After a superb victory and two LMP2 podiums in endurance and his great 6th place in the GP3 Series in Sotchi 15 days ago, Gabriel Aubry was in Japan last weekend at the circuit at the foot of Mount Fuji for the penultimate round of the FIA WEC 2018/2019 Super Season before the winter break.
After having a strong pace in the free practice sessions (2nd/2nd/3rd), the #38 LMP2 JACKIE CHAN DC RACING x JOTA crew, made up of Ho Pin Tung, Stephane Richelmi & Gabriel Aubry, set the 3rd best time in qualifying at the wheel of their ORECA 03 / GIBSON. During the race, thanks to the safety car and a very well orchestrated pit stop, Gabriel handed over the car in 2nd place. Stephane Richelmi and Ho Pin Tung held onto 2nd place and kept it until the end of the 6 hours of racing.
GABRIEL AUBRY – DRIVER FOR JACKIE CHAN DC RACING x JOTA : « There were quite a few challenges in Japan: a return to endurance racing after my race in the GP3 Series, discovering a new track, highly changeable weather conditions… The weekend was quite complicated but ended pretty well. It was hard to find clean laps during the free practice sessions because of all the yellow flags; despite that fact, we managed to place ourselves in the top 3 in each session. During qualifying, I managed to get 3rd place in LMP2 for the starting grid, and I set the best time of the SILVER drivers. During the race, despite a slight contact with a GT that made me lose a dozen seconds, we climbed onto the podium for the 4th time this season, and what’s more, onto the 2nd step. Next up is a stint in ELMS on the 27th and 28th of October in Portimao, for the finale, with Team IDEC SPORT. »
RESULTS FROM THE WEEKEND
Free Practice 1: 2nd LMP2 – Free Practice 2: 2nd LMP2 – Free Practice 3: 3rd LMP2
Qualifying: 3rd LMP2 – Race: 2nd LMP2
Driver’s Championship: 8th (LMP1/LMP2 combined)
Team’s Championship: #37 & #38 equal / #36 Alpine one point away.
SUMMARY OF THE RACE :
– Ho Pin Tung made a prudent start in the rain, and climbed up as the laps went by.
– The plan had been to hand over to Stephane Richelmi, but with the track drying quicker than planned, Gabriel ended up taking the relay in his stead.
– The fight between the GT cars densified the traffic, and as he was overtaking around the outside, one of the official Ferraris crossed his line, which led to contact and a spin for the #38 Oreca 03.
– The result : 18 seconds lost and his pace in free fall.
– Stephane Richelmi brought the car back to the pits with just a 5 second gap on the sister car, the #37.
– Thanks to the mechanics, Ho Pin rejoined the race a mere 2 seconds behind the #37.
– The team of Tung/Richelmi/Aubry crossed the chequered flag in 2nd place in LMP2.