 1-2- Rebellion
      2-Mazda 1- Team Nederland
      2-ESM 1-Sun Energy
      2-JDC 1-Core
      2-United
      2-DC
      1-BAR1
      1-Performance Tech

      • Mo

        November 6, 2017 at 1:24 pm

        1 Sun Energy? Did I miss something?

        • Travis McBee

          November 6, 2017 at 1:28 pm

          It was an article on Racer.

          • Pete

            November 6, 2017 at 2:25 pm

            Yeah, Habul said something to the effect of for no bigger a difference in budgets than there is he might as well fight for overall wins instead of GTD wins. But he also said it was quite possible they just stick with AMG. (I’m taking the high road and saying nothing about their results)

            I did just see earlier today that Strategic Wealth Racing teased what certainly looked to be a pixelated photo of a JS P217 and said something to the effect of “Coming Soon”, so that could very well be an LMP3 team stepping up.

          • Pete

            November 7, 2017 at 1:15 pm

            Oh, Overtake, you missed PR1 on your list. I knew it seemed like someone was missing but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

  2. jason

    November 6, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    I see no reason for Jackie Chan DC racing to not keep the same driver line ups that they have in WEC. Their so called silvers are “sneaky silvers” for sure.

    Not sure about car numbers. Car 37 I think is available but Performance Tech has 38 already.

    • AF

      November 6, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      Their current sneaky silver won’t be silver by the time Daytona comes around. It is safe to assume the line-up will be largely similar, though Jarvis is joining Mazda.

  3. Mike S.

    November 6, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Wow awesome. Keep ’em coming. Get Button to drive. Yeah I wouldn’t change lineups too much just tweak and add for 24 hour race. Man outside of 36 hours of Florida why care about rest of season. Even the other 2 NAEC races drop off on car counts pretty well since the rest of the world has series going on in summer and fall.

    • Mo

      November 6, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      You will still have around 15 prototypes and 15 GTDs and 9 GTLMs in the non-NAEC rounds. Probably end up being somewhere between 38 and 40 full time entries.

      • jason

        November 6, 2017 at 3:29 pm

        I think the numbers for Prototype AND GTD will be more like 18 rather than 15 full season runners. Need to start considering split class races on certain tracks perhaps.

  4. Mike S.

    November 6, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    The amount that GTD has gone up in costs it is becoming less inviting the last several years. It really isn’t a great big leap to get a prototype chassis now since GTD is the most expensive GT3 class in the world now. I don’t see gravity long term for GTD as it stands now. GTLM has Risi confirmed its doings for 2018?

    • Kurt

      November 7, 2017 at 12:40 am

      I think the big difference is that AM drivers can compete for class wins. They’d get slaughtered in the P class.

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