Jackie Chan DC Racing moves into LMP2 Championship lead on Goodyear
Double podium finish at 8h Bahrain for Goodyear teams
Jota Sport finish second, Jackie Chan DC Racing third after strong fightback
The Bahrain International Circuit hosted round 4 of the FIA World Endurance Championship, and the Goodyear Racing team built on their historic victory in the LMP2 class at the previous round at Shanghai with a strong race that resulted in Jackie Chan DC Racing moving into the championship lead.
After a roller-coaster eight-hour race, Jackie Chan DC Racing and drivers Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Will Stevens celebrated taking the lead in both the drivers and team class championships after a third-place finish in an eventful race. They finished just behind Goodyear stablemate, Jota Sport (Anthony Davidson, Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez),
First lap chaos leads to podium charge
The start of the race put the two top Goodyear-equipped teams on the back foot. First-lap contact between two LMP1 cars triggered collisions and chaos throughout the pack and both Davidson and Tung were delayed avoiding the carnage.
Both recovered quickly to match the leader’s pace but they had dropped to the back of the pack. After the first round of fuel stops, Davidson was consistently one of the fastest cars on track, but the man on the move was Kenta Yamashita. The Japanese star was revelling in the grip of his Goodyear-equipped High-Class Racing Oreca, lapping 2-3 seconds faster than the cars ahead of him. On lap 33, he passed both the WEC and ELMS championship-winning Alpine and Aurus respectively. This moved him into third place, before surging past the Racing for Nederland Oreca a lap later.
Racing into the night
At the 90-minute mark, with Gonzalez and Stevens piloting the Jota and Jackie Chan cars, the desert sun gave way to floodlights. The pair maintained a strong pace, progressing to second and third by half-distance.
The resultant 4c temperature drop, much less than the predicted 20c drop due to cooler than expected daytime conditions, highlighted the need for versatile tyre performance. Goodyear had brought their A and C specification tyres as both had proven to have a wide operating window in the races so far this season.
Davidson was back in the Goodyear-liveried Jota Sport car with two hours to go and began to hunt down the leader, fellow former F1 driver Paul Di Resta. Ahead of the final hour, Davidson handed over to Antonio Felix Da Costa who consolidated an impressive second place after the early delay. The Jackie Chan DC car completed the podium positions, moving Tung, Aubry and Stevens into the championship lead.
Mike McGregor, Endurance Programme Manager, praised the podium winning teams' performances: “To take a double podium after being caught up in the first-lap chaos was a testimony to great strategy, relentless pace and seamless teamwork. We are delighted with the consistent performance of the tyres over long stints, particularly with such a tough fight back through the pack. After four rounds, we are proud that Jackie Chan DC Racing and Goodyear teams sit at the top of the championship as we head to the two American races.”
On the Friday before the race, it was announced that Goodyear will be the sole tyre supplier for the LMP2 category of the 2020/21 FIA World Endurance Championship. “The results so far this season, including a win and now the championship lead, demonstrate to all teams that they will benefit from a high-performance tyre range and expert service when WEC moves to have one LMP2 class tyre partner” added Mike.
The next race in the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship is the Lone Star Le Mans at Austin, Texas on February 23rd.
FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Teams Top 5:
1) Jackie Chan DC Racing - Goodyear 72 points
2) United Autosports 69 points
3) Racing Team Nederland 66 points
4) Jota Sport - Goodyear 62 points
5) Signatech Alpine 56 points
Full results can be found here: https://www.fiawec.com/en/season/result
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