There will be a new team on the grid in the Asian Le Mans Series this year, as two-time and reigning series champion David Cheng has launched his own operation for the 2015/2016 season.
DC Racing will contest the new LMP3 class with a Ligier JS P3, which will see the 26-year-old Chinese ace team up with fellow countryman and former OAK Racing co-driver Ho-Pin Tung for an attack on the four-round championship.
Remy Brouard, who helped mastermind OAK’s previous Asian LMS efforts, has been named team principal, with the goal of the Chinese team competing in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in LMP2.
“It’s with great pleasure to return to the series with my own team this year,” Cheng said. “We can already see growth of the series under the new leadership from the ACO, which is fantastic for the development of sports car racing in Asia.
“As well as the new P3 class with it’s affordability and similarity to the P2 [platform] it’s a great way for me to evolve as a driver to team owner in prototype racing.”
The startup operation, which will be based in Wuhan, China, will receive technical support from Eurasia Motorsport for the first season, which kicks off at Fuji Speedway in October.
“It’s very exciting to be part of this new project,” Tung said. “It’s a big step for Chinese motorsports and a testament to the development of the Asian Le Mans Series.
“The team name is new, but with well-known faces we will aim to continue the great successes that David, Remy and I have celebrated together.”
Brouard added: “We are very confident in this new category in Asia with the Ligier JS P3 and Onroak Automotive. I know the manufacturer well and the seriousness of its design office and the quality of its achievements.”
The team expects to take delivery of its new Ligier JS P3 on Sept. 20, during the first batch of deliveries of the Onroak Automotive-built prototype.
“After two titles racing for the factory team, it makes sense to come back with an Onroak Automotive car,” Cheng added. “Our clear goal is to go for a third consecutive title and to go back to Le Mans as a Chinese team.
“Being a newly formed group with a brand new car, for sure it will present it’s challenges. However, I believe we have a strong core team with experience in Asia, as well as in endurance racing.
“We’re looking to hit the ground running from the first race and utilize the knowledge of the past two years.”
The DC Racing Ligier is expected to be one of at least four entries in the LMP3 class this year, with already confirmed efforts from Team AAI (ADESS-03) and a two-car Ligier effort from EuroInternational.