The team now heads to Brazil for the final round of the 2014 WEC.
Craft-Bamboo Racing has finished in sixth place in the GTE Pro class of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) the Six Hours of Bahrain – the penultimate round of the eight-race series – in the team’s INTERUSH-liveried Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE.
In Friday’s qualifying session, Alex MacDowall (GB) and Fernando Rees (BR) swapped their usual running order and it was the 23-year old Brit who headed out onto the 6.3-km long circuit first.
In the WEC, two drivers from each car must take part in qualifying. They each set a minimum of two flying laps. The top two times from each driver are added together with those of their team-mate and averaged to give the car’s qualifying time.
Once MacDowall and Rees had both recorded their laps, they started the six-hour race from fourth place on the grid of 13 GTE cars.
“Qualifying was good,” commented Rees. “We knew that from fourth place we would have a chance at fighting for a podium so the plan was to get a good start and stay with the race leaders.”
When Saturday came, it was MacDowall who started the race, his first race start in the WEC. On the green light, he made good progress and, by turn one, was up to third place.
“I’m experienced at rolling starts, but it was my first in the WEC,” explained MacDowall. “I loved it, and managed to gain a position, but there is a lot to think about and it makes it much harder to get into your rhythm in the opening laps. Rather than having your own space to feel your way into the car, you have to think about what everyone else is doing around you while remaining focused on your driving.”
After his hour-long stint, MacDowall pitted and handed over Rees, who, on leaving the pits found the car had an issue and the crew was forced to push it back into the box. A recalibrated throttle later, and the team was back out on-track but not without losing three laps to the competition.
Joining MacDowall and Rees in the car this weekend was Saudi driver Abdulaziz Al Faisal, who impressed the team with his quick pace and professional attitude throughout the weekend.
“The team is one of the best organised I have ever driven with,” commented Al Faisal. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of this weekend, despite the issue with the car.”
After six hours of racing, the trio crossed the line in sixth place in the GTE Pro class and the team now heads to Brazil for the final round of the 2014 WEC.
The Six Hours of Sao Paulo takes place on Sunday 30 November at the Interlagos circuit in São Paulo, Brazil.