Craft-Bamboo Racing heads to the Shanghai International Circuit this weekend for the season finale of the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia with high expectations. The team has high hopes for the season finale, where in 2017, the team took overall victory in the GT3 class after a scintillating drive in wet conditions. After having a competitive season so far, the team is looking to increase the tally of wins and ending the season with strong results.
For this round, experienced touring car and prototype driver Douglas Khoo will join Jean-Marc Merlin in the #77 Mercedes-AMG GT4. The Malaysian has high hopes of achieving a good result, as the pair will be fighting for 3rd place in the GT4 class.
#88 Mercedes-AMG GT3
Alessio Picariello and Jeffrey Lee head into the final round of the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia with 2 outright victories under their belt. The pair have high expectations, having had success at the Shanghai International Circuit in the past. Picariello rejoins the #88 entry after having missed the previous round in Korea due to other driving commitments. Last time out in Korea, Lee was paired with factory Mercedes-AMG driver Maximilian Goetz. The pair had a difficult round, after being taken out in first race, and being spun around in the second race. The #88 crew have scored all but one pole position in Qualifying 2, and will be looking to score another strong result to end the season on a high.
#99 Mercedes-AMG GT3
The #99 pair of Darryl O’Young and Christina Nielsen have consistently shown strong pace throughout the 2019 season, finishing on the podium in Malaysia and in Fuji. At the last round in Korea, the pair had good battles at the sharp end of the grid and were on target for a good points finish before being hit from behind in Race 1. In Race 2, O’Young got off to an aggressive start, and gained several positions before handing over to Nielsen for her to finish 7th in the Silver Cup. The pair have consistently fought for position in the top ten this year, and will be looking to show their pace again in Shanghai.
#55 Mercedes-AMG GT3
Daniel Au and Melvin Moh have shown great progress with each round in the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia season, and in Korea, the pair completed yet another incident free weekend, allowing Au to gain plenty of experience in his first season with the Mercedes-AMG GT3. Moh, who is a Mercedes-AMG Academy instructor, has plenty of experience at the Shanghai Circuit, and will be sharing his extensive track knowledge with Au. The pair will be hoping to finish the season strongly in Shanghai, with the aim of capping off the year with a points finish.
#77 Mercedes-AMG GT4
2017 GT4 champions Frank Yu and Jean-Marc Merlin have had a strong 2019 campaign so far, amassing 3 victories and 6 podiums in the GT4 class. For the upcoming round in Korea, Douglas Khoo joins the team alongside Jean-Marc Merlin. Khoo, who is experienced in touring cars and prototypes, last drove in the GT4 category in 2017, and will be experiencing the Mercedes-AMG GT4 for the first time this weekend in Shanghai. Both Merlin and Khoo have experience at the Shanghai Circuit, and will be aiming to score maximum points, as Merlin attempts to take 3rd place in the Drivers Championship.
Craft-Bamboo Racing are currently 4th in the outright GT3 Teams Championship with 97 points, and are 3rd In the GT4 class with 169 points.
P11 [50 Points] – #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 | Jeffrey Lee & Alessio Picariello
P13 [43 Points] – #99 Mercedes-AMG GT3 | Darryl O’Young & Christina Nielsen
P33 [0 Points] – #55 Mercedes-AMG GT3 | Daniel Au & Melvin Moh
P3 [134 Points] – #77 Mercedes-AMG GT4 | Frank Yu
P4 [132 Points] – #77 Mercedes-AMG GT4 | Jean-Marc Merlin
P9 [37 Points] – #77 Mercedes-AMG GT4 | Richard Wee
P10 [35 Points] – #77 Mercedes-AMG GT4 | David Pun
Thursday | 26 Sep 2019
1340 – Free Practice 1
Friday| 27 Sep 2019
0900 – Official Practice
1205 – GT4 Qualifying
1252 – GT3 Qualifying
1615 – Race 1
Saturday | 28 Sep 2019
1155 – Race 2
Daniel Au | Driver #55 Mercedes-AMG GT3
“The season is ending and I’ve enjoyed every moment so far. Glad to be back in the car with Melvin, and will be looking to make the most of it by learning as much as I can this weekend.”
Melvin Moh | Driver #55 Mercedes-AMG GT3
“It’s been a long year but Looking forward to last race of the season and we will aim to end the year on a high. Shanghai is a track which I’ve driven many times and I hope this will play to our strengths.”
Jeffrey Lee | Driver #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3
“Looking forward to being back in the car with Alessio this weekend in Shanghai. The circuit here has been good to us in the past, and we both have experience at this fast and flowing circuit. We know that the potential to score a good result is there, and to score a win here would be the ideal way to end the 2019 season.
Alessio Picariello | Driver #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3
“Really happy to be back with the team for the last round in Shanghai. I’ve been on pole 2 years ago so it’s a circuit that I know quite well. It’s far from being my favorite and probably the biggest challenge of the year for our car but I believe we can do well as a team; I will enjoy it the fullest will do my best to finish on a high!”
Christina Nielsen | Driver #99 Mercedes-AMG GT3
“Yet another new circuit for me, and I managed to put in some time on the simulator to learn the circuit. It looks like a good circuit for us, with an interesting layout and several tricky off-camber corners. I hope to end the season well, and will be giving it everything!”
Darryl O’Young | Driver #99 Mercedes-AMG GT3
“The season has flown by really quickly, and although we scored two podiums this year, it would be nice to finish with a win. We’ve done it in the past in Shanghai, so we hope to do it again this weekend. We have a good grasp on the car now, so we aim to perform well and deliver. I’m really proud to have LSH Auto China as a main title sponsor, and I’m looking forward to meeting all the guests this weekend.”
Jean-Marc Merlin | Driver #77 Mercedes-AMG GT4
“It’s great to be back in Shanghai, the fans here are always so enthusiastic and welcoming. We have sealed 3rd place in the Team’s Championship, and I will be looking to fight for 3rd in the Driver’s Championship as well.”
Douglas Khoo | Driver #77 Mercedes-AMG GT4
“I’m extremely excited to be able to participate in Blancpain GT Asia with Craft Bamboo. Shanghai is a circuit that is technical and similar to my home track, Sepang. It’ll be great to experience the Mercedes AMG GT4 and partnering with Jean-Marc. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from him. I believe that the GT4 field is strong and hope to place well.”
Source. Craft-Bamboo Racing