The KCMG team will lead away the LMP2 field in the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours after clinging on to its provisional top spot in final qualifying around the Circuit de la Sarthe.
The Hong Kong-based team is only in its second full season of sportscar racing and its first with the new closed-coupe Oreca 05, but marked its aspirations by signing former overall podium winner Nicolas Lapierre to its line-up alongside Matthew Howson and Richard Bradley.
Nonetheless, it was Bradley that would prove the team's star performer, his 3m 38.032secs lap at the start of first qualifying proving more than enough to not only defeat the rest of the LMP2 opposition by nine tenths, but even pick off a scalp of a Nissan LMP1 car.
“What can I say? The first pole for the ORECA 05 is at Le Mans! It's an incredible feeling, the car was great and now we're looking for the big one. Overall, a great start; couldn't be better.”
Looking ahead to the race, team manager Paul Ip says he is already thrilled with the performance of the all-new LMP2 prototype, but is aware the race will prove a significant challenge in such a competitive field.
“It's been a record-breaking day for us, what with KCMG giving the ORECA 05 its first pole position at Le Mans and also becoming the first Hong Kong team to achieve the feat in any class here. All three drivers have done a fantastic job, but especially Richard whose flying lap put the car on pole.
“We're well aware that there's still a lot of work to do before Saturday and then during the race itself. This is only the start but hopefully, if we do our best, the team can bring the big one home on Sunday!”