> Hong Kong outfit also working on second entry
> More than 30 cars now confirmed for Asia’s Intercontinental GT Challenge round
> Japan’s Formula 1 venue hosts round three on August 24-26
Asia’s leading Porsche squad, Craft-Bamboo Racing, has confirmed it will enter a full factory driver line-up in the Suzuka 10 Hours on August 24-26.
The Hong Kong outfit currently competes in Blancpain GT Series Asia but also contested the Intercontinental GT Challenge season opener – the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour – in February when its works Porsche crew was strategically set for victory until a late red flag brought the race to an early conclusion.
That performance, coupled with Suzuka’s status as the Intercontinental GT Challenge’s designated Asian round, has motivated Craft-Bamboo Racing to return with the full backing of Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific and three of the manufacturer’s drivers, all of whom will be confirmed in due course.
The team is also working on a second Porsche, to be entered in either the Pro or Pro/Am category, that will run alongside the factory car at a circuit where Craft-Bamboo claimed its maiden Blancpain GT Series Asia pole position and podium last season.
Director of Craft-Bamboo Racing, Darryl O’Young, confirmed the team’s near-miss at Bathurst had played a role in returning to the Intercontinental GT Challenge for another factory assault with Porsche.
“I am very pleased we were able to finalize the partnership with Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific to compete in the upcoming Suzuka 10 Hours with a full factory line-up,” he said. “Our first Intercontinental GT Challenge race was the Bathurst 12 Hour earlier this year, where we had a shot for the win up to the final 20 minutes. It was a bittersweet end for us there, but it only motivated us more to go for the win in Suzuka.
“We have seen good performance from the Porsche 911 GT3 R in past races at Suzuka, so we have high expectations to compete at the front of the field again. There’s a very competitive entry list, so for us the race starts now as we prepare for the big event.”
Alexandre Gibot, Head of Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific, added: “We look forward to partnering once again with Craft-Bamboo Racing, for this joint effort to compete in the Suzuka 10 Hours. This will be the third time since Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific was founded that we join forces with Craft-Bamboo Racing, and we are eager to work with the team for a strong result in the race.
“Alongside bringing the Porsche factory driver-line up, Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific will also provide engineering and technical support leading up to, and on site during the race, as well as ensuring adequate parts supply on site.”
Porsche is set to enjoy a strong presence at Suzuka where six 991 GT3 Rs are now confirmed. Three cars entered by two Japanese teams – D’station Racing and APR – plus Black Swan Racing’s Bronze Drivers’ championship-leading entry are joined by Craft-Bamboo and fellow factory-backed squad, Manthey Racing.
ABOUT THE SUZUKA 10 HOURS
The Suzuka 10 Hours, which becomes Asia’s sole leg of the Intercontinental GT Challenge this season, is being jointly administered by SRO Motorsports Group, Super GT organisers GT Association, and Suzuka’s management company Mobilityland Corporation.
Uniquely, the race offers FIA GT3 cars from all over the world an opportunity to compete equally against Japanese teams running similar machinery and the JAF GT-spec chassis only found in Super GT’s GT300 category.
August’s 47th Summer Endurance Race builds on the legacy of Suzuka’s previous 1000-kilometre event. Although best known previously as Super GT’s blue riband round, the race has also featured on the FIA GT Championship, BPR Series, World Sportscar Championship and All-Japan Sports Prototype Championship schedules since its establishment in 1966.
Pirelli has been chosen as the event’s official tyre supplier while prize money totalling 100-million Yen has also been confirmed.
The Total 24 Hours of Spa hosts round two of this year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge on July 26-29 before the Suzuka 10 Hours takes centre stage one month later (August 24-26). The Laguna Seca Raceway California 8 Hours closes out the campaign, which began in February at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, on October 26-28.