Team Hong Kong scored strong results in the inaugural FIA Motorsport Games in Vallelunga, Rome, with KCMG founder Paul Ip and Marchy Lee taking home an impressive sixth in the GT Cup, as Jim Ka To claimed a top 10 finish in the touring car category.
The FIA Motorsport Games saw nations pitted against each other in an Olympics-style event, with six disciplines offering gold, silver and bronze medals, contributing to an overall table.
In the GT Cup opener, Paul Ip and Marchy Lee made good progress through the field from 15th as the conditions made for a chaotic race. The Hong Kong duo brought the #22 Honda NSX GT3 home in seventh, but a technical infringement saw them declassified from the results.
After finishing 14th in the disrupted second race, the team started from the pit lane on wet weather tyres for the all-important Main Race. Ip took the wheel for the opening stages, climbing to just outside the top 10 in drying conditions before handing over to Lee as the rain returned.
The weather worsened and a safety car emerged, with the Blancpain GT Series regular rising to ninth before improving to seventh after a short green flag period. The race concluded under another safety car, with Team Hong Kong taking an incredible sixth-place finish.
In the Touring Car Cup, KC Motorgroup’s WTCR of Japan and Macau entrant Jim Ka To showed promising pace in qualifying, going fourth quickest on board the #88 Honda Civic Type R TCR before an engine change saw him start race one from the back. The Hong Kong ace quickly climbed back through the field to pick up the final point in 10th.
Starting eighth in race two, Ka To was locked in a battle for a potential top six finish before a late safety car set-up a final lap dash to the flag. Team Sweden’s entry then hit the rear of Ka To’s Honda, dropping him from seventh to ninth at the finish.
With the overall positions taken from the combined results of both races, Team Hong Kong ended the FIA Motorsport Games’ Touring Car Cup discipline in ninth.
Paul Ip, Team Hong Kong GT Cup driver: “Team Hong Kong did a fantastic job at the FIA Motorsport Games and we can be proud of what we’ve achieved across the board. We had a lot of setbacks in the GT Cup, but knew with the weather that there was a chance for us to get a good result. We drove our own race and are delighted to have finished sixth, Marchy Lee performed superbly. Jim Ka To did a fantastic job in the Touring Car Cup too, and top 10 results in both these disciplines is a great reward for our efforts.”
Marchy Lee, Team Hong Kong GT Cup driver: “The Main Race was really challenging starting from the pit lane. The weather forecast was changeable and Paul did a very good job in the first 25 minutes to get into 14th. When I took over, I knew I had the chance to jump up some places over the next few laps. The strategy was spot on and this was a great team effort overall. KCMG did a very good job and we are all proud at Team Hong Kong, as we don’t even have a race circuit in our country and we finished sixth at the FIA Motorsport Games.”
Jim Ka To, Team Hong Kong Touring Car Cup driver: “Even though we had an issue with the engine in practice, I was very happy with fourth place in first qualifying. Unfortunately, due to the regulations I was forced to start race one from the pit lane. We made good progress and in the second race I had even better pace. I’m proud to be the first Asian to take a top 10 in the Touring Car Cup at the FIA Motorsport Games.”