Jonathan Venter Finishes the GT Asia Season with Most Wins of any Driver

  • Oct 21, 2016

Jonathan Venter Finishes the GT Asia Season with Most Wins of any Driver

For Immediate Distribution

Jonathan Venter finished the 2016 GT Asia season as the series’ most decorated driver, taking the most wins out of anyone throughout the twelve round competition. The young GT driver battled the weather in Shanghai on Thursday in a bid to claim the highest number of wins by the end of the season. It would not be easy though, as the big Bentley had a large success penalty to contend with in race one. The #8 Bentley would take home P8 in race one and use the limited repair time between races to prepare for the second race where the Absolute Racing pair could better challenge for the podium. Venter was able to finish the season with P4, just missing out on the podium but delivering a performance that secured his position as the most successful driver of the entire field.

Qualifying

Jonathan Venter was the first of the #8 Bentley pair to tackle the Shanghai circuit for the first qualifying session on Wednesday. With the car setup for a dry run, the untimely arrival of rain on the opening lap left Venter with a car that struggled to pull together its most representative time. He fought hard to steer the Bentley around the track and set a best time of 2:20.177s, which would see him start in P11 for Thursday’s first race.

Keita Sawa was up next for Q2 and recorded a 2:20.393s, giving Sawa a P5 start position for race two on Thursday afternoon.

Race One

Venter got race one underway and the weather had not abated since Wednesday, resulting in torrential track conditions. The Australian was able to make the most of the opening lap though, taking an incredible five positions. Unfortunately, the Bentley suffered an electrical issue which required Venter to reset the car, which was responsible for pushing Venter back down the order into P10. It was a setback but the Bentley driver forged ahead and drove a consistent stint in the trying conditions before handing over to his teammate, Keita Sawa. After a smooth pit stop that lasted 28 seconds thanks to the success penalty from winning the last round in August, Sawa kept the car out of trouble for the remainder of the race and brought the #8 Bentley back in P8. The pair just couldn’t make up the deficit from the success penalty in the wet but were still able to take home more championship points for Bentley Team Absolute’s Teams’ Championship campaign.

Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Driver

“I had an awesome start, I went from 11th to 6th in about four corners, then unfortunately had a bit of an electrical malfunction, so I had to do a hard reset of the car, which dropped us back to last position once again but Sawa-san did a good job in his stint to bring the car home cleanly in race one.”

Race Two

With no success penalty to deal with in race two, the Bentley was in with a fighting chance and Sawa began the race from P5. He was soon able to make a move and snatch two places to take P3, a position he retained for the remainder of his stint in the still soaking conditions. Sawa changed over to Venter but the #8 car was passed during the driver swap, putting Venter in P4 for the beginning of his final stint of the season. As has become par for Venter during the GT Asia season, he drove a clean and measured race that kept the Bentley ahead of the competition and was key to bringing the car home in P4, just outside the podium. The resulting points haul helping Bentley Team Absolute to secure the Teams’ Championship title with a considerable margin. With the final race over, Venter finished ninth overall in the championship and cemented himself as the most successful driver of the 2016 season. He took home three wins in the #8 Bentley, which is a testament to the young GT driver’s pace and ability behind the wheel of a GT3 car.

Quotes

Race Two

Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Driver

“Sawa-san got a good start and was able to stay P3 for his stint and when he handed over to me we lost a position during the pit stop and I went out in fourth positon. From there it was just about managing the gap between the cars in front and the cars behind. I kept P4 and didn’t make any mistakes, so I am happy with that. Certainly sad to see the season end but we finished the year with the most wins out of anyone in the field, so that is a fantastic way to end the competition.”

Ingo Matter, Bentley Team Absolute Principal

"The final races were tough for our team in trick weather conditions. Jono however was as fast and consistent as he has been the whole year. It was a brilliant season with the most wins but unfortunately things did not always go as planned and we had our share of bad luck. We would be honored to go next year again as we belive with Jono it is possible to get this driver championship."

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Jonathan Venter Seeking Podium Glory in Shanghai Season Finale

  • Oct 17, 2016

Jonathan Venter is on the hunt to secure another victory at the Shanghai International Circuit for the GT Asia Series season finale on Thursday. After competing at the Chinese circuit for the first time in August, the Australian was able come away with a dominant win in race two and is keen to build on this success when he hits the track for the final two races of the season later this week. Venter will also be hoping to add to his impressive tally of three wins, the most of any driver so far and finish the season as the most decorated competitor of the GT Asia Series for 2016.

With the win in Shanghai still fresh in his mind, Venter is approaching the final two races of the season with increased confidence and feels that the #8 Bentley will be able to challenge the series’ leaders for the top step of the podium.

Venter says, “I am a bit sad to see the final round of GT Asia finally upon us, as it has been a rollercoaster of a year filled with both highs and lows. I am very excited to give it one last push with the Bentley Absolute team as they have been fantastic this year, and I'm sure after our recent success in the past round in Shanghai we will be heading into the week with much confidence.”

