Hong Kong’s Craft Racing wins entry into 24 Hours of Le Mans

The points haul was enough for Craft Racing to secure 2nd place in the GTC class and claim the coveted invitation to the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.

Hong Kong’s Craft Racing wins entry into 24 Hours of Le Mans

Hong Kong - It was a magical day for Hong Kong racing team Craft Racing AMR as their #007 entry crossed the finish line at the Sepang International Circuit to grab the final podium position at the Asian Le Mans Series season finale. The points haul was enough for Craft Racing to secure 2nd place in the GTC class and claim the coveted invitation to the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.

Craft Racing entered two Aston Martin Vantage GT3’s in the Asian Le Mans Series this past weekend, the first time to line-up on the grid with two cars this season. The #009 entry of Darryl O’Young, Frank Yu, and Tomonobu Fujii started P2, followed closely by the #007 of Stefan Mücke and Keita Sawa starting P3 on the grid for the 3 hour endurance race.

When the green flag dropped, both cars made strong starts and after two turns, the starting drivers of Mucke and O’Young emerged in 1st and 2nd in the class. The pair extended their lead pulling over 20 seconds away from the field before the first round of pit stops.

With re-fueling taking longer than expected, the team lost their lead heading into the 2nd hour when Sawa and Yu took over the wheel. The pair fought hard through the intense heat of Malaysia, which saw the pair sitting in P3 and P5 respectively by the end of their stints. Shortly before the final hour, the #007 was passed back to Mucke, as Yu finished his stint and handed the car to Fujii for the run to the checkered flag.

The #007 emerged P3 after the final pit stops and being in a good position to score enough points to secure the Le Mans entry, the team decided to stop chase of the leaders and maintain the position. Doing the opposite, #009 was making a charge in the final 30 minutes of the race reducing a 25 second deficit to the fourth placed Lamborghini ahead. The chase came a bit short at the end as #009 crossed the finish line just two seconds behind, having to settle for P5 after a sensational drive by Fujii.

Although Craft Racing missed out on the victory, it was celebrations all around as the #007 crossed the finish line in P3 claiming 2nd place in the GTC championship and claiming the coveted 24 hours of Le Mans entry.

Craft Racing AMR had their first major endurance race success earlier this year in January, where they became the first Hong Kong race team to take an international endurance race podium at the 24 hours of Dubai. The team will return to Dubai this January to try and improve on their success at the event.

Said team founder Frank Yu, “This is a dream come true as our Hong Kong team will be heading to Le Mans. This is a big step for Craft Racing, as we made Le Mans our target from the outset and to achieve this result is a great reward to everyone on the team for all the hard work. We will all enjoy this special moment right now, but work will start again immediately as we prepare for a big race in January at the 24 hours of Dubai and preparations for Le Mans.”

Hong Kong driver, Darryl O’Young commented, “Endurance racing is a team sport and everyone at Craft Racing worked so hard for this result. We struggled today with tire degradation, so it wasn’t an easy race for the drivers. Everyone pulled together and gave it a strong team effort and I am so happy for the team as this is a major accomplishment.”

Team Principle, Mark Goddard added, “It is a tremendous day for our us as getting a Le Mans invitation is one of the biggest challenges for a race team. Scoring an early invitation allows us time to prepare properly for the race in June and we can begin organizing the logistics, sponsors and the driver line-ups for the race. It will be a big challenge ahead but we have worked hard for many years to achieve this and we are ready for the task. Many thanks to all our sponsors and supporters for believing in us, and a special thank you to Aston Martin Racing for all the continued support.”

Craft Racing

shares
comments
Strakka Racing and Dome to field LMP2 car in 2014
Previous article

Strakka Racing and Dome to field LMP2 car in 2014

Next article

Episode 1 - Battle stations!

Episode 1 - Battle stations!
Load comments
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Prime

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans Prime

The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans

Kevin Magnussen will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend alongside father Jan in LMP2. But the Danes won't be the only ex-F1 drivers to appear in the hotly contested category this year.

Le Mans
Aug 20, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload Prime

How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload

The 23-car GTE Am field promises to be one of the most open in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with the added jeopardy of managing the enthusiasm of amateur drivers to boot, as Absolute Racing Porsche driver Marco Seefried explains

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021