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Cong Fu Cheng: Stars in his eyes

First Chinese driver to compete at LeMans
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

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Cong Fu Cheng
Cong Fu Cheng, the first Chinese driver to ever participate in the 24 Heures du Mans truly made his mark and the 2008 edition. Cheng came in to the race with very clear objectives: "I didn't just want to be the first of my people to participate in the legendary 24 Heures du Mans, I wanted to finish the race and achieve the best finish possible."

It was a combination of ambition, determination and temperament that enabled Cong Fu Cheng to make his mark in the record books. Not only did he become the first Chinese driver to participate in the annual race, but he also fought his way to the podium and took third place in the LMP2 category. This achievement makes him a potential serious candidate for the prestigious "Spirit of Le Mans" trophy, an engraved Rolex Cosmograph Daytona that is awarded by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest annually to personalities who best embody the spirit of les 24 Heures du Mans.

Cong Fu Cheng has yet another reason to be proud: one of the biggest fans in the Saulnier Racing team garage was none other than SAS Prince Albert II of Monaco himself, who travelled to Le Mans just to watch the team's cars start the race in person. Saulnier Racing was running a second car of gentlemen drivers for the 24 Heures du mans that included Marc Faggionato, Richard Hein and Jacques Nicolet as drivers, all close friends of the Prince.

"I'm so proud for my country," Cheng said. "I'm thrilled to have played my part for this team and my two teammates as they are both excellent drivers and I didn't want to let them down. Not to mention that we were the youngest team in the paddock! We've become great friends and I'm sure we'll stay in touch on Facebook! This is such a hard race, it's even more difficult than I had ever imagined. It's not so much the physical effort but the mental effort that is very, very tiring. If you're wondering if I'll be back to race at Le Mans, I can say right now on the spur of the moment: definitely! But just hold on a minute and let me enjoy this moment first!"

The 15th of June at exactly 3pm according to the official Rolex clock, 33 out of 55 competitors finished the 2008 24 Heures du Mans, the greatest endurance race in the world.

Rolex is the Official Timekeeper for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Le Mans Series. In North America, Rolex has been the title sponsor for the Rolex 24 At Daytona since 1992.

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