Two of the most successful GT3 cars in Asia are on their way to Australia to become part of the Miedecke Motorsport program, after experienced businessman and part-time racer Andrew Miedecke negotiated to purchase the two Aston Martin Vantage GT3s from 2016 GT Asia Series champions Craft-Bamboo Racing.
“I’ve always felt that done properly, motorsport can be a successful business, and this opportunity with two of the best cars in the region has effectively opened the door for me to explore that,” Miedecke admitted.
With the two immaculate Prodrive-built V12 Aston’s on their way to Matt Stone Racing on the Gold Coast, Miedecke has also revealed that his ex-Tony Quinn Vantage – which he and son George campaigned at the Australian Grand Prix – will be on its way to Asia to join the GT Asia Series in Japan.
“The reason we didn’t send the Craft-Bamboo cars to GT Asia is that Matt [Stone] and I decided that we wanted to run the cars ourselves first and get a good grasp of how everything works, whereas with the car we have now – which was new at the start of the 2013 Australian GT championship – is a known quantity to us.
“Matt [Stone] and I have been talking about opportunities to expand both our operations with this arrangement with the Astons, and I think my experience with business, together with his experience in running race winning cars is a perfect fit.”
For the experienced Miedecke, Asia has always been seen as an oasis of opportunity on a business front, but it’s also presented a big challenge over the years as a competitor, the former open-wheel star once a regular at Macau (best finish of third in the Grand Prix), and he was very nearly a winner in his Ford Sierra at Fuji in the late 80’s.
“Asia is very definitely unfinished business for me,” he acknowledged. “I loved the Macau Grand Prix – and would be keen to look at an entry there this year – but Japan has always been a favourite, and after coming so close to victory there in the Sierra in 1988, I’m keen to go back.”
For Matt Stone, the opportunity to expand into Asia is something he’s accepted with open arms. “It’s been on my horizon for quite a while, as I see it being the natural progression on from what we’re doing in Australia. I’m very impressed by the two Craft-Bamboo cars, they’re clearly very well prepared and maintained cars that will fit straight into Australian GT.”
Whilst still a little tight-lipped about the driver lineup for Asia, Miedecke admitted that son George was certainly part of the program..
“We’re talking to a number of drivers from both Asia and Australia, and hope to announce George’s co-driver soon. He and I will continue to run one of the Craft-Bamboo cars in Australia with Matt at the helm, but the lineup for the second car we’re still negotiating, although the long-term plan is to have two cars in Australia, and two in GT Asia.”
As part of Miedecke’s deal, the experienced car dealer has negotiated an opportunity with the Aston Martin factory to be an official Aston Martin Racing partner in the Asian region, providing support and parts to teams that campaign the British-built Supercars.
“Very definitely my motivation is business,” Miedecke explained.
“I’m lucky enough that my established business doesn’t need me full time any more, and my passion for motorsport has well and truly returned.
“I can see the value of building a business in Asia with Matt, with the expansion of the sport in the region, and the opportunity to provide the skills and knowledge that we bring, can be invaluable to an amateur driver who wants to be competitive and enjoy their sport.
“It also opens a path too, to Australian drivers that want to look at the Asian series, as we have cars here in Australia they can test that to all intents and purposes will be identical to those we have in Asia.
“I didn’t make the decision to buy into the Craft-Bamboo cars lightly, but with the quality and preparation of those two cars, the huge parts supply that came with them – which adds to what we’d bought with Tony Quinn’s car – and the technical support and arrangement we’ve put in place with Aston Martin, it was just too good an opportunity to pass up.
“The Aston is also a very well built car, but more than that, it’s relatively easy to drive quickly, and one of the best cars an amateur driver could ever jump into – a very practical race car.”
For the Miedecke Motorsport team, their next commitment is testing, ahead of the opening round of the Australian Endurance Championship at Phillip Island at the end of May (27-29).
The team is then expected to join the GT Asia Series in Japan for the third round of the championship at Okayama International Circuit (formerly Aida) on the first weekend of July, with a return to the famed Fuji International Speedway two weeks later.
2016 GT Asia Series – calendar
Rnd#1/#2, 13-15 May – Korea International Circuit (South Korea)
Rnd#3/#4, 10-12 June – Buriram International Circuit (Thailand)
Rnd#5/#6, 1-3 July – Okayama International Circuit (Japan)
Rnd#7/#8, 15-17 July – Fuji International Speedway (Japan)
Rnd#9/#10, 20-21 August – Shanghai International Circuit (China)
Rnd#11/#12, 21-23 October – Zhejiang Circuit (China)
2016 CAMS Australian GT Championship
Rnd#1 – 3-6 March, Clipsal 500, Adelaide, SA
Rnd#2 – 17-20 March, Albert Park [AGP], Victoria
Rnd#3 – 6-8 May, Barbagallo, WA
Rnd#4 – 27-28 May, Phillip Island, Victoria
Rnd#5 – 8-10 July, Townsville, Queensland
Rnd#6 – 11-12 November, Highlands Motorsport Park, NZ
2016 CAMS Australian Endurance Championship
Rnd#1 – 29 May, Phillip Island, Victoria
Rnd#2 – 26-28 August, Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW
Rnd#3 – 28-30 October, Hampton Downs, NZ
Rnd#4 – 13 November, Highlands Motorsport Park, NZ
source. Motorsport Media