The opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) witnessed KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) conclude their new ORECA 05’s race debut with a fourth place class finish at Silverstone Circuit. The 6 Hours of Silverstone proved to be a baptism of fire for the Hong Kong-based squad’s new LMP2 coupe. Richard Bradley, Matt Howson and Nick Tandy delivered outstanding stints amidst setbacks and thrilling battles throughout the six-hour race.
Sunday’s race at the iconic Northamptonshire track was graced with good weather, providing a perfect venue for the world championship’s first six-hour round. The early stages of the 6 Hours of Silverstone highlighted Tandy’s sensational start in the new ORECA coupe and the battle for LMP2 lead against opposition.
A technical problem, which materialized as the race entered its second hour, kept the team from maintaining their position in the field. Pit stops to resolve the mechanical issue and a one-minute penalty cost the team some valuable time, ultimately dropping the #47 LMP2 down to fifth position. Despite this disadvantage, the British trio went on to round off the race weekend with a top four LMP2 finish, while posting the class’ third fastest time of 1:50.101 in the process.
Richard Bradley: “After suffering some technical issues at Silverstone, I think we did well as a team. We come away with a fourth place finish despite the issues we encountered, showed good speed in the race and also led the class for a while. The crew did an excellent job to change all of the damaged components as quickly as they could. We can take that on board and look forward to a promising season ahead.”
Matt Howson: “Overall, Silverstone was a very productive weekend for the team. We were short on testing and with Silverstone being a high down force track, there were still areas that we needed to work on. The team worked brilliantly only for a small problem to take us out of contention. I thank the British fans for their support and we’ll be stronger and out fighting in Spa!”
Nick Tandy: “Ultimately, we lacked the speed here at Silverstone to challenge for the victory that we were aiming for, as competition have more experience with their cars at this stage. This being our first race with me in the team and with the new car, we expected to have things to work on. Unfortunately, there were some small issues that had kept us off the podium and I believe we had a car that was good enough to finish in the top three.”
Erich Kolb, KCMG WEC Team Manager: “The Silverstone event, which underlined our new ORECA coupe’s race debut, presented challenges that comes with developing a new car. I’d like to commend the entire team for fixing the damage that we sustained during the race as fast and effectively as they could. Richard, Matt and Nick all delivered impressive stints despite this setback and we’re confident that once we’ve resolved all teething issues with the new car, we’ll be one of the toughest contenders for the LMP2 title.”
KCMG currently sits fourth in the LMP2 standings with 12 points. The second six-hour round of the FIA World Endurance Championship will be held at Spa-Francorchamps on May 2. To know more about the FIA World Endurance Championship, please visit: www.fiawec.com