John O’Hara: From Mondello to Le Mans!
February 11, 2013 by John O'Hara
Another eventful year has passed for KCMG and as we are in between racing seasons, it’s nice to recollect the highlights of 2012. The team was very busy competing in different series’ across Asia last year. Aside from the Japanese F3 and Formula Nippon championships which we’ve been part of since 2008, we took part in new racing competitions that kept us on our toes.
Each month, I was flying from one country to another, managing our teams that ran in Formula Pilota China and Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia. Spearheading these new projects was quite interesting as events were staged in different circuits that went as far as Ordos in Inner Mongolia. Formula Pilota China allowed the team to work with young drivers from across the globe. Given that it was a new entry-level Formula series, it gave me a refreshing opportunity to guide rookies who displayed impressive potential on the circuit.
It was an exciting season, considering the highs and lows that we experienced as we competed at different circuits with diverse young drivers. Our affable rivalry with Eurasia has made the season all the more interesting, as the challenge to win the championship title grew more intense during every event. As we took podiums and victories over the course of six months, our British driver Dan Wells finished as Championship runner up after a tight battle with Eurasia’s Antonio Giovanazzi. Not too shabby for our first year running in the series. During the season, we also ran two 15 year olds, Akash Nandy from Malaysia and Yuta Shiraishi from Japan, who both impressed me.
Being involved in Lamborghini Super Trofeo has also been a great experience. We had two entries in this prestigious event, allowing us to work with two teams – one from Taiwan and one from Indonesia. We took our first win during the final event at Shanghai F1 circuit with Indonesian/Italian pairing of Andrea Garbagnati and Bob Indrasasana, successfully capping off a satisfying first season in a GT endurance series.
Last year’s campaign in the ultra-competitive Japanese Formula 3 series was also successful, underlined by Gary Thompson’s third place finish in the championship and his impressive victory in Motegi last August. It was inspiring how Gary demonstrated his ability in a Formula car- after he started 4th on the grid and eventually clinching that top spot on the podium after delivering a feisty and flawless drive.
As the team anticipates a brand new racing season, I brace myself for another hectic year that I hope will be more successful than the last one. Expect that we’ll still be part of the slew of championships that we’ve competed in last year. As some of you may have heard by now, we’ve also been granted an entry in the oldest and highly celebrated sports car endurance race in the world-the Le Mans 24 Hours! As a massive fan of this distinguished race, I’m beyond thrilled to head to France in June, not as a spectator, but as part of a participating team!
I’m looking forward to a frenzied year of great racing for KCMG and despite the hectic schedule ahead, I will do my best to keep everyone here updated.