Craft-Bamboo Racing takes first WEC pole

Fernando Rees recorded the top two lap times.

Craft-Bamboo Racing has qualified on pole for the FIA World Endurance Championship Six Hours of Fuji with its Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE in a 20-minute session that it dominated earlier today (11 October).

It was the turn of Fernando Rees (BR) and Alex MacDowall (GB) to complete the session – that takes the two fastest laps from each driver and averages them to give a qualifying time – while team-mate Darryl O’Young (HK) took his turn to sit and advise with the engineering team.

I’ve not driven here before this weekend so I had to work hard to get up to speed really fast,

Alex MacDowall

Having set the fastest lap in free practice three, Rees knew what he had to do and confidently set out onto the 4.5km long Fuji International Speedway in the Interrush-liveried Aston Martin. Wasting no time, the Brazilian recorded the top two lap times, which were unbeaten by any GT driver as the session unfolded.

“That was incredible,” commented Rees. “I drove here last year and I was very quick in qualifying so I was hoping I could do the same again. The team gave me the perfect car to go out there and get the car on provisional pole before handing over to Alex.”

After six laps, it was the turn of 23-year old MacDowall, who recorded the fastest lap of the second drivers to ensure that the Craft-Bamboo Racing car was the only one of the 13 GTE cars to get under the one-minute 40-seconds mark. In fact, the team’s average time was three tenths quicker than its closest rival.

“I’ve not driven here before this weekend so I had to work hard to get up to speed really fast,” commented MacDowall. “I watched Fernando’s times and knew what I had to do. It’s great to take our first WEC pole – we just need to make sure we make the most of it in tomorrow’s race.”

The Six Hours of Fuji starts at 11am local time on Sunday 12 October.

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About this article
Series WEC
Event Fuji
Sub-event Saturday qualifying
Track Fuji International Speedway
Drivers Darryl O'Young , Fernando Rees , Alex MacDowall
Article type Qualifying report
Tags aston martin v8 vantage gte, craft-bamboo racing