The KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) Honda enjoyed a strong start to the Dubai 24 Hour, but a fire during the night forced them into retirement. Driver Andy Yan thankfully managed to avoid injury and the cause of the fire is not yet known.
Andy Yan and the KCMG team would like to thank the marshals and all those involved in making sure Andy was safe.
The #122 Honda Civic Type R TCR (FK7), which is driven by Paul Ip, Yan, Jim Ka To, Kenneth Ma and Henry Lee Jr, started strongly from fifth in class, with Yan running second early on.
They remained in the top-three battle throughout Friday’s running, closing the gap to the leader as the night drew in. After 10 hours and with Yan back at the wheel, KCMG took the lead, but a technical issue in the pit lane saw them drop back to third.
Ka To then took over for his night stints and ran a strong pace before handing the car back to Yan. The 2016 TCR Asia Series champion sought about closing the gap to the leaders but was forced to retire after a fire engulfed his Honda.
The marshals quickly responded to the incident and made sure to get Yan safely away from the fire. The race was then under a Code 60 caution period for an extended period whilst the car was cleared away.
Andy Yan: “I want to say thank you to all of the marshals and all the people who helped and took care of me. Thanks also to my team KCMG. It was a very serious incident, but I am okay. During the race we kept a very good pace and we were able to stay in the top three. We were confident of winning the race, but this is endurance racing and until the finish you can’t know the result. That’s why everybody loves it, it’s unpredictable. I still love this sport and I’m looking forward for my next race.”
Paul Ip: “We’re all relieved to hear the good news that Andy is uninjured. All of us at KCMG want to say thank you to the track marshals and everyone for the support. In terms of pace our race was very good. We got a good start and were the quickest in class on track at times. We were then in first and pulling away before the technical issue in the pits. We still had a long way to go and continued to push for the win. Once again the important thing is that Andy is okay though.”
Jim Ka To: “It was a frightening incident but in the end we were all glad to see Andy walk away. We were in with a good chance of victory and we can be please with the performance. I felt happy with my pace and the whole team did a great job.”
Kenneth Ma: “It’s not something you like to see in racing, but it was great to see how quickly and effectively the marshals responded to the incident and to see that Andy is okay. We were getting more and more comfortable with the car throughout the weekend. KCMG did a great job with the race set-up and we definitely wouldn’t been in the fight for the lead had this not happened.”
Henry Lee Jr: “First of all, we’re all happy to see that Andy is completely fine after the fire. The team has really come together in support and are very thankful to the Dubai marshals. Our race started very well and even after our setback we believed we could win. The car felt great and to be where we were in such a competitive class is really positive.”