Jackie Chan DC Racing is set for a reduced single-car LMP2 entry in the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship, in order to give the organization some “breathing room” between the short gap in seasons, according to team co-owner David Cheng.
The Chinese-backed effort will continue under the operation of Jota Sport, which has entered an Oreca 07 Gibson of its own for ex-DragonSpeed drivers Pastor Maldonado, Anthony Davidson and Roberto Gonzalez, with DC Racing’s lineup still being determined.
“For us we still have our program,” Cheng told Sportscar365. “We’re just piecing the last bit together. Timing-wise, it’s just too difficult to do anything else [but a one-car entry right now]. It frees up a little capacity.”
Cheng explained that the short gap between the end of the 2018-19 ‘Super Season’ and the WEC’s first regular-length winter season, which kicks off at the Prologue in Barcelona next month, has made it a challenge commercially to secure funding for two cars.
“The idea was always for two cars, every year, you want to run two cars,” he said. “But with the seasons running so closely together became a commercial challenge.
“The other thing is giving us a little bit of breathing room for whatever is going to happen in 2020-21. Hypercar is still something we want to keep our eye on. It’s quite exciting.
“Right now we’re waiting on what’s going to happen with the regulations.
“I think for us as a team, if we can take a half a step back, give ourselves some breathing room for next season to get ready and see what the future of WEC is going to be.”
DC Racing’s No. 38 Oreca of Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Stephane Richelmi head into next weekend’s season-ending 24 Hours of Le Mans in a tight points battle with Signatech Alpine, whose trio of drivers hold a slim four-point lead.
Both cars have undergone livery changes since the start of the calendar year, with Richard Mille sponsorship now on the No. 38 for Le Mans and Ricky Taylor bringing Konica Minolta backing to the No. 37 car.
Cheng said he’s been pleased with the integration of the drivers in the new-look No. 37 car, which started the year with Will Stevens, Jordan King and David Heinemeier Hansson, with Stevens replaced by Taylor for Le Mans.
“I think all of them are getting adjusted quite quickly,” Cheng said.
“Jordan has been with us for three races. David is quite familiar with LMP2, Le Mans and WEC, and Ricky having run with him last year, there’s no unfamiliarities.
“They’re all able to come in and get on the program, which is quite nice.”
Cheng “Still Discussing” 2019-20 Operation Details with Jota
While being a “welcome addition” Cheng said it’s still unclear how the in-house Jota entry will work alongside his effort next season compared to the current two-car operation that’s currently entirely under the DC Racing banner.
It has been confirmed, however, that the two cars will be listed as separate entities on the entry list.
“Running the program under the one roof, there’s going to be some crossover, so it will help,” Cheng said. “It will help with the logistics.
“But we’re still discussing how everything else will work out.”
Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report