How PlayStation helped Adderly Fong ‘conquer’ Road America
Hong Kong driver’s long hours spent playing and studying famous tracks on his PlayStation pays off as he captures a round at the Pirelli World Challenge GT Sprint race in the US
Adderly Fong Cheun-yue’s long hours as a teenager playing in front of his PlayStation paid off when he became the first Chinese driver to capture a round at the Pirelli World Challenge GT Sprint race at the famed Road America circuit in Wisconsin.
The 27-year-old former Lotus F1 development driver had few opportunities to race on US tracks as a teenager growing up in Canada but the Hong Kong star became familiar with the track by playing videos on his PlayStation. And he made it a special win in his first PWC GT race at the famous four-mile road circuit near Elkhart Lake on Saturday.
Driving the No 88 Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3 sports car, Fong defeated Californian Patrick Long in the No 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R by .0685 seconds in the 24-lap contest.
Watch: Adderly Fong wins round 4 of the Pirelli World Challenge GT Sprint
“Before I became a professional racer, I rarely had a chance to race overseas, especially on the tracks in the US. As a teenager, I used to practise on my PlayStation to try to understand all the different and famous tracks, understand its environment and its turns and corners. I also played on the Road America circuit and it helped me understand how many turns I needed and where I should push or slow down. It probably gave me a head start,” said Fong, who believes video gamers will become future drivers.
“I first started off in PlayStation. I never did go-karting, I started with a controller and a TV screen. I liked the high-speed tracks and Road America was one of them. [The first time here] I thought to myself, ‘I know this track.’ It’s amazing – I never thought I would be driving here.”
At the start, Fong and fellow front-row starter Johnny O’Connell made contact in turn five on the first lap and the Cadillac driver spun his machine but returned to competition.
Meanwhile, Fong opened his margin to two seconds over Long in the middle of the race and held off the factory Porsche driver’s late charge to put Bentley back in the PWC victory lane. The last Bentley win in PWC was in 2015 at Road America with Chris Dyson driving.
Fong posted on his Facebook page to say that he was starting round five in pole position and that he was excited to have won a round in the Pirelli World Challenge.
“Pole position to Race WIN!!! To win here at the iconic Road America circuit with Bentley Team Absolute is something I could only of dreamed of as a kid. So proud to have become the first Chinese driver to win in Pirelli World Challenge. We start from Pole again for tomorrow’s race as we also managed the fastest lap,” he said on his Facebook page.
Rounding out the GT podium on Saturday was GT overall points leader Michael Cooper of Syosset, in the No 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R.
Fong was sitting 11th in the overall GT Sprint drivers’ standings before round four but should jump to the top eight behind championship leader Cooper after the championship points are updated.