“He doesn’t really have a role with the team, other than being the co-founder,” Tung said. “But he’s definitely rooting for the team, rooting for us. He always wants to stay for the entire race.”
Cheng said one reason Chan co-founded the team was to assist Chinese drivers. “Jackie helps with funding a lot, with a lot of the support for the team,” he said.
“Jackie comes to all the races he can make,” at least one a year, Cheng said. “Jackie’s still on quite a busy schedule. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to make it to Le Mans this year, but every year he always comes to the race at Shanghai. It just depends on which rounds are easier for him to access and when he’s available.”
Cheng told Sportscar365.com this month that the team will have only a single car, rather than two, in the F.I.A. World Endurance Championship next year because of the short gap between Le Mans and the 2019-20 W.E.C. season opener in July. The Oreca team led by Tung is only four points behind the leader in this season’s standings.
Taylor replaced Will Stevens as one of the drivers. Taylor said the Oreca is similar to the one he drives for the Penske team in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but Le Mans presents different challenges than racing on road courses in North America.
“The hard thing about Le Mans is that the straightaways are just so long,” Taylor said. Because caution flags are used only in zones where an accident or breakdown has occurred, cars on other parts of the track don’t have to slow. “You’re just constantly up against the clock,” Taylor said. “It’s mentally exhausting.”
Taylor said he likes his team’s chances. And if it does as well as it did in 2017, it can hand Chan more racing trophies.
“With a name so familiar, not just in China but worldwide, the team receives a lot of attention now,” Tung said. “Everybody knows him from the movies, but he’s no stranger to motorsports anymore. This really was just a perfect fit for everybody.”