A solid team effort in Shanghai sees Craft-Bamboo Racing deliver a fantastic result amongst one of the biggest grids of GT cars to have raced in China, collecting Blancpain GT Series Asia championship points in both races. This was even more special for the team’s long-term partner, Shang Peng Gao Ke, as the fighting performance was delivered with incredible reception from the thousands of their VIPs and guests.
Race one saw both cars gaining a multitude of positions, with the #991 Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Darryl O’Young and Aidan Read getting a dream start due to O’Young’s sharp reactions to the lights. He then avoided an incident at turn 1, passing 8 cars and going from 10thto 2nd place even before turn 2 on the first lap. A thrilling race with gutsy overtakes followed and solid driving from both drivers meant that the #991 finished in P5. Sandy Stuvik and Shae Davies in the #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R had their work cut out for them after having their fastest laptime in qualifying deleted. The pair then bounced back during the race, managing to work their way up into 9thplace after starting 22nd on the grid giving Craft-Bamboo Racing a double points finish in Race 1. Race 2 saw the #911 car getting forced off the circuit whilst battling for position on the first lap which resulted in Stuvik dropping down to 17th place. The impeccable driving and resulting charge through the field from both Stuvik and Davies meant that the pair finished P8 after starting P14 despite the lap one setback. The #991 car started strongly in race 2 but thereon faced a tough race, losing time in the pitstops and then getting contact and spinning. However O’Young managed to recover quickly and pushed hard to finish P12 overall.
P22 – Shae Davies (#911 Porsche 911 GT3 R) – 2:09.905 [Fastest time deleted]
P10 – Darryl O’Young (#991 Porsche 911 GT3 R) – 2:07.635
P14 – Sandy Stuvik (#911 Porsche 911 GT3 R) – 2:07.053
P13 – Aidan Read (#991 Porsche 911 GT3 R) – 2:06.998
#911 Porsche 911 GT3 R
Shae Davies and Sandy Stuvik had their work cut out for them starting P22 due to their fastest laptime being deleted from a track limits infringement at T16, being only centimeters outside the white line on Davies’s fastest lap. Davies then got off to a great start, avoiding opening lap dramas and managed to gain a significant number of places to find himself in P14 at the end of the first lap. In the ensuing opening laps, Davies managed to pass several other cars in swift fashion and ran as high as P8 before handing the car over to Stuvik.
After the pit-stop window, Stuvik showed his consistency and race-craft, continuing the #911’s strong pace whilst managing to save the tyres for the end. This proved to be vital in the closing stages of the race, as Stuvik found himself under pressure from the championship leading Mercedes in the closing laps. However he showed his mettle and brought the car home in P9 to earn 2 championship points.
#991 Porsche 911 GT3 R
Darryl O’Young started the race in P10 and got off to a blistering start from a near-perfect reaction to the lights. The experienced racer then smartly hugged the inside of turn 1, avoiding an incident up front and was rewarded by running in P2 at the end of the first lap. Thereon, O’Young pushed hard and managed to build a gap but the safety car period negated any advantage that the Hong Kong driver had. When the race resumed, O’Young defended well from several attacks from the pursing competition and handed the car to Read in P3.
When Read took over, he managed to switch on the tyres well in the first few laps in his stint and found himself behind a Nissan which just emerged from the pits on cold tyres. As Read drew alongside the Nissan on the back straight, he was pushed onto the grass but he was not going to yield, keeping the throttle pinned and took the 3rd place, thrilling the thousands of local Shang Peng Gao Ke fans. Towards the end of Read’s stint, the pace drop off meant that he fell back down to 5th, being tantalisingly close to a podium finish but earning the team’s second best result of the 2018 season.
#911 Porsche 911 GT3 R
Stuvik and Davies would have a better starting position than the first race starting P14. In the opening lap scrum for position, the Thai racer was forced off the circuit in turn 5, picking up dirt on the still cold tyres and dropping down to 17th place. However he managed to keep it clean and recovered well in the following laps, fighting through the field to get back to P14 and handed the car over to Davies.
