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Race Performance Beats DC Racing to 4H Fuji Victory

Struan Moore, Giorgio Maggi, Fabien Schiller win Asian LMS 4H Fuji…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Race Performance has scored its first Asian Le Mans Series victory in over a year, winning the Four Hours of Fuji despite tough competition from Jackie Chan DC Racing.

Struan Moore took the No. 8 Oreca 03R Judd to the line for the Swiss team, with DC Racing’s Gustavo Menezes second. The battle for the lead of the four-hour race was between the two Oreca 03Rs throughout, with six lead changes in total.

Algarve Pro Racing started from pole position following a strong showing in Saturday’s qualifying session from Andrea Pizzitola, but it turned out to be a race to forget for the Portuguese team, which settled with third and fourth overall.

The pole-sitting No. 25 Ligier JS P2 Nissan instantly lost its lead to the DC Racing car at the start, and Ho-Pin Tung would go on to lead the first 44 laps.

Thereafter, the lead switched back-and-forth between the two cars until Moore re-took the lead with an hour left on the clock. Menezes finished a lap down on the leader following a late-race pit stop for fuel.

This gave Moore, Giorgio Maggi and Fabien Schiller their first race win of the season, and the first for Race Performance since Nicolas Leutwiler and Shinji Nakano’s consecutive victories at Fuji and Sepang last season.

“These guys did everything they needed to do,” Moore said. “Giorgio made a good start, [and he made] a good move in the first corner, first lap. He pretty much controlled his stint.

“Fabian overtook when he needed to and pulled a gap. Then it was relatively straightforward for me. Just keep driving on the track.”

Tockwith Motorsports won the LMP3 class, with Nigel Moore and Philip Hanson putting on a dominant display in the latter half of the race in their Ligier JS P3 Nissan.

Before the British team took the class lead at the half-way mark, the battle for LMP3 top honors switched between G-Print by Triple 1 Racing, ART Bratislava and PRT Racing.

Impressively, the PRT Ginetta Nissan was running third overall for a while at the start of the race, ahead of both Algarve Pro Racing LMP2 entries.

The No. 4 ARC Bratislava Ginetta came second in class, courtesy of drivers Mike Simpson, Miro Konopka and Darren Burke, who finished 40 seconds down on the Tockwith car.

The GT class played host to close racing throughout, with several cars leading the way over the course of the race. However, it was the No. 5 Ferrari 488 GT3 campaigned by DH Racing that finished out front, and fifth overall.

Stephane Lemeret, Michele Rugolo and Matthieu Vaxiviere took the Ferrari to the line, toppling competition primarily from Team AAI, Team BBT and VS Racing.

The BBT Ferrari came second, with a line-up highlighted by Alessandro Pier Guidi, while Phillipp Eng took the No. 91 BMW M6 GT3 of Team AAI to third.

Meanwhile, the sister No. 90 AAI BMW was unable to take the start, after holes were found in its fuel tank.

It was the only car to miss the start, while the LMP3 entries of PS Racing, Wineurasia, and G-Print by Triple 1 Racing, as well as Spirit of Race’s GT Ferrari, were the four cars that hit problems and so didn’t finish.

There were two safety car periods over the course of the race. The first was to recover PS Racing’s ADESS 03 that went off track at the start, while the second was for the No. 38 Spirit of Race car.

RESULTS: Four Hours of Fuji

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist focusing on European series for Sportscar365. Kilshaw was the founder of WorldSportsCar.co.uk and is a member of the Autosport Academy. Contact Jake

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. KW

    December 4, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    After two disappointing seasons with poor entry lists, this year the Asian LMS seems to be on a better way. Good old Oreca 03R’s still going strong, and good to see that in LMP3 the Adess and Ginettas were on pace, that is much better than the Ligier one-make-cup in ELMS last year.

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