Craft-Bamboo Racing’s pair of Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3s will take on the LiquiMoly Bathurst 12 Hours next month (8 February) and will be looking to take the overall race win with Stefan Mucke (DE), Darryl O’Young (HKG) and Alex Macdowall (GB).
The trio, which drove for Aston Martin Racing’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) works team last year, will race one of 30 GT3 cars in the world-famous endurance race that scales Mount Panorama in New South Wales, Australia. Although it will be Mücke and MacDowall’s first attempt at mastering the 6.2-km long mountain road, O’Young has contested the race three times taking the overall race win twice in 2011 and 2012. “It is amazing to see the growth of this event,” he commented. “With 30 GT3’s on the grid this year, the event has taken a major step forward. I expect an extremely challenging race because there are several strong teams and cars, so we will have to focus on having a clean race. The target is to be on the lead lap at the final hour to challenge for the race win.”
The team will race its second Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 in the Pro-Am class with drivers Jonathan Venter, Jean-Marc Merlin and Frank Yu. Despite being just 18 years old, Craft-Bamboo Racing’s GT Asia driver Venter has competed in Bathurst 12 Hours twice and hopes to lead the team to class victory. “I’m really excited to race with Craft-Bamboo Racing in the 12hr,” Said the young Australian. “Its a great opportunity to gain experience and continue the learning from my GT Asia races with CBR last season. The Aston is very strong and being on Michelin tires is the perfect package for us here in Bathurst. With each race my confidence is growing, so I’m keen to put what I’ve learned to the test and help the team go for the class win at my home race.”
Experienced gentleman driver Merlin is looking forward to adding Bathurst 12 Hours to his extensive list of endurance races that includes the FIA WEC, 24 Hours of Le Mans in both LMP2 and GT, ELMS, Spa 24 Hours and Dubai 24 Hours, which he has contested seven times. “I have always been fascinated by the tradition of motor racing in Australia. I even own and race a Bathurst 1000 car in a vintage series in Europe: the 1984 Mobil 1 TWR Rover Vitesse of Ron Dickson and Steve Soper. I am really loking forward to tackling the legendary Mount Panorama Circuit, especially in the mighty Aston Martin Vantage V12 and with the great Craft Bamboo Racing team.”
Completing the line-up is Craft-Bamboo Racing’s regular driver Yu, who returns to Bathurst hoping for a stronger result than when he first contested the race in 2012. “We’ve been looking at the Bathurst 12 Hour for some time now. I’m glad we made it reality this year and we are very excited on the prospect of competing on the mountain. Pro-Am is the ideal category for us and we will give it our all to fight for the win.”
This will be the first time an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 has contested the 12-hour race and Aston Martin Racing team principal John Gaw believes that Craft-Bamboo Racing is the right team to represent the brand in the high-profile race. “Every year, our cars are competing in more and more races and championships around the world and with great successes for our customer and works team,” commented Gaw. “Bathurst 12 Hours is such an exciting race to watch and I’m delighted that Aston Martin will be there battling it out. Craft-Bamboo Racing has an excellent track-record and we believe they are the right team to conquer the mountain with our V12 Vantage GT3.”