Anthony Liu holds 1-point lead as he heads to final round of the season
13 points separate team from first GT3 Teams Championship crown
#85 looking to bounce back after difficult races in Okayama
Following Craft-Bamboo Racing's triumphant performance in Okayama, the stage is set for an exhilarating season finale on the 22nd to 24th of September, which will see the 30 car grid take on the final round of the 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS at the Sepang International Circuit. After an impressive display at Okayama, Craft-Bamboo Racing driver Anthony Liu (CHN) heads into the final round of the championship leading the driver’s standing by 1 point, while the team sits in 2nd place, 13 points behind in the GT3 Team Championship battle. The Chinese driver pairs up with Daniel Juncadella (ESP) for the final time this season, the duo has been successful throughout the season and will look to continue the momentum heading into the last round of the series. On the other side of the garage, Jeffrey Lee (TPE) has a vast amount of experience at the Malaysian circuit with the Taiwanese driver standing on the top step of the podium in the 2019 GT World Challenge Asia series and China GT Championship. He will look to end the season on a high alongside his season-long teammate Maximilian Goetz (GER) by securing valuable points for the team.
Liu and Juncadella have shown good pace throughout the season, with the duo securing 5 consecutive top-5 finishes over the last 3 rounds, including the flawless grand slam victory that was showcased during Race 2 in Suzuka, which saw the pair set the fastest time of the race, lead every lap and win the race. The Pro-Am duo have shown their ability to not only challenge the front runners in every race, but also recover from set-backs. In the last round, the pair completed a brilliant recovery drive from P12 on the grid to finish a strong P4.
On the other side of the garage, the #85 Mercedes-AMG GT3 has had a tougher season, struggling to find luck to score more points and better finishes despite good speed. Although the J-Fly liveried Mercedes-AMG demonstrated impressive pace throughout the weekend at Okayama, Goetz and Lee were ultimately unable to capitalize on the promising performance after the pair was spun out by rival cars during both races. Nevertheless, the pair will look to end the season on a high by securing a strong result at Sepang, with the track being a familiar sight for the Taiwanese driver, having raced there recently at the Sepang 12 Hours in March. This race will be a good opportunity for the duo to secure a strong points finish which will be critical for the team’s bid for the championship.
The 5.5km Sepang International Circuit track will prove to be a unique challenge for the 30-car grid as the unique layout provides the drivers with a series of technical turns as well as two long straights that present lots of overtaking opportunities. The Malaysian Grand Prix circuit is no stranger to the Hong Kong outfit, as the team has found success at the Malaysian track throughout the years and will be looking to repeat this at the season finale, banking on their expertise at this location. The excitement is further increased for the series finale as the weekend is set to play host to a series of thunderstorm clouds that are forecasted to loom over the Sepang circuit. The driver's mettle will be put to the test as they do their best to find the right balance between pushing the car to its limits and avoiding errors at the same time.
Darryl O’Young | Team Director, Craft-Bamboo Racing
"Everything we've worked for this season boils down to the final round here in Sepang, we're really looking forward to a strong weekend of racing. We've done all the planning and preparation we can to be competitive at this race, so we will give it our all to fight for the title in both the driver's and team's championship."
Anthony Liu | Driver, #37 Mercedes-AMG GT3
“I am very excited to be leading the championship going into the final round. The team has done a fantastic job the entire season so hopefully we will be able to secure the drivers’ and teams’ championship. Dani has done a fantastic job so I am looking forward to partnering with him for the final time this season.”
Daniel Juncadella | Driver, #37 Mercedes-AMG GT3
"Last round of the year is obviously very exciting as Anthony is leading the championship so we will fight until the end. I am very excited to be back with Craft-Bamboo Racing, this year has been very good so I am looking forward to a strong end to the season. Even though I haven’t been to Sepang, I love the track and I love the place so hopefully we can secure a strong result there."
Jeffrey Lee | Driver, #85 Mercedes-AMG GT3
“It has been a difficult season so far, but hopefully myself and Maxi can end the season off on a high. Sepang is a track that I’ve been to many times before and love visiting every time so hopefully I can use my experience to score strong points for the team. I am hopeful that we can help the team towards the teams’ championship in the final two races of the season.”
Maximilian Goetz | Driver, #85 Mercedes-AMG GT3
“I am looking forward to this great race. Our expectations are high as our target is to be the best two cars on the track, especially with this lineup. The team is very motivated as they have done a very good job in the championship, they know what to do very well and are well prepared for the weekend. Our target is to ensure we can win the overall championship, it is not an easy target but hopefully we will be successful.”