Published on December 9th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Asian Le Mans Series OAK Racing Sees Victory
To win the Sepang 3 Hours and the Asian Le Mans Series titles, the OAK Racing Team Total had no choice other than victory by Ho-Pin Tung and David Cheng at the wheel of their Morgan-Judd LM P2. Thanks to a daring strategy and an impeccable display by the team allied to the performance of the drivers, these aims were achieved. The OAK Racing Team Total squad won the first titles in the history of the Asian Le Mans Series by two points, and David Cheng the drivers’: a great reward for the Chinese youngster who made stunning progress throughout the season.
At the end of a thrilling year, the outcome of the battle for the first Asian Le Mans Series titles was decided in the final round between two Morgan LM P2s from the Onroak Automotive workshops: the Morgan-Nissan LM P2 entered by KCMG the team from Hong Kong and the OAK Racing Team Total’s Morgan-Judd LM P2. To add a dash of spice to the last race of the year, Craft Racing entered a third LM P2, an Oreca-Nissan.
The OAK Racing Team Total arrived at Sepang four points behind KCMG, and it had to make the right choices to try and enrich the results of a season already crowned by a double in the Le Mans 24 Hours and a double in the FIA World Endurance Championship in both the drivers’ and teams’ championships in the LM P2 category. Among the drivers, all from Asia, who took part in the Asian Le Mans Series with OAK Racing the Chinese pairing of David Cheng and Ho-Pin Tung, winners of the Zhuhai 3 Hours, were given the job of taking the fight to their rivals to enable the OAK Racing Team Total to clinch its first titles in the series.
The tiny gaps in the first three practice sessions between the OAK Racing Team Total, KCMG and Craft Racing LM P2 prototypes was confirmed in qualifying. Thus, for the first and only time this season OAK Racing Team Total did not set pole and the car lined up in second place on the grid. On Sunday at 15h00 (Malaysian time), Cheng was given the job of doing the first stint. The Stewards reckoned that he jumped the start slightly and he was obliged to let his rivals past. From third place David immediately snatched second and then crossed swords with the leader James Winslow, his main opponent for the title.
The OAK Racing Team Total then opted for an aggressive strategy by managing its Michelin tyres in exemplary fashion. Ho-Pin Tung relayed Cheng and set exactly the right pace bagging the fastest lap of the race. Thus, he took first place, and a daring final stop during which the team decided to change only the left-hand tyres helped him to increase his lead over KCMG in the closing stages of the race.
Thus, the OAK Racing Team Total scored its second victory of the 2013 season in the Asian Le Mans Series, which gave the French team the teams’ title ahead of KCMG. And David Cheng won the drivers’ title also by a margin of two points as Ho Pin-Tung, who was very quick all season, was unable to take part in the second round of the championship.
These titles in the Asian Le Mans Series are the cherry on the cake of a year that’s been an amazingly rich one for OAK Racing, which shared its success here with the Judd engineering company. This success has a particularly sweet taste as it gives the Sarthe-based team an invitation for the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours!