Headed by KCMG team owner Paul Ip, KCMG made its debut at the 1st round of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) last April 15. The blue and white No. 47 Morgan-Nissan LMP2 were piloted by the trio of Alexandre Imperatori, Matthew Howson, and Ka To Jim - all of which have driven under KCMG in the past. And while the team barely had three months to prepare for the WEC's opening round at Silverstone, this didn't dampen the their hopes to finish the race in a good position.
KCMG's LMP2 car showed good pace during practice, placing well within the top six teams. This greatly boosted the drivers' confidence and helped them qualify in eight for the main race. But a spin by Matthew Howson on the formation lap threw away all their hard work as he had to start the race from the back of the grid. Nevertheless, the young British driver fought through the field and placed the car in 6th by the end of his double stint.
Next to take the wheel was former KCMG Formula Nippon driver Alexandre Imperatori who had no trouble catching up with the leaders. With a blistering pace, he quickly racked up some of the fastest laps of the race and even challenged for 2nd position at one point in the race.
He then handed driving duties to Ka to Jim who was held a strong 4th position before the car encountered some oil pressure issues. This forced the 28-year-old driver from Hong Kong to make a quick pit visit, but was quickly released back after mechanics found no fault. This put them down to 6th before swapping positions back to Imperatori who took the KCMG Morgan-Nissan LMP2 car to the chequered flag maintaining the same position. It might not be a podium finish, but it was most definitely a remarkable feat for a debut race.
KCMG team owner and Managing Director Paul Ip remarked, “Everyone in the team has done an extremely good job. We gained great results over the weekend and our efforts as a team have been very rewarding. I’m very happy and impressed with how everyone performed. It makes all the hard work and lengthy time spent on this project worth it. I’m now looking forward to bigger challenges, and that would be the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.”
The 6 Hours of Silverstone was used by KCMG to properly gauge their technical proficiency and performance in endurance racing. But the good race result only means that more can still be improved before they take on the challenge of Le Mans in June.
The 81st edition of the Le Mans 24 Hour race will be held at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France on June 22 to 23, 2013.
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