Craft-Bamboo Racing will be fighting to claim both the FRD LMP3 Series drivers’ and teams’ championship titles in Zhuhai, China, this weekend. The #95 Ligier of Mathias Beche and James Winslow currently sits first in the drivers’ and teams' table, eight points ahead of second place. With such a small margin of points heading into the final round in Zhuhai, the #95 Ligier will need to produce another weekend of top results if they are to take the crown this Sunday. Unfortunately, Beche is unable to join the final round due to scheduling clashes with his WEC calendar and will leave Winslow to fight for the sole drivers' championship claim. Beche will be replaced by Super GT driver, Hiroki Yoshida, from Japan. Alex Tagliani and Greg Taylor are united once again in Zhuhai and the pair is eager to finish the season on a high note. After some near podium finishes in the #20 Ligier JS P3, which is currently fifth overall, the pair are looking to fight back this weekend and show what the #20 is capable of.
Hiroki Yoshida is an experienced driver with a strong background in Super GT. In 2016 he piloted a Ligier JS P3 in the Asian Le Mans Series, making him the perfect fit to replace Beche for the crucial final round. Both Winslow and Yoshida have driven together before, racing the Ligier JS P3 for the final three rounds of the Asian Le Mans Series in 2016. Thanks to their previous pairing and experience behind the wheel of a Ligier, Winslow and Yoshida should be quick to find the pace and put the #95 ahead of their closest rivals in the KCMG and PTRS entries. Winslow has driven the LMP3 Ligier in Zhuhai before and will be able to help get Yoshida up to speed at the 4.32km circuit in the first practice sessions in preparation for qualifying.
Alex Tagliani and Greg Taylor are back behind the wheel together for the first time since round one and the pair are keen to build upon their performance and take the #20 Ligier to its first podium finish of the season. Now with two rounds each behind the wheel of the #20 Ligier JS P3, Taylor and Tagliani are well prepared to finish the final round of the season with a strong result. Both drivers will be working hard early on to get acquainted with the 14-turn Zhuhai International Circuit and will be applying the knowledge gained from the past three rounds to dial in the perfect setup. With the team’s continued development of the Ligier and utilization of data collected over the past three rounds, Craft-Bamboo hopes to provide the #20 pair with an optimal setup that will allow them to start both races ahead of their rivals.
FRD LMP3 Series Round Four – Zhuhai (GMT +8)
Friday 15th September
10:00-11:00 Free Practice 1
13:10-14:10 Free Practice 2
17:20-17:30 Qualifying 1
17:40-17:50 Qualifying 2
Saturday 16th September
14:35-15:25 Race 1
Sunday 17th September
15:30 – 16:30 Race 2
Richard Coleman, CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing
“Our ultimate goal this weekend is taking the drivers’ and teams’ championship titles. With only an eight point lead, we know how challenging this will be but I am confident that our new driver Hiroki Yoshida will be more than up to the task. Hiroki and James Winslow have driven together in the past and I feel they have an excellent shot at clinching the drivers’ championship. Having Greg Taylor and Alex Tagliani back together in the #20 Ligier should help them fight for their best finish of the season and I hope to see them take another position in the drivers’ championship standings as well.”
#95 Ligier JS P3
"I'm looking forward to the final round of the FRD LMP3 series at a circuit I know well. The title will be a nail-biter as Lightning McQueen fights for the title in the final race of the season. I am also looking forward to racing with Hiroki and I hope that we can push the #95 Ligier to the limit and end the season with the championship title.”
“It is wonderful to join Craft-Bamboo Racing and be given the opportunity to drive the #95 Ligier in the final round of the season in Zhuhai. The #95 has been incredibly successful throughout the season and I will do my best to work hard and continue the #95's success this weekend and hopefully help take the championship title.”
#20 Ligier JS P3
“I am looking forward to getting back into the car with Greg this weekend and I think the car will really suit the track. Back in Zhejiang we had a chance of winning the race but a little mishap made us finish fourth but within reach of the lead. I think we are really pumped to get back in the car and apply everything we learnt from the last race on tyre degradation and car balance. It is our aim to finish the season strong with a one-two finish for Craft-Bamboo.”
“I can’t wait to get back to racing the #20 Ligier and team back up with Alex for the first time since round one. I will have to work hard to learn the Zhuhai circuit but after all the development work done by Craft-Bamboo Racing, I am sure we will be able to nail a really good setup and put the #20 at the sharp end of the field for both races.”