Jackie Chan is known for his action movies. He is an expert martial artist who turned that into a highly successful career in Hollywood. While this generations Hollywood superstar who also dabbles in motorsport is undeniably Patrick Dempsey, Chan is aiming carve his own path. While Dempsey made his mark as an owner and a driver, Chan is happy to simply own a team. Together with 3 time Asian Le Mans Series Champion David Cheng, Chan founded DC Racing in 2015. The first year saw them competing in LMP2 in the Asian Le Mans Series, however last year they made the trek to Le Mans and their goals don’t end there. While some small teams are thrilled to even make it to Le Mans, Chan and Cheng have their sights set on something higher. They want to become the first world champion to come out of mainland China.
Chan has always had one eye on motorsports. He helped organized a celebrity race in china for years. He’s had involvement in the Paris-Dakar Uber Rally. Chan has always had one eye on the track until his career took off and for various reasons (insurance) he had to curtail his racing. However that all changed when he happened to come across a young Chinesse racer, David Cheng.
“I was visiting a school in Wuhan…. when I met the young guy. I thought he’s a talent. All these years, we haven’t had a Chinese team in car racing. Suddenly we have a new talent, so why don’t I start talking? “I think it’s his request to build the team. He wanted have someone to sponsor him and attract more attention. We participate in many kinds of sports, but there’s not a (well-known) Chinese racing driver. There’re Germans, Italian and French, but no Chinese. Suddenly David showed up. It’s good and he’s a young man who needs my support. So I got his back and said, ‘If you can become a (continental) champion, I will go to Le Mans with you and you can have my Dragon Mark.’” Chan told Sportscar365 in a recent interview.
Last year Chan stayed true to his word, taking DC racing to Le Mans. Unfortunately engine trouble ended their race prematurely but the experience left a mark.
“I went to France with them. But it was a pity (the car crashed) because of engine problems. But we were so glad that we won the Road to Le Mans (support race). When we won, I saw a French flag, an American flag, and a Chinese flag rise up in the middle of them. It was the first time (at Le Mans). I was there to present this award, and a lot of Chinese were there to sing Chinese national anthem together. At that moment, you were just like… Wow. You were so moved, and felt tears in your eyes.”
If it isn’t evident Chan is extremely proud of his home country. China is really in its infancy when it comes to cars, racing and global motorsport. Sure they have a WEC and F1 race in Shanghai but the country has yet to grasp it like it has in other countries.
“Racing needs to be slowly accepted. You can see from the WEC race in Shanghai, and there’s 50 races in China this year, so it proved that Chinese people like racing more and more. You think racing is just about cars, but there are a lot of philosophies in it. Today we can drive with technologies developed from racing.”
“Racing is a world class sport, so I hope more people can come to our country to participate in our races. As China has a great industry in car production, racing is very important for our development and research.”
Chan and DC Racing’s goals don’t end there. While nice to grow a sport in your homeland their focus is on winning. They want to be the first from China to win a World Championship Race, Le Mans and a World Title. Their aiming high and you cant fault them. Cheng has proven his team can dominate Asian Le Mans Competition, the WEC and Le Mans are the next logical step.
“I hope that whether we are in LMP2 or LMP1, if we can [race in] it, we can be the champion. I think there’s one day that a Chinese driver will be the Le Mans 24 Hours winner… We hope we can create the first World Champion Chinese driver.”