Reigning GT4 champions first to commit to 2018
Two GT3s and one GT4 confirmed
Reigning GT4 champions and GT3 race winners Craft-Bamboo Racing will maintain their three-Porsche presence in Blancpain GT Series Asia next season, while the possibility of fielding a second GT4 entry is also under consideration.
The Hong Kong-based outfit, which is also Porsche’s Official Technical Partner Team in Asia, claimed the inaugural GT4 crown with Jean-Marc Merlin and Frank Yu earlier this year, while team director and driver Darryl O’Young won overall at Shanghai alongside Marvin Dienst.
Indeed, that was just one of four consecutive outright podiums achieved over the latter half of 2017, which ultimately resulted in Craft-Bamboo finishing fourth in the final GT3 Teams’ standings. Devon Modell was seventh in the Drivers’ championship despite missing the opening round of the season, while O’Young followed closely behind in eighth after also sealing Porsche’s maiden Blancpain GT Series Asia GT3 pole.
While its 2018 driver line-ups are still to be confirmed, the team has reaffirmed its championship commitment by announcing that two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs and a single Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR will be entered for the entire 12-race pan-continental campaign, which kicks off at Sepang in Malaysia on April 14/15.
There is also a possibility the team could expand its GT4 assault to a pair of Caymans, although a final decision won’t be made until the new year.
Meanwhile, O’Young expects to make further gains with Porsche’s 911 GT3 R during the off-season, with fresh updates from Porsche Motorsport in the pipeline.
“We are delighted to announce that Craft-Bamboo Racing will continue to compete in Blancpain GT Series Asia next season,” he said. “The championship proved itself to be a strong and stable platform during its inaugural season, and produced some of the best GT racing Asia has seen in recent years. We expect a steady growth for the series in 2018 as a natural progression following a great first season in Asia.
“Porsche Motorsport has worked hard on the development of both its GT3 and GT4 cars, and we have high expectations to challenge for the championship in GT3 and defend our GT4 crown. We will prepare a test programme and focus on securing strong driver line-ups over the winter in order to give the team the best chance of title success in 2018.”
The championship’s General Manager Benjamin Franassovici added: “To have a team like Craft-Bamboo Racing, with all the success it has enjoyed across Asia, confirm their plans so soon after our inaugural campaign represents a wonderful validation of what we achieved in Year 1.
“However, just like them, we have no intention of resting on our laurels and are looking forward to an even bigger and better 2018 season. Craft-Bamboo’s run of GT3 podiums, which culminated in victory for Darryl at Shanghai, and of course the team’s GT4 title with Jean-Marc and Frank, suggests they’ll be strong contenders in both classes once again next season.”
Blancpain GT Series Asia’s 2018 campaign kicks off at Sepang in Malaysia on April 14/15.