The newly merged Craft-Bamboo Racing will be making their maiden run this coming weekend in Silverstone.
Newly-formed race team Craft-Bamboo Racing – a merger of Craft Racing and Bamboo Engineering – will make its FIA World Endurance Championship debut this weekend (19-20 April) at the Six Hours of Silverstone with the #99 Aston Martin Racing works-team Vantage GTE.
Aston Martin Racing works drivers Darryl O’Young (HKG), Fernando Rees (BR) and Alex MacDowall (GB) will contest the championship’s highest GT-class, LMGTE Pro, in their first competitive race together in the V8-powered machine.
“It’s exciting to finally be going into the first round of the championship,” explains O’Young. “We’ve tested at Portimao and Paul Ricard and the car is fantastic to drive, we’ve all adapted well to it. We are also starting to work well as a team, which is an important part of GT racing.”
O’Young, although most recently known for his World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) exploits, is a well-rounded and seasoned GT driver. In his career, he has taken on the world’s toughest endurance races including Daytona 24 Hours, Bathurst 12 Hours and won championships including the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. And, the Hong Kong driver is no stranger to the WEC, where he finished in P2 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year.
“I think my WEC experience will help the team to settle in to the championship well,” comments Rees. “The rounds have remained pretty much the same for the last two years so I know the circuits and the issues they can throw up. The Vantage GTE is a real machine to drive and it’s been a pleasure to learn to race it, but there is still a lot of learning ahead.”
The driver on the steepest learning curve is MacDowall, who joins Aston Martin Racing from the WTCC, but the 23-year old has adapted very quickly to the challenges that GT racing can bring.
“The biggest difference is the length of the races,” comments MacDowall. “I’m used to driving for 30 minutes but in the WEC I’ll be doing two-hour stints. The other big challenge is driver changes. We worked on these a lot in Paul Ricard and we’ve come a long way but there are still a few more seconds to shave off.
“As for the car, it’s fantastic. The downforce on the corners is incredible and the power makes driving it an exhilarating experience – despite its obvious differences to touring cars, I’ve found it quite easy to adapt. I can’t wait for the start of the Six Hours of Silverstone.”