Jackie Chan DC Racing has more-or-less ruled out a move to the LMP1 class for the FIA World Endurance Championship’s ‘Super Season’ in 2018/19, with the team’s focus set to remain in LMP2, and potentially with an expanded involvement in North America.
The Jota Sport-run operation had been evaluating a step up to the top prototype ranks, which will see hybrid and non-hybrid cars equalized into a single category, although according to team co-owner David Cheng, time has run out to make it happen for next year.
“At this point, it’s a little bit impossible,” Cheng told Sportscar365. “For next year, it’s a timing issue.
“As much as we would love to do it and there’s some very good opportunities floating around, unless we were able to pull the trigger last week, we’re not going to make a car in time.”
While it’s understood the team had been in talks with ORECA for its proposed LMP1 non-hybrid car, Cheng said other turn-key options could put them on the grid, but not fully prepared for the expected competition.
“For us we want to do something right or we don’t go into it at all,” he said. “Yeah you can maybe manage to pull it off but unless you have the car and you’re testing [right now]…
“The only goal in LMP1 would be to win Le Mans and that would require beating the Toyotas.
“To be able to implement a program like that, you’d have to be testing now and really getting the car down.”
Expanded IMSA Schedule Possible
While closing in on a two-car LMP2 effort for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Cheng said a full-season program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship hasn’t been ruled out.
“That’s something we can still entertain,” he said. “What’s very appealing are the long races but nothing is ruled out in terms of WEC and IMSA, either or both.
“We have a good situation in that we have four ORECA chassis. With that we can actually do a lot. Now it’s just figuring it all out.”
The Chinese-backed has committed to the upcoming Asian Le Mans Series season with two brand-new Oreca 05 Nissans, one of which is leased.
With the Oreca 05 chassis being able to be upgraded to 2017-specification, Cheng said it gives them added flexibility, should it commit to a dual IMSA/WEC program next year.
“All of the programs are dependent on me and Sam [Hignett, Jota principal] and Gary [Holland, team manager] sitting down and figuring out logistics for next year,” he said.
“With four tubs, there’s a lot you can do.”