Historic moment as Hong Kong team competes in Nascar

KCMG team boss and founder Paul Ip hopes they can complete a full season at America’s premier auto-racing series in 2018 after ‘testing the waters’ at Darlington Raceway

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 September, 2017, 5:29pm
UPDATED : Monday, 04 September, 2017, 1:10am

A Hong Kong-based racing team made history by becoming the first team from the city to compete at Nascar in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, South Carolina.

KCMG, a motorsports group based in Hong Kong, competed in the Nascar Xfinity Sports Clips Haircuts VFW in a one-off partnership deal with Richard Childress Racing, on Saturday.

American driver Brandon Jones, 20, driving a Chevrolet, completed 148 laps and finished 23rd from P27 in the 321km race behind race winner, Denny Hamlin in a Toyota, but it was a big moment for KCMG, whose reputation has gone from strength to strength having competed at the 2015 world endurance championship and winning the LMP2 class at Le Mans the same year, a first for Hong Kong.

KCMG team boss and founder Paul Ip was delighted a Hong Kong team had made history at Darlington having “tested the waters” in Nascar. He hopes to find long-term sponsorship so that KCMG can complete a full season in Nascar in 2018.

“KCMG have always aimed to be a global racing team and one of the areas we really want to get into is the States. Coming into the States you have to do Nascar. So we’re here and we’re trying to look into what we can do in the future with Nascar,” said Ip.

KCMG were established in 2007 and have already become a major force in the development of professional racing across the Asian Pacific region.

They joined Richard Childress Racing in an one-off race at Darlington because “we needed to work with someone with experience and out of those I think [Hall of Famer] Richard Childress [Racing] has got a very good reputation”.

“We are excited being able to participate in Nascar. Being the first Hong Kong team to participate in Nascar is very special,” said Ip.

The KCMG team boss said competing in Nascar was something that was “completely different from anything we have ever done”.

“It’s two completely different disciplines,” said Ip, comparing Nascar to circuit racing. “From the outsider, it might look very simple with its very old technology but in reality the attention to detail and the strategy [during racing] are much different from what we have experienced before.”

Ip can soak up the experience at Darlington as he seeks for more glory on a more global scale with Nascar now high on his agenda.

“KCMG have always had a global ambition in mind so expansion internationally has always been our goal. We did the world [endurance] championship two years ago and we also won Le Mans two years ago so now we’re trying to expand the road map to America.

“So being the first Hong Kong team at an international championship, the first into Le Mans and now the first into Nascar is very important. Our target is not just trying to be the first to participate but we also want to perform as well – just we did at the world championship and Le Mans. Hopefully we can repeat this in Nascar in the near future.”