This weekend marks the series’ first visit to the Ningbo venue, which was opened in late 2017, and its wide layout and 23 turns is sure to provide a fitting end to the 2018 season.
Heading to the 4.015 km FIA Grade 2 circuit are two GT3-spec Porsche 911 GT3 R and a pair of Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR, with a total of 27 entries confirmed for the finale.
Season regulars Craft-Bamboo Racing return following another points-paying round at the Shanghai International Circuit last time out. The #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Shae Davies and Sandy Stuvik has finished outside the top-10 just twice all season, with the Silver Cup duo looking to repeat their Suzuka podium here in China.
In the sister #991 entry, Darryl O’Young and Aidan Read showed good pace in Shanghai, achieving their best result of the season in fifth and will be in search of more points this weekend to end their campaign on a positive note.
In GT4, TTR Team SARD will also be looking to continue their strong run of form, after collecting another class podium at the last round. The #17 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR will be driven once again by Brian Lee and Tony Fong Wai Shing.
Taiwan Top Speed Racing holds a narrow two-point advantage over TTR Team SARD in the standings, having secured their seventh top-five finish of the season in Shanghai. Masahiko Ida returns to pilot the #11 car alongside Keo Chang and both will hope to seal fourth in the championship in Ningbo.
Alexandre Gibot, Head of Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific, said: “We’re all looking forward to enjoying a fantastic climax to the 2018 Blancpain GT Series Asia season at Ningbo. The cars are yet to run here, so it will be interesting to see who can master the circuit quickest. Craft-Bamboo Racing are an experienced outfit and will give their four drivers the best opportunity to pick up a good result this weekend. In GT4, TTR Team SARD and Taiwan Top Speed Racing are in a battle for fourth in the standings and both will be pushing hard to achieve it. I’m sure we’ll be in for a couple of great and fair races to cap off the campaign and then we can enter the winter happy with our final performance.”
Russell O’Hagan, Operations Director of Craft-Bamboo Racing, said: “The team head to the final round of the Blancpain GT Series Asia excited for the challenge of a new circuit and looking to end the season on a high. The short and twisty Ningbo track will make for some exciting sessions and very close racing. As always we will be pushing hard to make the most of what we have and our target is challenge for podiums with both cars”
Sandy Stuvik , #911 Craft-Bamboo Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, said: “Ningbo will be a new circuit for me, I look forward to the challenge and hope that our Porsche will benefit from the twisty, kerb-hopping circuit. As always, I’m going to hope for some rain to improve our chances!”
Shae Davies, #911 Craft-Bamboo Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, said: “I have mixed emotions going into this weekend’s race at Ningbo. Hugely pumped be be back in the #911 with my team-mate Sandy. We’ve punched above our weight all season, I believe and I look forward to one last hit out in our great German chariot. Adversely, it’s sad for the season to be drawing to a close. I’d love to reward all the hard working people at Craft Bamboo with a podium as thanks for a great season! We will be giving it a big crack!”
Aidan Read, #991 Craft-Bamboo Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, said: “Ningbo is a new venue for the series, so the race will be on to get on top of the track and car setup during free practice. It’s an exciting time for our car, we had a strong performance in Shanghai and we are doing our best to maximise the Porsche 911 GT3 R. I’m looking forward to taking on the new challenge and pushing for a season best result to end the year. We achieved a top-five at the last event, so a podium is a realistic target. I had the same situation heading in to last year’s Blancpain Asia series finale with the same best result and a new track to deal with, and I feel like we can go for a podium like in Zhejiang, where I managed second in 2017.”
Darryl O’Young, #991 Craft-Bamboo Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, said: “Ningbo is a nice track to drive with several challenges as it’s not a traditional type of circuit. Some areas get a bit tight and twisty so it will be interesting to see how the GT cars will handle this track. I was racing here two weeks ago in touring cars, so hopefully that gives me a small edge heading into the weekend. The #991 crew did a strong job in Shanghai last time out, so our target is to take another step forward and finish the season off with a win.”
Follow all of the action from the Ningbo International Speedpark live on the Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific website.