Shanghai will see the 2016 GT Asia Series championship decided, but due to a last minute venue change the two races will both be held on Thursday, instead of the usual Saturday and Sunday race format. This will provide an extra challenge for Venter and will leave the Bentley Absolute Team with only limited repair time between races. Venter and his teammate, Keita Sawa, must keep the #8 Bentley unscathed in the first race to ensure they are able to fight for the podium in race two.

“Having a condensed race schedule with less track time will be challenging for us, although we are fortunate enough to have raced there back in August, so the track is still fresh in our minds. Although, with two races on Thursday, there is the added pressure to make sure we get everything right in race one,” commented Venter.

Venter’s performance during the last round in Shanghai was flawless and proved once again how unstoppable the #8 Bentley pair could be. The young GT driver is focused on another dominant showing in China and will be pushing from the first practice session on Wednesday to piece together the perfect flying lap for qualifying later that afternoon. With the GT Asia season coming to a close, Venter will be looking at a number of options in the GT3 class for 2017 to continue his career as one of the category’s rising stars.

“Shanghai is a great circuit that has proven to be quite tricky to perfect, but once the Bentley gets in a groove it seems to be unstoppable, so car #8 will be pushing very hard to achieve the best results possible to finish off the 2016 GT Asia season,” Venter concluded.

Quotes

Ingo Matter, Bentley Team Absolute Principal

After the stunning last round victory in Shanghai we look forward to another strong weekend from Jonathan and Keita in the final two races of the season in China. Taking the championship title is a long shot but it is never over until it is over and I know the #8 pair will be pushing for the win! Of course we also hope to take the Teams’ championship title for Bentley Team Absolute in Shanghai as well.”

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Jonathan Venter Dominates in Shanghai with a Flawless Victory

  • Aug 22, 2016

Jonathan Venter Dominates in Shanghai with a Flawless Victory
  
Jonathan Venter took another flawless GT Asia Series victory at the Shanghai International Circuit in China, dominating race two with a lead of 11.5 seconds over second place in his #8 Absolute Racing Bentley. Venter started race one from P9 and fought a strong stint with front end damage before handing over to his teammate Keita Sawa, who was able to steer the big Bentley to the finish in P10 and score a crucial five points for their championship campaign. It was in race two though where the #8 pair would truly shine.  Sawa started from P4 and kept pace with the leaders until the driver change, staying out for as long as possible to maximize their track position. Venter was then able carve his way up into P1 shortly after the pit stop and charge his way to the finish with an impeccable display of speed and finesse to take his third win of the season.

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Qualifying
 
The Australian was up first in the #8 Bentley to determine his start position for race one later that afternoon. It was the young GT driver’s first visit to the Chinese circuit and the team were still configuring the car’s setup, but Venter managed to set a time of 2:06.813s, only 0.9s behind P1, proving just how competitive this year’s GT Asia Series field truly is.
 
Sawa was the man responsible for Q2 and he delivered with a time 2:06.803s, just besting his teammate and securing them a vital P4 starting position for race two on Sunday.
 
Race One
 
Venter was able to get a clean start into the first right hand corner to hold onto his P9 start position for the first few laps. Unfortunately, after some contact with the Ferrari 488 GTB, the #8 Bentley suffered damage to the front spoiler, which forced the car to lose pace over the coming laps. Despite Venter’s pure determination to defend his position, he was unable to hold off the advances of the competition with the resulting aerodynamic damage. The Bentley driver knuckled down and pushed the car to its limits before changing over to his teammate during the compulsory pit window. The Bentley Team Absolute crew executed a precision pit stop to get Venter’s teammate out on track and up to speed, but the pair still had to contend with a 25 second success penalty from the previous round in Fuji. Sawa was able to make the most of his stint and managed to move up three positions by flag fall to take a solid P10 finish.
 
Race One Quotes
 
Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Continental GT3
 
“Start of race one wasn’t too bad, I managed to maintain my position but on lap three made some contact with the BBT Ferrari, which gave us some front aerodynamic damage. From there, we were struggling to keep up with the pace and then lost a few more positions during my stint. Sawa-san got into the car and was still struggling with some of the damage but managed to get it back up to P10. Not the result we wanted but that meant no success penalty for the race the next day.”
 
Race Two
 
With Sawa starting the race in P4, there were high hopes that the #8 Bentley could make a strong charge against the front row starters and pull off a win at the Bentley Team Absolute home base of operations in Shanghai. Sawa made an immaculate start to not only retain his P4 position but to defend it from the rabid competition behind. Sawa kept his pace on full boil throughout his entire stint, remaining out on track until the closing minutes of the compulsory pit stop window, managing to enter the pits in first place. Another faultless pit stop by the Absolute crew got Venter out millimeters ahead of the #55 Lamborghini Huracan in P2. Keeping absolutely ice cold under the impending pressure from the #55, Venter performed one of the most stunning out laps of his GT career to immediately edge away from the pursuing Lamborghini in what was possibly a victory defining moment. From here, Venter gave chase to the Gruppe M Porsche in P1, closing in and striking with pin point accuracy to take the lead. The young gun then delivered a master class to the GT Asia Series field in outright pace and precision driving, which was an even greater feat considering it was his first competitive outing in Shanghai. The rising star was untouchable during his stint, lapping with such speed and consistency that he finished the race an incredible 11.5 seconds ahead of second place. His third win and fourth podium of the season was also vital in ensuring that Bentley Team Absolute retained their extensive lead in the Teams’ championship.

