21 December 2018
For Immediate Release
Black Falcon and Craft-Bamboo Racing are proud to announce a one-off joint partnership for the 2019 Bathurst 12 Hour, which will include a single Mercedes-AMG GT3 entry with an all-star Mercedes-AMG factory line-up consisting of Maro Engel (DEU) and Luca Stolz (DEU) alongside 2018 DTM champion Gary Paffett (GBR).
It is a strategic decision to form this partnership, which brings the strengths of both teams together for this event. Black Falcon is the reigning champion of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. The team has been racing with AMG GT3s for almost a decade and won countless races with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in sprint and endurance events around the world. In their ever-expanding international portfolio of GT racing, Black Falcon will be heading Down Under for the second time to challenge the famed Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, taking on Australia’s biggest and most challenging endurance race.
Craft-Bamboo Racing, whom recently announced a brand new partnership with Mercedes-AMG, has had a history of success on the daunting Mount Panorama circuit, which saw an outright podium in 2015 as well as coming close to victory in the final moments of the 2018 race before a late red flag ended the challenge. The joint team partnership combined with Mercedes-AMG’s factory drivers and technical expertise, brings the strengths of all parties together to put forth a formidable challenge for the 1st round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge in Australia.
The famous Mount Panorama circuit near Sydney, dubbed “The Mountain”, is legendary for its 1000km endurance races held since the 1970s. Having started as a national event in the 1990s, the 12 Hour’s switch of focus to GT machinery in 2011 revitalized the race and has made it a must-attend race for the cream of international GT teams.
The Bathurst 12 Hour weekend will be an important weekend as both teams are presented with new experiences and challenges. The combined entry of Craft-Bamboo Racing and Black Falcon will be a force to be reckoned with, as two superpowers of GT racing combine knowledge and effort with a sole vision: the top step of the podium for Mercedes-AMG at “The Mountain”.
The 2019 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour runs from 1st to 3rd February 2019, with Free Practice commencing on Friday, Qualifying on Saturday, and the main race in the early hours on Sunday. The race will be broadcast live on 7mate in Australia, with online streams on the following sources: Radiolemans.com, NISMO TV, Motortrend on Demand, Motorsport.tv and more.
Sean Paul Breslin – Team Principal GT of Black Falcon
“The partnership with Craft-Bamboo Racing is a great opportunity to unite our teams’ strengths and return to the Bathurst 12 hrs after many years. Our driver line-up is really strong and we’re looking forward to a hard fight for the victory at one of the biggest endurance races in the calendar.”
Darryl O’Young – Director of Craft-Bamboo Racing
“When the idea came from Sean Paul to make a joint effort for this event, it made a lot of sense for us. In Asia we have limited opportunity to test with logistics and track time availability, so we believe this partnership will fast track knowledge for our engineers and team about the car ahead of our debut season with the Mercedes-AMG GT3. Bathurst 12 hours is a very unique race, one which we are very familiar with and have delivered results. I am confident this joint effort will be a great first event for us with Mercedes-AMG, especially with the strong driver line-up in the car.”
Maro Engel – Driver #77 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Black Falcon
“I’m really happy to drive at Bathurst again after I couldn’t race there because of a clash with the Formula E in 2018. The Bathurst 12hrs is one of the big highlights in the calendar with a fantastic track and a great atmosphere. After a fantastic year 2018 with Black Falcon I’m happy to race with the team together with Craft-Bamboo Racing in Bathurst for the first time – hopefully we can start 2019 in the same way we ended the last season. Luca and Gary are strong teammates who were very successful in 2018. I think we bring a strong package and will give it our all.”
Gary Paffett – Driver #77 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Black Falcon
“I’m very excited to be racing at Bathurst with Black Falcon and Craft-Bamboo Racing, as well as two great teammates. It’s gonna be my first time in Bathurst, obviously I’ve got a lot to learn and prepare myself beforehand. My teammates have been there before, so we should have a good package as I can learn from them. Bathurst is very different to the endurance races I have done before but I’m really looking forward to the event and I hope that we can be successful.”
Luca Stolz – Driver #77 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Black Falcon
“We have a strong package with the Mercedes-AMG GT3, Craft-Bamboo Racing, and Black Falcon. Last year has been a great year and we were the fastest AMG team in the Blancpain GT Series as well as at the Nürburgring. The Bathurst 12hrs is one of the greatest endurance races in the world, but it’s also challenging. We need to stay within the leading lap and need to keep it clean, especially in the first 45 minutes in the darkness. If we deliver a flawless performance, we could fight for the victory.”