Agony for Charles Kwan after Adderly Fong penalty drops Hong Kong ‘dream team’ from first to second in 24 Hours of Dubai
Disappointment for racing legend on return to track after 13 years but Phoenix Racing Asia wait on their appeal against the decision
The “dream team” of Hong Kong racers drove to victory in the GT4 class of the season-opening 24 Hours of Dubai at the Dubai Autodrome on Saturday before it was cruelly snatched away post-race after a penalty against driver Adderly Fong.
Fong was reportedly punished for driving for more than his allotted time, according to a team source.
Phoenix Racing Asia team have appealed the decision after being dropped down to second on the podium in the aftermath of the race in which they finished 552 laps, one more than the European Phoenix Racing team bumped up to first. This was reduced to 550 laps after a two-lap penalty.
Driven in by 54-year-old Charles Kwan, who came out of a 13-year retirement for the race, the five-man Hong Kong team had finished 26th overall of the 89 cars to start across all 11 classes. This has since been corrected to 27th position following the penalty.
Congratulations @phoenix_racing to 1-2 result in GT4 class of Dubai 24H with Audi R8 LMS. Stunning first 24 hour race class win for latest Audi Sport customer racing car. Well done @Adderly_F, Charles Kwan, Marchy Lee, @DarrylOYoung and @shaun_ccxr! #GT4 #LeagueofPerformance pic.twitter.com/m9ILREDcPz
— Audi Sport (@audisport) January 13, 2018
It would have been another triumph of a storied motorsports career for Kwan who is best known for winning three races in a weekend at the 1993 Macau Grand Prix.
Fellow drivers Marchy Lee Ying-kin, 41, Darryl O’Young, 37, Adderly Fong Cheun-yue, 27 and up-and-coming 22-year-old Shaun Thong competed the line-up.
Fong had described the team as a “golden line-up” ahead of the race and he was almost proved right on the track in Dubai.
Driving their all new Audi R8 LMS GT4 the Hong Kong car had proved too much for the rest of the field and finished ahead of the European Phoenix Racing in the same Audi model.
We had two punctures early on which dropped us to 7th. Slowly we creeped back up to 4th, which was the position I got the car in. Pushed as hard as I could, unlapping ourselves and handed the car over to Shaun Thong in 2nd. After a bit of reshuffling we are now back in the lead. Darryl O'Young is next in the car, then Marchy and then it will be my turn again. Time for a nap!
A post shared by Adderly Fong (@adderly_f) on Jan 12, 2018 at 2:38pm PST
The Mercedes-AMG GTR SP-X of Black Falcon Team TMD Fiction, another team of Hong Kong drivers, finished in third having completed 548 laps.
Phoenix Racing Asia had to deal with a couple of early punctures,which saw them drop to 7th, as Fong posted on his Instagram.
They took the lead at the 15-hour mark, as per O’Young’s Facebook only for the penalty after the race had finished.
The result of their appeal is pending.
This is not the first post-race punishment to affect Hong Kong motorsport. December’s Formula E in Hong Kong saw Daniel Abt of ABT Audi disqualified after winning the second day’s race.