Jackie Chan DC Racing is “very likely” to be on the grid for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, according to team co-owner David Cheng, who is working to finalize a potential Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup program with up to two Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 cars.
The Jota Sport-run operation, which currently leads the FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 standings, is close to solidifying its plans for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which could include additional races beyond the opening two rounds.
Cheng said confirmation of the WEC’s ‘Super Season’ calendar, which doesn’t start until May, gives the Chinese-backed team added flexibility.
“I think Daytona is very, very highly [likely],” Cheng told Sportscar365. “Of course now with more lede time to the ‘Super Season’, from the car side, it’s not as much of a problem anymore.
“Sebring is one of those things that would stem off from Daytona.
“The NAEC is very interesting. It has a big prize pot at the end of the season.”
Cheng said the target would be to enter two Orecas for the WeatherTech Championship season-opener in order to “hedge their bets” in a bid for overall honors in the twice-around-the-clock Florida endurance classic.
The team scored LMP2 class victory at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, with its second entry eventually classified third in the category.
“If you do Daytona, with the safety car racing, it’s a little bit more of a strategy gamble sometimes,” Cheng said.
“You go in with two cars and have opposite strategies, you’re hedging your bets and there’s a higher chance of a payoff.
“The last two weeks has left my head spinning hard.”
With changes to the calendar and LMP1 class for 2018/19, it’s left Cheng and his partners evaluating multiple options, including a potential move to the top prototype class in the WEC by as early as next season.
Should that happen, it would not likely impact the team’s IMSA program or its recently announced three-car effort for the 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series season.
“For us as a team we have a lot of good resources behind us with Jackie [Chan], Sparkle Roll and all of the partners involved,” Cheng said.
“There’s a lot of smart people and we can figure out some clever ways to do this.”