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Craft-Bamboo Racing secure top-5 finish at 2023 Sepang 12 Hours



  • Jeffrey Lee, Sandy Stuvik and Jiatong Liang join forces to take on challenging endurance race in Malaysia

  • Race runs without interruptions for the entirety of 8 hours for a faultless return of Sepang 12 Hours

  • Hong Kong team gears up for upcoming season with strong showing at Sepang


Craft-Bamboo Racing successfully completed a challenging but rewarding weekend at the Sepang 12 Hours, held at the Sepang International Circuit from the 17th to the 18th of March 2023. The Official Mercedes-AMG Performance Team from Hong Kong secured a P5 finish at the end of the 8-hour race as a result of consistent driving from the trio of Jeffrey Lee (TPE), Sandy Stuvik (THA) and Jiatong Liang (CHN). The event marked the return of the Malaysian endurance classic after a hiatus of 7 years and was well-received by guests, fans and media as a resurgence of international endurance racing in Asia.


The red and blue J-Fly Racing liveried #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 lined up in P7 on the grid after a solid qualifying performance from all 3 drivers. It was particularly impressive considering this was the first time that triple-Thailand Super Series champion, Stuvik and current Macau GP Greater Bay Area GT Cup champion, Liang were driving the Mercedes-AMG GT3. Both drivers got up to speed quickly, thanks to additional testing days undertaken by the team in the week leading up to the event. It was important for the team, given the challenging hot conditions and the unknowns of the Hankook tyre performance at SIC.


Lee started well in the #88 Mercedes-AMG, making up positions and putting himself in P4 at the end of his stint, before handing the car over to Liang. The Chinese driver clocked in consistent lap times to maintain position and drove a solid stint. Craft-Bamboo Racing veteran, Stuvik took control of the car next and showed impressive pace as he headed into a challenging double stint. The strategy slowly started to pay off as Liang jumped back into the car for his second stint and was leading the race as the sunlight faded away and the track floodlights came on.


The race was rounded out by Lee and Stuvik’s final stints, which despite matching the pace of the leaders, was not enough to challenge for the podium positions. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 was unable to match the fuel consumption of the winning Audi R8 LMS GT3, forcing an extra pit stop, which ultimately hindered the team's ability to make a challenge for the podium. The entire Sepang 12 Hours race ran without any interruptions due to incidents, safety cars or red flags, making it a faultless performance by all teams. Craft-Bamboo Racing took a strong P5 finish as the chequered flag fell at midnight, and completed a demanding endurance race in the Malaysian heat, powered by the reliability afforded by team partner Motul’s flagship 300V lubricant.


This race served as a precursor to the upcoming 2023 season, which is set to feature a widened racing programme as a result of Asian races like this one making a return post-pandemic. The Hong Kong squad displayed a strong and professional performance with no mistakes or hindrances among the crew or the car. This will be a good boost in confidence for the team as they head into more races in the coming months. More news on the 2023 race calendar will follow soon. Craft-Bamboo Racing would like to thank its partners, J-Fly Racing, Motul, The Pizza Company, Jet 8, Hong Kong Asia Medical Group, Gravity, Evisu and FreeM.


 

Jeffrey Lee | Driver, #88 Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3

“I am happy with how the team performed. We were lacking a bit of ultimate pace as compared to our competitors and were unable to maximise this to challenge for the top spots. But, the entire crew and staff did a stellar job to keep us going. We will regroup and look at what we can improve upon to go the overall win next time!”

Sandy Stuvik | Driver, #88 Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3

“It was a very valuable experience for me, being my first time in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and I was happy to do it within the professionalism and expertise of Craft-Bamboo Racing. I was satisfied with my pace but I hope to continue learning more about the car and how to extract even more potential from it. It was a tough race but we gave it our all. We will study our shortcomings and make sure we come back stronger and faster!”

Jiatong Liang | Driver, #88 Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3

“It was a pleasure for me to join Craft-Bamboo Racing for this iconic Southeast Asian endurance race, thanks to all the people who helped me to make it come true. It was a difficult race in Sepang, but we will work hard and come back stronger.”

Darryl O’Young | Director, Craft-Bamboo Racing

“It’s great to be back at the Sepang 12 Hours. It’s been a while since this race has taken place, so to bring the team back to Asia to compete was a great feeling. Overall, it was a tough race - we didn’t have the pace and also we had no chance to win this race with the fuel consumption. We couldn’t complete the race in six stints, which meant we had to do an extra pit stop. But overall the team drove well. There were no errors from anyone in the team, which was very good. It was a faultless event and a faultless race and at the end of the day it was a warm-up for the season and it was great for us to be back together as a team.”

 




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