Jackie Chan DC Racing has announced their driver line-up for the 2017 FIA WEC season.
The team will enter two ORECA 07 – Gibson LMP2 cars, where team owner David Cheng will be in car 37 alongside Tristan Gommendy and Alex Brundle. Car number 38 will see Ho-Pin Tung, Thomas Laurent and Oliver Jarvis behind the wheel.
With that line-up we are very close to the best possible combination of Platinum/Gold drivers out there, that David Cheng and the movie star Jackie Chan have been able to put together. Cheng was part of the Baxi DC Racing team in 2016, which was run by the Signatech Alpine team. In 2017 it will be JOTA Sport who runs the two cars.
Jackie Chan was also a part of the team last season, but it’s not until this year that his name will be part of the official team name.
Thomas Laurent is a young French driver aged only 18, but he has already collected a lot of experience in sportscars. In 2015 he started with DC Racing in the Asian Le Mans Series, where he helped them to finishing second in the LMP3 Championship. In 2016 he did a full ELMS season for M.Racing-YMR, before he took another AsLMS season for Jackie Chan DC Racing over the winter – this time however in LMP2. He is rated a Silver drive due to his young age and inexperience, but I am pretty sure that he won’t be rated a Silver anymore after this season, when he has shown everybody his potential in the FIA WEC series.
Tristan Gommendy has a lot of experience in Sportscar Racing. His first time participating in the 24 Hours Of Le Mans was in 2003 for team Racing For Holland. Since then he has had another six starts at the French classic. Lately he has been part of the TDS Racing squad in the ELMS.
Ho-Pin Tung is a Chinese-Dutch driver, who has driven pretty much everything with four wheels. He has done single-seaters like Formula 3, A1GP, GP2, Superleague Formula plus many other cars. The last few seasons he has had his focus on Sportscars, where he has participated in the Asian Le Mans Series and so far four Le Mans races. He has been team mate with David Cheng for the last three season, so the pair know each other very well.
Alex Brundle, son of the former Formula 1 driver Martin Brundle, has slowly but surely made his own name in the sportscar world. He looks and talks exactly like his dad, but when he is behind the wheel, he kicks everybody else’s behind each time. At the FIA WEC round in Shanghai 2016, he raced the G-Drive team (who by the way was also run by JOTA Sport) from the very last position on the grid to leading the class during his opening stint of the race! The 2017 season will be his first full season in FIA WEC since 2013, where he drove for OAK Racing alongside David Heinemeier Hansson and Olivier Pla.
Oliver Jarvis was until recently a works driver at Audi Sport, but since they closed down their LMP1 programme, and Jarvis’ contract ran out at the same time, he unfortunately had to leave the team. Bentley however was quick to snap him up for the GT3 programme, so he will have a busy 2017 with a double programme in both FIA WEC for Jackie Chan DC Racing as well as Bentley in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Jarvis has proven himself as an ultra fast and reliable driver, already when he drove his first Le Mans in 2010 together with Christijan Albers and Christian Bakkerud. In 2011 he wasn’t present there but has since then tackled the race each year – first in the third/fourth Audi Sport car and since then as “replacement” for Tom Kristensen in the full season FIA WEC car alongside Loic Duval and Lucas di Grassi.
This coming week will be the first test for the new team, before the first official FIA WEC test will be held on April 1st/2nd at Monza in Italy.