Craft-Bamboo Racing has shown strong determination and bounced back from a tough start to their weekend in Fuji by going on to claim more Blancpain GT Series Asia champinship points. This was despite contact from competitors’ which ruled them out of race one and prevented them from maximizing their performance in race two. Sandy Stuvik and Shae Davies started race one from P4 before being taken out at the first corner, ending their race. Aidan Read and Darryl O’Young, dealt with contact damage in race one, preventing them from breaking into the top ten for another points finish. Race two saw some consistent pace from the #911 of Stuvik and Davies, and they were rewarded with a P8 result to salvage their weekend. Read and O’Young in the #991 Porsche had a tough position to contend with in race two but fought some good battles and finished P17 overall. The Blancpain GT Series Asia heads to Shanghai in September for round five and Craft-Bamboo Racing hopes to further their pace in qualifying to take the fight to those at the top of the ladder.
P4 – Sandy Stuvik (#911 Porsche 911 GT3 R) - 01:38.226
P15 – Aidan Read (#991 Porsche 911 GT3 R) – 01:39.124
P10 – Shae Davies (#911 Porsche 911 GT3 R) – 01:37.887
P21 – Darryl O’Young (#991 Porsche 911 GT3 R) – 1:38.668
#911 Porsche 911 GT3 R
Sandy Stuvik began the weekend from P4 and was holding his position around the outside of turn one, when he was struck by another competitor. This sent his #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R veering off the circuit and into the tyre barrier, ruining what could have been a strong run to the podium. This completely ruled out the #911 from race one and the team would have to work hard to prepare it for Sunday’s race two.
#991 Porsche 911 GT3 R
Aidan Read made a safe start from P15 and kept the #991 Porsche out of trouble as the huge grid streamed into turn one. He found himself in P14 after Stuvik’s demise and continued to push, taking another spot after ten minutes of racing. Consistently delivering on pace, Read was able to continue his climb up the order, snatching a further two spots from the competition as he headed towards the opening of the pit window. The young Australian had put in another strong stint in the #991 but unfortunately before he could change over to Darryl O’Young, he was struck by an Audi, which damaged the Porsche’s front splitter. Read was able to hold on and pit during the pit window, which allowed O’Young to join the race in P12. The damaged splitter would prevent O’Young from realizing the car’s full potential during his stint, but the #991 driver did his best to deal with the situation and continued the fight to the flag. After dropping a place to P13, O’Young found himself in a multi-lap battle with the #37 Audi and he showed great defensive capabilities around the Fuji Speedway but ultimately could not hold on. The Hong Kong driver did his all to maintain position but was eventually caught by the #7 Audi in the race’s final moments. Held back by the damaged front splitter, P14 was where the #991 Porsche would finish for race one.
#911 Porsche 911 GT3 R
Shae Davies made sure to keep it clean during race two’s start and he did well to keep the #911 Porsche right in the mix in P10 by the end of the first lap. Davies spent the rest of his stint in P10, but he put in a faultless drive and in doing so he managed to keep within reach of the lead cars. Stuvik got back out on track and into P9 with 20 minutes remaining and he was determined to make up further places before flag fall. It was a tough run in the hot conditions but Stuvik was able to close the gap to P8, making a move stick in the final ten minutes. The #911 driver had made the most of his run and had once again delivered the required performance to take home another points finish.
#991 Porsche 911 GT3 R
Darryl O’Young had a tough fight ahead him from P21 but the Porsche expert made a good getaway to move up the order on the opening lap. His progress continued, running as high as P18 before an incident dropped him back down to P22. O’Young fought back to P21 before handing over to Aidan Read at the race’s midpoint. Read came out of the pit stop shuffle in a strong position, finding himself in P17 with 20 minutes left. On the run to the flag, Read got stuck into several battles, running as high as P13 before being hit by a Lamborghini, which forced him into a spin. He was able to regain his composure and after a hard-fought closing stint, Read brought the #991 Porsche home in P17.
Russell O’Hagan, Operations Director of Craft-Bamboo Racing
“A mixed weekend for the team where we didn’t get to realise our full potential. The race one contact for Sandy being particularly frustrating in what we knew would be a strong showing. As always, the team and drivers kept their focus to deliver on a Sunday, but we move on to the next round in Shanghai wanting and expecting something more.”
Sandy Stuvik, #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“I was unfortunate enough to get involved in an incident in turn one on the first lap which caused me to retire. It was disappointing as we had a good shot at the podium starting from fourth.
In race two, Shae did a good job off the line to keep 10th position in the competitive field against faster cars. We have been struggling a lot with power due to the hot temperature conditions we had during the weekend. When I got into the car to finish the last half of the race we managed to pick off a few more positions to finish 8th. I don’t think there was much more we could have done, so we’re looking forward to more suitable temperatures in Shanghai!”
Shae Davies, #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“Unfortunately, in race one our outing ended shortly after turn one with Sandy being the victim of a concertina effect on the exit. This would have been our strongest chance of a good result, but it was not to be.
Race two was a solid performance for us and I believe we got the most out of what was available. We lacked some racing setup experience after our short race one, but we had enough pace to hold our P10 grid spot in my stint despite a lack of any safety car intervention for the race duration. Sandy did a great job and picked off a couple more spots for P8, which was a solid finish to a tough weekend. Bring on Shanghai.”
Darryl O’Young, #991 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“Aidan started out the race with a strong stint. Unfortunately, near the end of his stint he was hit by an Audi and it damaged our cars front splitter causing the car to lose pace. I took over the car and drove hard bringing the car home in 14th place. Disappointing, as I feel we could have had the pace to fight for a top ten finish today.
In race two, I had a good start passing four cars on the opening lap. Being in the middle of the pack meant a lot of hard battles. I passed the car to Aidan and he made progress up the field, but he was hit by a competitor in turn one, spinning him and dropping him back. We struggled in qualifying this weekend which ultimately cost us stronger results. We'll have to look to improve in that area next race in Shanghai.”
Aidan Read, #991 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“I was happy with the progress on the car in free practice and we were confident after showing solid top ten speed in FP3. Unfortunately, qualifying didn’t go to plan and that was when the speed counted most. We started the races below where we were hoping but managed to drive up the field on Saturday and Sunday. The race pace of the car was good, but in these sprint races the qualifying sets the trajectory of the races and that is where we can improve next time.”