David Heinemeier Hansson grabbed a career first LMP2 win in the FIA World Endurance Championship, at the 1000 Miles of Sebring, which was run last week.
DHH raced for the Jackie Chan DC Racing outfit at Sebring, where he was joined by Will Stevens and Jordan King in the #37. They had taken over that car from the Malaysian trio of Weiron Tan, Jazeman Jaafar and Nabil Jeffri, who drove the car through the 2018 part of the 2018/19 Super Season, that culminated at Le Mans in June 2019.
Racing24-7.net caught up with the Dane, to speak about the race and not least the victory.
So, how was it to be back in LMP2, and even start with a win?
“Sebring is my favourite track in the US, and to go back to LMP2 and to start with a win. The car was absolutely phenomenal. A great line-up and fantastic support from the team – I couldn’t be happier.”
It must be nice to finally be back on the podium after last year in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with 3GT Racing Lexus in the GTD category, which was really annoying. And partly 2017 with Rebellion Racing in the FIA WEC LMP2.
“You bet! At least we were in the fight in 2017. We didn’t always have the luck on our side – and then there was Le Mans (where the team actually finished an overall third, but later was disqualified due to a hole in the car’s bodywork, ed.). But at least we were there or there about, and it was a good season, whereas least year was a bit annoying.”
The sister car #38 with Ho-Pin Tung, Stephane Richelmi and Gabriel Aubry had a bunch of problems, with gearbox issues at first, and then later on the door wouldn’t open. #38 lost a total of 30 laps to the winning #37. So that was polar opposite to previous years, where the bad luck usually has hit DHH’s car. But even though they are competitors, he still has sympathy for the teammates.
“It’s hard to see, because they just had one thing after the other. Especially when they are fighting for the championship, and I think that Signatech Alpine Matmut #36 leads now, at least for the drivers. I’m sure they will be back strong at Spa. They have the best line-up by far, with their three drivers – they were doing very well on pace, according to the averages. But it’s endurance racing, so you have to reach the finishing line without issues. And we basically had zero issues – we got a 5 second pitstop penalty, for something under Full Course Yellow (they didn’t slow down quick enough to 80 kph, ed.), but the car was perfect all the way.”
The drivers in #37 did really good laptimes, and Will Stevens was right behind Ho-Pin Tung through the first laps of the race, until #38 got the issues, just shy of 20 minutes into the race.
“It’s really tough for #38, and it’s not something that has happened before. They have had very reliable cars throughout the season, so it’s quite annoying.”
You wouldn’t notice that DHH hasn’t been racing a competitive LMP2 car for almost one and a half years, since he was 0,9 seconds behind Stevens in the race, and just 0,5 from King on their respective fastest laps. But that’s something that important in LMP2, where there needs to be at least one silver-ranked driver in their car, where it’s all about keeping the laptime averages as fast as possible.
The three drivers will continue to race together at the 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps, while only David Heinemeier Hansson and Jordan King are confirmed in the #37 for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Will Stevens has other duties at Panis Barthez Competition, so the Jackie Chan DC Racing needs another third driver.
The 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps will be run on Saturday 4 May 2019.