Craft-Bamboo Racing will return to the China Endurance Series, formerly known as the FRD LMP3 Series, this weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit in the hopes of defending their dominant 2017 drivers’ and teams’ championship titles. After featuring on the podium seven times from eight races and taking four victories, Craft-Bamboo is hoping to repeat their success in 2018 with reigning champion, James Winslow, and three exciting new drivers.
Drivers’ champion, James Winslow, will once again helm the #95 Ligier JS P3 and he is eager to continue his winning streak from 2017 and kick off the 2018 season with a strong showing in Shanghai. With plenty of experience in the Ligier and at the Shanghai International Circuit, Winslow will be one of the fiercest opponents to face on track this weekend and he will be putting his extensive knowledge to good use while helping his new teammate get up to speed. Neale Muston is a championship winning driver from Australia who has raced in a variety of LMP3 events and championships. Muston and Winslow already have a successful history together, with the pair taking victory in the 2016 Gulf 12 Hours prototype class in a Ligier JS P3, which bodes well for their chances in Shanghai. Additional entries into the Asian Le Mans Series, Sprint Cup and European Le Mans Series further bolster Muston’s prototype experience and the pair will no doubt have their sights set on the top step of the podium in both races.
Nathan Kumar from Australia joins Craft-Bamboo Racing for the 2018 season and he will be taking to the Shanghai International Circuit for the first time in the #96 Ligier JS P3. Kumar, who comes from a fruitful past few years in Australian Formula 3, is eager to take the next step in his burgeoning career and make his mark on the Asian motorsport scene. With top three finishes in Australian Formula 3 championships in 2015, 2016 and 2017, Kumar has displayed raw speed and consistency in the open-wheel category. Looking to broaden his horizons, the young driver hopes to help Craft-Bamboo defend their drivers’ and teams’ championship titles in 2018. Joining Kumar is South Korea’s Rick Yoon, who is making the jump from the GT3 category. Experienced with the Asian circuits, Yoon will only have to adjust to the Ligier this weekend and thanks to Craft-Bamboo’s vast set of technical data from the past season of competition, finding a balanced setup for the #96 shouldn’t be a problem. While the pair are new to the prototype class, their breadth of experience in other categories should help them take quickly to the Ligier and the pair will be aiming to begin turning laps at full pace before the lights go out for the first time on Saturday.
With a season of LMP3 competition already under their belt, Craft-Bamboo is confident that their exciting new driver line-ups will be able to challenge for victory in both races in Shanghai. Both the #95 and #96 Ligier and their four drivers will be fiercely trying to defend the drivers’ and teams’ championship titles over the five-round season in 2018.
Schedule - Shanghai International Circuit - GMT +8
Friday April 27th
15:45 – 16:45 – Official Practice 1
Saturday April 28th
09:00 – 10:00 – Official Practice 2
12:40 – 12:50 – Qualifying 1
13:00 – 13:10 – Qualifying 2
15:15 – 16:05 – Opening Race
Sunday 29th April
13:45 – 14:45 – Main Race
Darryl O’Young, Team Director of Craft-Bamboo Racing
“Craft-Bamboo Racing is excited to be back in the China Endurance Series (FRD LMP3 Series) for the second season. Last year was a great year and we won both the drivers’ and teams’ championship. For 2018, we are aiming for more victories and the championship title once again. Last year was our first season of LMP3 racing, so we have developed the car a lot and hopefully we can increase our performance this year. We are happy to have drivers’ champion James Winslow return this year along with Neale Muston, Nathan Kumar and Rick Yoon, so we should be in for a good year.”
#95 Ligier JS P3
“I’m really pleased and looking forward to another season with Craft-Bamboo Racing and getting the chance to defend our LMP3 title from last year. The team is one of the very best and always produce good cars and I expect 2018 to be no different. Last year we won the series and without doubt we head to Shanghai with the same goal in mind.”
"I am particularly excited to be racing with reigning champions Craft-Bamboo in the China Endurance Series. Having raced across Europe and Asia in recent seasons I'm hoping to bring experience to the team in the quest to defend the title."
#96 Ligier JS P3
“I am very excited to finally enter the prototype category with the China Endurance Series at the Shanghai International Circuit and am looking forward to joining my hometown-based Craft-Bamboo Racing team. It will be a challenging weekend for me as I need to adjust myself to a different driving style from GT3. However, as I am familiar with the circuit, I will try to enjoy the different performance of the Ligier JS P3 compared to GT3 as much as possible.”
“I feel extremely privileged to be driving for a team with as much pedigree as Craft-Bamboo Racing. The China Endurance Series seems to offer up some great racing from both a driver and the fans’ point of view. It’s especially comforting to know I have such a well-seasoned team behind me all the way and I am lucky to be in the very thick of it. Also, this being my first endeavour in a prototype should be the beginning of an exciting new challenge and I can’t wait until the lights go out and we get racing.”