Davies then continued the #911’s charge through the field, fully utilising every inch of the wide Shanghai circuit and overtaking more cars during his stint. His error free driving meant that he was able to secure another top-10 finish for the #911, bringing the car home in P8. An impressive weekend for both drivers meant a double points finish and a bunch of Blancpain GT Series Asia championship points.
#991 Porsche 911 GT3 R
Read started for the #991 car in P13 and got to work quickly, managing to overtake several cars and moved up the order to 9th place in the opening laps. Read’s strong stint meant that when he made his pit-stop to hand the car over to O’Young, he was running in 6thplace. However there was a timing issue during the pits-stop and this resulted in a 5 second time-loss, putting O’Young in slower traffic when he emerged.
Whilst attempting to pass a competitor, O’Young had some contact which resulted in a spin. He then managed to get the car going again quickly and pushed hard to make up for the lost time. The cars good pace gave O’Young the chance to fight through the field, and worked his way up to P12 and caught P11 just as the chequered flag fell, but ran out of time to make a move.
The team is looking forward to the season finale in Ningbo on the 13-14 of October. The strong double-points finish in Shanghai means that Craft-Bamboo Racing go into the final round of the 2018 Blancpain GT Series Asia season with high ambitions.
Russell O’Hagan, Operations Director of Craft-Bamboo Racing
“A strong weekend for the team with both cars showing front running race pace. It was great to see the #991 car of Aidan and Darryl showing off their full potential and narrowly missing out on a race 1 podium. It was a great way to delight our dedicated Shang Peng partners and their many supporters. For Sandy and Shae another two mature, measured race drives that without some bad luck along the way would have delivered more top 5 results. A big thank you to all the team for the hard work and we look forward to a big push now for Ningbo in just a few weeks”
Sandy Stuvik – Driver #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R
‘Happy to get points in both races, Shae drove superb on Saturday and Sunday to get into the points. I had a good and consistent Race 1, however, my Race 2 was made more difficult when I was hung out wide out of T5. We have some work to do to be competitive in Ningbo, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Shae Davies, #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“Very happy with our results this weekend. I had a challenging qualifying and lost my best lap due to track limits which put us at the back of the field. Really enjoyed some good battles from P22 to 9th in R1 and sandy did a fantastic job to hold position in his stint to make for a great recovery. R2 was a great performance with P8 after a difficult getaway in Sandy’s first stint when he was held wide at Turn 5. Nonetheless. Great weekend, can’t wait for the finale in Ningbo!”
Aidan Read, #991 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“Shanghai was a turning point for 991. We gave it everything and got a season best top 5 in front of the Shang Peng crowd on Saturday. In the 2nd race I had a nice stint pressing on into the top 10. Unfortunately we had some pitlane dramas which set Darryl back and left us just outside the points.
I’ve never had a weekend like this before. The battles on track and the attention on our car was on another level. It has been a great event for Craft Bamboo and I look forward to finishing the season strong in Ningbo.”
Darryl O’Young, #991 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“Race 1 was fantastic, our best race of the year. Moving from 10th to 2nd by turn 2 was a decisive moment for the race because it got us in a position to fight but got a bit unlucky to lose our advantage because of the safety car. I still managed to hand the car to Aidan in P3 and he drove a very strong stint. Shame to see the pace drop off at the end and we missed the podium. The best thing was that we gave the Shang Peng Gao Ke fans a great show; they were cheering every time we had a battle on track and that was really good to see!
Race 2 was good, Aidan had a good start and managed to pass a bunch of cars. I took over the car in P10 and unfortunately we had a problem with the pit timer and lost 5 seconds in the pits. That cost us a lot because we ended up in a couple of battles we shouldn’t have been in; actually making contact and having a spin. Luckily I managed to recover quickly, and not to lose too much time and positions. Overall, a very positive weekend for the team and hopefully we can grab a win Ningbo!”
Source. Craft-Bamboo Racing