Race Performance kicked off its Asian campaign with a dominant win in Saturday’s Two Hours of Fuji, the season-opening round of the Asian Le Mans Series.
Nicolas Leutwiler took the Swiss squad’s No. 8 Oreca 03R Judd to a one-lap victory over the GT class-winning Clearwater Racing McLaren 650S GT3, which finished second overall.
“My car went better and better as the race went on,” Nakano said. “I could’ve caught up with Tristan, but I made a mistake.
‘Finally, my teammate Nicki did a really good job to win the race, and I’m really happy.”
DC Racing, in the debuting Ligier JS P3, meanwhile, claimed LMP3 class honors with a third place overall finish for David Cheng and Ho-Pin Tung.
The race saw a two-way battle for the LMP2 lead, with pole-sitter Nakano losing the top spot to the No. 99 Eurasia Motorsport Oreca 03 of Tristan Gommendy.
Eurasia’s race, however, turned south when the car suffered a battery issue and subsequent puncture, which put it nearly 10 laps behind the eventual winners.
Both of the debuting ADESS-03s from Team AAI also hit trouble, with the No. 88 car stopping on track to bring out the race’s only safety car period on the sixth lap, and the No. 89 car retiring with 30 minutes remaining.
The GT class podium was completed by the No. 38 Spirit of Race Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 and the No. 92 Team AAI BMW Z4 GT3, the only car from the Taiwanese squad’s four-car arsenal to finish.
The No. 51 KCMG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Paul Ip, Christian Reid and James Munro, meanwhile, picked up GT-Am class honors with an 8th place finish.
A total of ten cars were classified at the checkered flag, in the first race of the rebooted championship,
RESULTS: Two Hours of Fuji