Team China, who will field a special-liveried Porsche 911 GT3 R at the Bahrain International Circuit, are ready to fight for the inaugural FIA GT Nations Cup title, with Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific supporting them as partner.
China’s entry was unveiled to members of the press during the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia finale at the Porsche Experience Centre in Shanghai, with local drivers Li Chao and Leo Ye set to lead the nation’s effort at the SRO-organised event.
Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific worked closely with Bronze-graded driver Chao on his preparation for this weekend, providing three-time Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion and China GT team-mate Chris van der Drift as driver coach, and also helping to arrange the striking livery design.
The livery is the result of an artistic collaboration between young Chinese artist Wu Junyong and French designer Stéphane Brun, depicting a fierce battle between two of the country’s icons – a dragon and a tiger.
Held at the famous Bahrain Grand Prix venue, the FIA GT Nations Cup sees Bronze and Silver drivers compete for their country on the international stage in GT3-spec machinery. 18 nations will compete this year, with Porsche represented by both China and Australia.
Chao has competed in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia since 2012, finishing third in the Pro-Am class this season. The 38-year-old has also competed in the China GT Championship these past two years, driving a Porsche 911 GT3 R for Team JRM. Alongside Chris van der Drift, Chao finished the series as runner-up in 2017 and 2018.
Ye made a switch to GT3 racing in 2017, when he drove a Porsche 911 GT3 R in a round of the then-new Blancpain GT Series Asia. Since then, he has become a race-winner in the China Endurance Series and finished third overall in the 2018 Blancpain GT Series Asia.
The ‘Bahrain GT Festival’ will feature two qualifying sessions and 60-minute Qualifying Races, before the all-important Main Race, which determines the overall 2018 FIA GT Nations Cup winner.
Li Chao, Team China Driver, said: “I am honoured to have this opportunity to fight on behalf of Team China! I will do my best and hopefully get a good result!”
Leo Ye, Team China Driver, said: “I’ve been looking forward to this weekend since I found out that I had got this opportunity. It’s a great honour to represent my country, I feel like I’m going to the Olympics of motorsports! Most importantly our aim is to work hard with the team and do our best and finish the race. I am calm but excited, I’ll push the limit right until the chequered flag drops.”
Alexandre Gibot, Head of Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific, said: “The FIA GT Nations Cup is looking to be a fantastic GT3 event. Team China have a chance of doing well, particularly with their driver pairing of Li Chao and Leo Ye. Both have proven they can fight at the front in their various championships and they know the car well. Equally we wish the best of luck to Team Australia’s Stephen Grove and Brenton Grove who we know well when the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and Australia have raced together. Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific are delighted to be supporting this effort and we look forward to ending 2018 on a high note!”
Source. Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific