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Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil Gunning for Double Championships in Macau Season Final

The final round of the TCR International Series has arrived and after an incredible season of racing, both Pepe Oriola and Jordi Gene have a shot at taking home the inaugural drivers’ championship title. After scoring the greatest number of points of any driver in Thailand, Oriola is now only two points behind the championship lead. Teammate Gene is in third place and has a large gap to close, but with the unpredictable nature of Macau, he is still in with a chance given his recent string of results. Sergey Afanasyev scored another podium in Thailand, helping the team extend its lead in the teams’ championship, while this weekend he will be looking for his maiden win of the season.

After Oriola’s success in Thailand, he will now have to carry the maximum 30kg of success ballast for the final two races of the season, while rival, Stefano Comini, will be running with 20kg. Thankfully, the Guia circuit is well known to the young Spaniard, having competed there multiple times in the WTCC. This should prove to be invaluable as Comini has yet to face the unforgiving Macau Guia circuit. Oriola will be looking to use his circuit knowledge to take to the front row of the grid, which will be critical on Macau’s narrow streets that limit overtaking opportunities.

Gene will be carrying 10 kg of ballast, which gives him a small edge over his two competitors, who are the only other drivers still in the running for the title. With a 34 point gap to close, it is going to be a tough ask for Gene, but with the unpredictable nature of Macau and his veteran touring car experience, he could still pull off one of the biggest Macau Grand Prix upsets in recent history.

Afanasyev has reached the end of his first touring car season and after a podium in the last round and no ballast to contend with this weekend, he is looking to finish on a high note. With a thirteen point lead in the teams’ championship, another strong finish from Afanasyev, alongside his teammates will be instrumental in helping the team to seal the title on Sunday.

Frank Yu is joining the TCR Asia Series once again and will be piloting the #99 INTERUSH Craft-Bamboo SEAT Leon. An experienced Macau competitor in the GT category on six separate occasions will hopefully set him apart from the Asia Series competition. While it is Yu’s first time in a touring car at the street circuit, he will only have to get to grips with the car as his knowledge of the track is impeccable. After a successful Singapore round, Frank is determined to raise the stakes and take his first win of the season in what would be a fantastic end to his Macau touring car debut.

Practice will be held on Friday, 20th of November 12:30 – 13:00. Qualifying will be held Saturday, 21st of November 07:30 – 08:10. Two 10 lap races will be held on Sunday 22nd of November between 10:00 and 12:00 with a 15 minute break between races. Live streaming from the Macau Guia Circuit will be available on the series’ official website www.tcr-series.com.

The pursuit of the inaugural TCR international title would not be possible without the support of LUKOIL, Gravity, Team Dynamics and Orangebus.

Pepe Oriola, Driver #74

“I know we are really close in the championship and Macau is a track I really like. I have had good years and bad years in Macau so I am hoping for the best this weekend. We will see what happens when free practice begins but I have a good feeling about the race and I want to end the season on a high for both myself and the team.”

Sergey Afanasyev, Driver #77

"I'm totally excited to be racing in Macau. I have been learning the circuit and I am ready to go as usual. These two races will decide who will become the champion and I am really hoping that it is one of my teammates! My target is to continue learning as much as possible and finish my first touring car season as best as possible by hopefully taking the teams’ championship"

Jordi Gene, Driver #88

“I have a huge battle ahead of me this weekend and a big gap to close as well but I will be pushing as hard as I can to take every last point. Macau is a tough circuit and with limited overtaking opportunities I need to make the most of my qualifying session.”

Frank Yu, Driver #99 TCR Asia

“I am really excited to be racing in Macau once again. I have raced there on numerous occasions in the GT category but this will be my first time in a touring car. Macau is always such a special race and I can’t wait to be a part of this.”

Richard Coleman, CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing

“It has been a challenging season and the team has done a marvelous job to continually bring home top results. We have two drivers in the running for the championship, with Pepe Oriola having considerable experience at this track before; along with many of our team members. Whilst you can never be confident at Macau a lot of things on paper are in our favour, we are not the ones under pressure. I am a little worried about Rob Huff in the Honda but he is a true professional and won't get involved in anything that would affect the championship although he will be looking to win for sure.”