THE chances of bumping into the Kung Fu legend Jackie Chan in Tunbridge Wells unexpectedly increased last week after Jota Sport announced it was tying up with the Hollywood star’s Le Mans race team.
The Chinese Jackie Chan DC Racing team and Frant-based Jota Sport will join forces for a two-car programme with a pair of ORECA 07 LMP2 cars this year to compete in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
It is a combination which is certain to strike fear into rival teams as both outfits have achieved considerable success in endurance racing, including victory at the iconic 24-hour race.
This year will be the second season that both teams have been involved in the FIA WEC, which is widely regarded as the world’s biggest and best competition in the field. They will also be racing in the 85th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
Jackie Chan DC Racing was formed in 2015 and immediately tasted success after joint team founder David Cheng, along with team-mate Ho-Pin Tung, claimed the 2015-16 Asian Le Mans LMP3 title, adding to their championship triumphs in 2013 and 2014.
The team was co-founded by Mr Chan and has created headlines around the world for its achievements and profile.
In 2016 they entered the FIA WEC for the first time while running a concurrent Asian Le Mans campaign in LMP2 with an ORECA.
A pair of victories at Zhuhai and Buriram in LMP2, as well as one victory in LMP3, saw them finish runners-up in the burgeoning championship after an excellent campaign.
Team co-owner Mr Cheng said: “I am very excited that our team has joined forces with Jota Sport to create what I believe will be a very strong squad for 2017 in the FIA WEC.
“I have already got a very good feeling that I and our partners will enjoy racing alongside Sam Hignett, David Clark and all the team at Jota Sport.
“I think with the knowledge that we gathered last season in the FIA WEC and the great results we enjoyed in the Asian Le Mans Series, allied to the experience of Jota Sport, will be a very potent combination this season.”
Jota Sport will be renewing their commitment to the WEC after taking a stunning hat-trick of wins at the final three races of 2016 at Fuji, Shanghai and Bahrain. The local team were also crowned as champions in their class at the European Le Mans Series last year, which feeds into the main event.
Jota’s expertise in endurance racing stretches back 18 seasons and includes an LMP2 victory at Le Mans in 2014 and two second places in 2015 and 2016.
Sam Hignett, Team Director of Jota Sport, said: “This is a significant day for both Jota Sport and Jackie Chan DC Racing. This new alliance will ensure we can carry the momentum that both squads had from 2016 into the current campaign and continue the winning ways which saw such a successful end to last season.
“Jota has a proud history as a winning endurance racing entity, but we also have a very strong heritage of working with other ambitious teams and partners.”