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Craft-Bamboo Racing finds positives from tough weekend at Buriram



  • Running in P1, race comes undone in final 15 minutes for #30 Mercedes-AMG GT3

  • Lee and Goetz endure tough luck after contact in opening lap

  • Craft-Bamboo Racing looks to bounce back in Fuji\


There were many positives to take away from Thailand, despite ultimately a challenging weekend for Craft-Bamboo Racing in round 2 of the 2024 Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS championship. The team came close to their first win of the season but ultimately fell short at the latter stages of the race. Race 2 saw Cao Qi (CHN) and Maro Engel’s (GER) #30 Mercedes-AMG GT3 run in P1 for the duration of the race before they were handed a 1 second stop-and-go penalty which dropped them down to P12. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Lee (TPE) and Maximilian Goetz (GER) had a strong start position to their race but endured contact on the opening lap which dropped the #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 a lap down. After a tough weekend at the Chang International Circuit, the team now sets their sights on the third round of the championship at the Fuji Speedway.


Starting Race 1 from P22, Cao was quick to make up positions throughout his stint, cutting his way through multiple cars before pitting for a driver swap and tyre change. After serving their 10-second success penalty from their podium finish in Sepang, Engel resumed their charge up the field from P23, but ultimately ran out of time and crossed the finish line in P19. On the other side of the garage, Lee enjoyed a well-driven stint from P15 on the grid before handing driving duties to Goetz, who came out of the pits in P17. However, shortly into his stint, Goetz was handed a drive-through penalty for combined drivers exceeding track limits, which meant that the #88 J-Fly liveried Mercedes-AMG GT3 took the chequered flag in P18.


The second race on Sunday saw Engel in the #30 Mercedes-AMG GT3 line up in P3 for the start of the race, while Goetz in the sister #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 started in P5. Engel had a blistering start as the German driver showcased his driving abilities and experience by executing a beautiful sweeping move around the outside of 3 cars to take the lead. After taking control of the race, the German driver began to build a gap to the car behind before handing driving duties to Cao halfway through the race. However, their race came undone shorter after the Chinese driver took over as he was given a 1-second stop-and-go penalty after coming 0.1 seconds short of the mandatory pit stop time, which dropped the pair down the order, eventually finishing the race in P12. Meanwhile, Goetz endured a tyre puncture after contact from the car behind during the race start, forcing him to fall a lap down after pitting for a new tire. Despite setting the fastest lap of the race, the #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 eventually had to cross the finish line in P29.


After two challenging rounds at the Chang International Circuit, Craft-Bamboo Racing departs Buriram P5 in the team’s standing. All four drivers showed fantastic pace throughout the weekend and will hope to bring their experience to the next round of the championship from the 21st to the 23rd of June at Fuji, where the team will look to bounce back and secure a strong points haul for the team’s and driver’s championship


 

Darryl O’Young

Team Director
Craft-Bamboo Racing
“Overall as a team I feel that we’ve made a big step forward in performance from both AM drivers since Sepang. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t translate that into race results as I felt we deserved a much better result in Thailand, unfortunately that's racing. Sometimes things don’t go our way, but I’m proud of the work everyone has done and I’m sure if we stay consistent and keep performing, the result’s will definitely come our way. Thank you to the team and drivers for their continued efforts and we look forward to the next race in Fuji.”

Cao Qi

Driver
#30 Craft-Bamboo Racing
“I’m very grateful to the team for their hard work throughout the entire weekend, they gave us a strong car and we came really close to our first victory once again. Maro did an amazing job in the second race so it was a shame we couldn’t capitalise on it, however we’ve shown over the weekend that we definitely have the pace to challenge for race wins. I am gaining a lot of experience each weekend and definitely feeling stronger each time I drive.”

Maro Engel

Driver
#30 Craft-Bamboo Racing
“It was great to join Craft-Bamboo Racing once again, I felt that we had strong pace throughout the weekend and had potential for a podium or a win, but that's the way racing goes so I’m sure we will come back stronger next time. It’s a valuable lesson learnt and we look forward to the next round. Thank you to everyone from the team and I’m looking forward to joining the team once again for Fuji.”

Jeffrey Lee

Driver
#88 Craft-Bamboo Racing
“We tried our best but we faced a lot of bad luck so we couldn’t get a strong result, but there’s still a lot of positives to take from this weekend. The pace we showed was promising so I’m confident we will be able to secure our first podium finish in the future. Big thanks to the team once again for their hard work over the weekend, they gave Max and I a fantastic car and I’m happy with the progress we are making.”

Maximilian Goetz

Driver
#88 Craft-Bamboo Racing
“It was a tough weekend for us because we had higher hopes coming into this week, we had great pace in both races and managed to qualify in P5 so the results didn’t do us justice. Jeffrey also did fantastic this weekend, he improved a lot compared to last year and he was able to catch up to the top guys from the Pro-Am class. We had an amazing package but unfortunately the incidents in both races meant we couldn’t capitalize on it. The potential is definitely there which is a good sign, the team worked really hard to come back from the issues we had earlier in the week, we’ve been in top-5 in terms of pace throughout the entire weekend so it was a shame that we couldn’t get any points from it. Thank you once again to the team for their hard work throughout the weekend and I look forward to joining Craft-Bamboo Racing one again later on this season.”

 




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