23 Oct

The thrilling fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) witnessed Richard Bradley and KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) engage in an epic class battle and secure its fourth WEC podium at Fuji Speedway on Sunday. Represented by Richard Bradley, Matt Howson and Alexandre Imperatori, the Hong Kong-based squad finished in second place after a gripping assault for the LMP2 lead transpired throughout the closely contested six-hour affair in Japan.

Friday’s two 90-minute free practice runs kicked off the weekend’s racing action. The Dunlop-shod #47 Oreca 03R – Nissan completed both sessions in the top three, covering a total of 88 laps on the first day of running on Fuji’s 4.563km circuit. The final 60-minute practice session the following morning saw the #47 LMP2 finish in third place – logging 30 laps in the process. Imperatori and Bradley’s four-lap average secured third position for the #47 Oreca on the LMP2 starting grid. However, post-qualifying penalties promoted the British driver to pole position.


Imperatori commenced the race and was off to a strong start to lead during the initial hour of the race. Fans were on the edge of their seats as a frantic battle for the LMP2 lead took place between the Swiss driver and G-Drive Racing’s Olivier Pla.  As Imperatori made his way through traffic, the #88 Porsche collided with his car, causing him to spin and lose the lead to the #26 Ligier. After 62 laps, the Swiss driver handed over the #47 Oreca to Matt Howson.


The British driver joined the field and maintained the gap between him and G-Drive Racing’s Julien Canal before handing over the #47 LMP2 to Richard Bradley. Within a few minutes in the car, Bradley’s determination resulted in impressive lap times and he was closing the gap to Roman Rusinov’s #26 Ligier. Bradley completed 64 laps before handing over the #47 Oreca to his Swiss teammate for the final stint.


Rejoining the race in second position, Imperatori was behind the #26 Ligier for several laps when G-Drive Racing called for an unplanned pit stop to change front tyres. This allowed Imperatori to recover the LMP2 lead. Another battle for first place ensued between the Swiss driver and Pla during the final minutes of the race. However, a move by the French man to overtake Imperatori on Fuji’s 100R corner paid off. After 218 laps and six hours of sensational racing, KCMG crossed the finish line in second place, with only 5.4 seconds between the top two LMP2′s.

Richard Bradley: “While second is a very good result, we are still gutted to lose the race by such a small gap. We didn’t have an easy weekend, but to get that close to winning despite some of the issues we had is a credit to the team. We have shown previously that we can win and we nearly did again in Japan, so I am looking forward to challenge for victory in China!”

KCMG heads to FIA WEC’s sixth round in China in third place with 80 points in the LMP2 Team Classification. To know more about the FIA World Endurance Championship, please visit:

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