David Cheng is a Chinese-American racing driver who achieved the most in sports car racing. The peak of his career is the third place overall and second place in LMP2 class at 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2017. Since 2016, Cheng is competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship with his own team DC Racing, currently in a partnership with a famous actor Jackie Chan as a team co-owner.
Earlier in a career, Cheng has won three championship titles in the Asian Le Mans Series, two in LMP2 class and one in LMP3 class.
A graduate of the Skip Barber Racing School
Born in Beijing in July 1989, David Cheng moved to the US as a teenager and started his racing career in 2006 in karting and autocross competitions. In 2008, he graduated at Skip Barber Racing School and competed in the Skip Barber Western Regional Championship.
In 2009, he raced in the Skip Barber Eastern Regional Championship and made a debut in the Pacific Formula 2000 with PR1 Motorsports, participating in six races and finishing 11th in the championship and the best rookie.
Two-time vice-champion in Pacific Formula 2000
In 2010, Cheng was among the front-runners in the Pacific Formula 2000, winning two races and finishing second in the points, behind his teammate Scott Rarick.
Next season in the Pacific Formula 2000, he was on a podium ten times in twelve races, including five victories, but again missed the title, losing it to teammate Conner Ford.
Starting a sports car racing career in 2011
Parallel to his formula racing commitments with PR1 Motorsports, Cheng also joined the team at Daytona 24 Hours in January 2011, driving the #32 BMW M6 in GT class. He was sharing a car with Tom Papadopoulos, Ryan Lewis and Max Hyatt. They didn't finish the race.
Later that year, Cheng also tried prototype racing, joining PR1 Motorsports in Mid-Ohio's round of the American Le Mans Series. He was sharing the #52 Oreca FLM09 (Chevrolet) with Javier Echeverria, finishing fifth overall and third in LMPC class.
Double racing programme in Asia and the US
In 2011, Cheng also had a racing programme in China, competing in Scirocco R Cup and Formula Pilota Masters. In 2012, he continued with a double programme in Asia and the US. He won four races in the VW Scirocco R Cup and finished fifth in the points.
In the US, he raced part-time in the Pacific Formula 2000 but his main competition was the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, in which he was driving Volkswagen GTI for APR Motorsport.
LMPC class victory at 2013 Sebring 12 Hours
In 2013, Cheng participated in five American Le Mans Series races with PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports, taking LMPC class victory at Sebring 12 Hours together with David Ostella and Mike Guasch in the #52 Oreca FLM09 (Chevrolet).
Later in the season, his best result was sixth place at Lime Rock Park. While in the US, Cheng participated in two races of Pacific Formula, scoring podiums in both races and winning one race.
Asian Le Mans Series champion with OAK Racing
On the other side of the world, Cheng joined OAK Racing to compete in the Asian Le Mans Series and selected rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship in a Morgan LMP2-Judd prototype. He was on a podium in all four races of the Asian Le Mans Series, including two wins, to become the champion in LMP2 class. His co-drivers were Ho-Pin Tung, Shaun Tong, Jeffrey Lee, CongFu Cheng.
In the FIA WEC, Cheng raced at Shanghai 6 Hours and Bahrain 6 Hours, sharing the #45 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan with Keiko Ihara and Jacques Nicolet. They were sixth in LMP2 class in China and fifth in Bahrain.
Four wins in four races for the second ALMS title
In 2014, Cheng stayed with OAK Racing in ALMS and FIA WEC. He won all four races in the LMP2 class of the Asian Le Mans Series in the #1 Morgan-Judd, taking his second championship title. His partner in all races was Ho-Pin Tung.
In the FIA WEC, Cheng made a debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans in the #33 Ligier JS P2 (HPD), sharing a car with Ho-Pin Tung and Adderly Fong. They finished 12th overall and 7th in LMP2 class. In the rest of the season, Cheng participated in FIA WEC races at Shanghai International Circuit (6th) and Bahrain International Circuit (3rd).
In the US, Cheng made four starts with three different teams in the Prototype Challenge class of the IMSA United SportsCar Championship. His best result was 7th place overall and second in class at Watkins Glen 6 Hours with BAR1 Motorsports.
A season with Pegasus Racing
In 2015, Cheng joined Pegasus Racing in the European Le Mans Series and two races of the FIA World Endurance Championship. He raced in the #29 Morgan LMP2-Nissan in five races of the European Le Mans Series, not scoring wins or podiums to finish 16th in the points.
In the US, Cheng raced at Daytona 24h with RG Racing's Riley-BMW and at Sebring 12h with BAR1's Oreca FLM09, but without notable results.
ALMS championship title with his own team
For the 2015–16 Asian Le Mans Series season, Cheng formed his own team DC Racing. The team was running Nissan-powered Ligier JS P3 prototype in LMP3 class.
Partnership with Jackie Chan started in 2016 FIA WEC season
DC Racing didn't enter just Le Mans 24h in 2016 but the full season of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The famous actor Jackie Chan became the co-owner of the team which entered the championship under the Baxi DC Racing Alpine banner, partnering with Signatech Alpine to run one of their Alpine A460 LMP2 prototypes.
Cheng was sharing the #35 Alpine A460 with Ho-Pin Tung (all races), Nelson Panciatici (six races) and Paul-Loup Chatin (three races). Their best result was the fifth place in Mexico. At Le Mans, they retired after 234 laps.
Sensational double podium at Le Mans for Jackie Chan DC Racing
In October 2016, the team was rebranded as Jackie Chan DC Racing and entered the 2017 FIA WEC season under that name. The team's technical partner was Jota Sport and they were running two Oreca-Gibson LMP2 prototypes. Cheng himself was driving the #37 car, sharing it with Tristan Gommendy and Alex Brundle.
The highlight of the season was a double overall podium at Le Mans 24 Hours for the team. Cheng and his crew finished third, the #38 car was second, driven by Ho-Pin Tung, Thomas Laurent and Oliver Jarvis. It remained Cheng's only podium in 2017 and he finished 11th in LMP2 Drivers' standings.
Outside FIA WEC, Cheng was second in Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 class and raced with BAR1 Motorsports at Daytona 24 Hours.
Slowing down with racing commitments in 2018
In December 2017, Cheng started the new season of the Asian Le Mans Series in Oreca 05-Nissan, in a partnership with Jota. In the FIA World Endurance Championship, the team continued to run two Oreca 07 prototypes but without David Cheng as a regular driver.
The team fielded the third car, Ligier JS P217, at Le Mans. Cheng was sharing the #33 car with Nicholas Boulle and Jacques Nicolet, finishing 12th overall and 8th in LMP2 class. It was his only race in the 2018-2019 FIA WEC season.