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Craft-Bamboo Racing Takes Sixth in FIA GT World Cup Qualification Race After Chaos on Opening Lap

Craft-Bamboo Racing finished sixth overall with Darryl O’Young and his #991 VLT Porsche in the FIA GT World Cup qualification race after a chaotic pileup devastated most of the field on the opening lap. Unfortunately, Laurens Vanthoor was one of the first casualties in his #991 EVISU Porsche and was instantly ruled out of the race with huge contact damage. After getting the car back to the garage, the damage sustained to the chassis is far too great and Vanthoor will not be able to compete in Sunday’s main race, which is a huge blow to the team.  

Vanthoor was off to a magnificent start, moving up three places from his P9 starting position before filing in behind Raffaele Marciello as they wove through the city streets. Marciello soon hit the brakes hard and dove to the right, narrowly avoiding a parked Daniel Juncadella. Unfortunately, there was no way for Vanthoor to avoid the stricken Mercedes and he careened straight into its rear, starting a concertina effect that saw much of the field violently collide and create one of the biggest GT pileups in recent history. The race was instantly red flagged and the cars were cleared away, but with the level of damage sustained to the #911 EVISU Porsche, the weekend was over for Vanthoor.
 
O’Young began his race from P16 and while he was not able to avoid the pileup he was lucky enough that his #991 VLT Porsche only suffered a damaged radiator and he was able to crawl back to the pits. The team did an exemplary job by quickly repairing the VLT Porsche in time for the race restart under the safety car and O’Young got underway again from P5. Struggling to find the pace, O’Young dropped a position before settling into a rhythm and putting his years of Macau experience to good use. He safely guided the VLT Porsche to the chequered flag to secure a P6 start position for the FIA GT World Cup’s main race, perfectly setting himself and Craft-Bamboo Racing up for a strong result on Sunday.
 
Quotes
 
Richard Coleman, CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing
 
“I know people always say that’s Macau but you have to question the sporting spectacle of that race with only a handful of cars finishing. Laurens had a good start and made up a few places, but coming into the final part of the first lap was totally unsighted and had nowhere to go and hit the stationary Mercedes. We are very disappointed but glad that Laurens is okay. Unfortunately, the roll safety cage has been significantly damaged and the car will have to be withdrawn from the weekend. Darryl was also involved in the pileup but managed to return to the pits where the crew worked miracles to get him back out to finish sixth after starting sixteenth. We hope for more luck tomorrow to balance out our weekend with Darryl in the VLT car.”
 
Laurens Vanthoor, #911 EVISU Porsche
 
“I had a really good start, I went from ninth to sixth but in the middle Juncadella damaged his car and he went off and then I had no chance to avoid him. I went into the back of him and then everyone piled up behind me. It is a typical Macau situation and I am disappointed that I will not get to compete in Sunday's main race.”
 
Darryl O’Young, #991 VLT Porsche
 
“It was a difficult race with the huge pileup, luckily I was able to somewhat stop but I still hit the car in front of me and thankfully the car behind me was able to avoid hitting me. I lost all my radiator fluid, but we took a chance and I drove the car back and got it back safely by rolling it on and off the engine. This was critical for us and we were then able to restart the race. Overall though, our pace wasn’t good today, we had lack of grip and we are going to have to work on the overall balance of the car. We are very happy to move up to P6 and if we can improve the car then I will try to defend the position.”