06.08.13 | KCMG scores a dominant Asian Le Mans victory at Inje
KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) had a taste of victory after taking the chequered flag as overall winners in the inaugural Asian Le Mans event at Inje Speedium this weekend. The international motorsport group’s #18 blue and white Morgan-Nissan LMP2 notably dominated the field, as James Winslow, Akash Nandy and Gary Thompson took turns to triumph in the 3 Hours of Inje.
Apart from capping the race weekend on top of the podium, the Chinese outfit - which made its debut in sports car endurance racing in the 6 Hours of Silverstone in April, followed by an impressive Le Mans 24 Hours outing in June - also set the outright lap record of 1:26:492 on South Korea’s new circuit.
KCMG’s successful outing at Inje took off with James Winslow delivering a superb maiden run and setting the fastest time during the Asian series’ first practice session on Friday.
However, a technical hitch which held back Akash Nandy and Gary Thompson from completing paramount laps during the second practice session, placed the team on the back foot.
With the team unable to maximise Friday afternoon’s practice session, Nandy and Thompson made the most out of Saturday’s final practice and finished in 2nd position a few hours before qualifying. Thompson - the 21 year old ace from Dublin - demonstrated adept skill behind the wheel with a sensational drive, securing the team’s Morgan-Nissan package 2nd position on the starting grid for Sunday’s race. Thompson finished qualifying 0.4 seconds off Oak Racing’s Ho-Pin Tung, despite only having 7 laps in the car prior to qualifying
As heavy rain fell on the circuit just before the race start, Winslow utilised wet tyres for his stint in the 3 Hours of Inje. After the British driver completed a strong hour’s run, Akash Nandy took over at the wheel and made motorsport history by becoming the first Malaysian race car driver to compete in an Asian Le Mans event. More so, the 16 year old rookie finished his Asian Le Mans stint in 1st position, making him the youngest driver to lead in the aforementioned premier event.
Thompson drove the last stint and continued to push KCMG’s leading LMP2 right to the chequered flag. Significantly, the Irish driver was responsible for setting the fastest lap time on the Inje Speedium circuit. After 3 hours and 107 laps, KCMG cruised to victory and celebrated on top of the podium in South Korea’s Asian Le Mans season-opener.
Akash Nandy, KCMG Formula Masters/Asian Le Mans Driver: “I want to thank my sponsor Rembawang Group and KCMG for giving me the opportunity to compete in Asian Le Mans. The team did a phenomenal job this weekend. My teammates, Gary and James, had really good stints, despite having very little track time in practice. This is a great result for the team and I’m happy with what I was able to learn, experience, and contribute this weekend.”
Gary Thompson, KCMG Asian Le Mans Driver: “Huge thank you to everybody in KCMG for the opportunity to drive in the first event in the Asian Le Mans Series. I'm delighted to be a part of this win having been with KCMG for over three years. Great job from everybody! We delivered fantastic results despite some technical issues that we encountered over the race weekend. I am very happy to be a part of KCMG’s first sports car endurance race win!”
James Winslow, KCMG Asian Le Mans Driver: “It was a fantastic weekend with a great team. We produced amazing results despite only having one session in the LMP2 before the race. The entire crew, my teammates and I worked together and pulled off the impossible, winning on our debut in Asian Le Mans! A huge thank you to everyone in the team for the opportunity!”
Paul Ip, KCMG Managing Director: “I am pleased with the successful weekend that we had at Inje. This victory in Asian Le Mans validates the hard work and long hours that we’ve put in this project since we started earlier this year. I’d like to commend the team members who has been part of this campaign since Silverstone and Le Mans. Also, kudos to the new boys who are part of our success in Asian Le Mans - especially our drivers, James, Gary and Akash. I’m very proud of what KCMG has achieved at Inje. The team and I are looking forward to more victories in Asian Le Mans this year. Thank you to everyone who has continually supported us!”
The second round of the Asian Le Mans Series will be held at Fuji Speedway, Japan on September 22. To find out more about the 2013 Asian Le Mans Series, visit www.asian-lemans-series.com.
For more information about KCMG, visit www.kcmg.com.hk. To keep track of latest updates, please like KCMG’s Facebook page or follow @KCMotorgroup on Twitter.