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Race Two Quotes
 
Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Continental GT3
 
“It was a really good race for us, especially for us to walk away with such a margin over the rest of the field. We are absolutely over the moon, Sawa-san had a great start and managed to gain a position or two before he handed over to me. I knew it was absolutely crucial coming out of the pits to keep the Lamborghini behind me as I warmed up my tyres before I was then able to catch the Porsche in P1 and pass him quickly. I am very happy with the pace of the car and I want to say thank you to the team and Sawa-san, this really helps us to get back in the fight and we are going to take all this momentum into the final round of the championship.”
 
Ingo Matter, Team Principal of Bentley Team Absolute

"Jonathan had another new track to learn, free practices and qualifying went well and we felt prepared for the weekend. An unfortunate incident in race one made it impossible to show the true pace of the car. In race two Sawa was battling for the lead and once he handed the car to Jonathan he was on the pace straight away. It was the convincing manner and maturity with which Jonathan pulled away from the field of pros which impressed the whole team!"

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Jonathan Venter Ready for a GT Asia Series Showdown in Shanghai

  • Aug 17, 2016

Jonathan Venter is ready for a GT Asia Series showdown in Shanghai this weekend, and the young gun is determined to steer his #8 Bentley to victory. After making a triumphant return to the podium in the last round, Venter is confident that he can build on his performance, challenge the series’ front runners and climb his way up the leaderboard with some more podium results at this crucial stage of the season.

Shanghai is the penultimate round of the GT Asia Series season and Venter knows how critical it will be for him to finish at the front to help close out his 2016 competition. He is yet to race at the Shanghai International Circuit and acknowledges that he will have to work hard to get both himself and the Bentley Continental GT3 dialed in and on the pace.

Venter says, “With only two rounds of the championship left this year, we are hoping to finish on a high note. It will be my first time competing at the Shanghai circuit so I will have to get up to speed quickly.”

The Australian put the recent bad luck behind him in Fuji, driving a spectacular race two to come away with a second place finish that reignited his championship campaign. Venter will be using the big Bentley’s muscle to his advantage this weekend, and with the Shanghai International Circuit sharing many of the same characteristics as the Fuji Speedway, he should be in a great position to take the top step and good haul of points in the process.

“Our previous results at Fuji show that the Bentley has plenty of pace relative to the competition, so hopefully we have a problem free weekend to achieve some solid results,” Venter added.

A huge focus for Venter will be finding the pace as quickly as possible during the practice sessions, with the hope of being able to execute a rapid flying lap during the first qualifying session on Saturday to ensure the #8 driver starts on the front row for race one.

“My main objective is to continue being quick and ultimately aim for that top step at the end of each race. The team has worked very well this year so I'm confident in their ability to deliver a strong car,” commented Venter.

Quotes

Ingo Matter, Bentley Team Absolute Principal

“Jonathan has a big challenge ahead of him this weekend and will have to adapt quickly to the Shanghai International Circuit. I have no doubt he will get up to speed as quickly as possible and start pushing right from the start. As Shanghai is the only base of Absolute Racing which is visited by GT Asia this year, we are obviously aiming for a good result and hope to share the podium champagne with all the team after the race.”

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Jonathan Venter Makes Triumphant Return to the Podium in Japan

  • Jul 18, 2016

Jonathan Venter made a triumphant return to the podium at the Fuji Speedway in Japan this weekend. A flawless race two stint saw him fend off the GT Asia series field to take a commanding second place podium and get his championship challenge reignited. Venter started race one from P5, battling the elements to masterfully guide his Bentley around Fuji before handing over to his teammate who finished the race in P6. Venter’s teammate, Keita Sawa, started race two from P3 and managed to run a strong stint in second before handing over to the young Australian. With his blistering pace, Venter was able to open up a sizeable gap on P3 and comfortably cross the line in second place to see him proudly stand on the podium once again.

Qualifying

Venter was out first in the #8 Bentley to determine his race one starting position and the young driver managed to set a time of 1:53.847, which was good enough for P5.

Keita Sawa had a strong qualifying run in the second session, to score P4 on the start grid and give the #8 pair a good shot at success on Sunday. 

Race One

The lights went out at a wet Fuji Speedway and Venter was off to a flying start, darting around the outside into turn one and gaining a couple of positions in the process. Unfortunately, he was forced wide at turn two and off the track, dropping him back to P4 but keeping him in well and truly in the fight. With conditions slowly worsening, Venter nimbly steered the big Bentley around Fuji and retained his P4 position before handing over to his teammate just after the pit stop window opened. Sawa, who has a great deal of experience at Fuji pushed the #8 Bentley to the finish and after battling some front end damage, finished the 60 minute sprint race in P6 to score some valuable points for the pair’s championship campaign.

Race One Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Continental GT3

“Started in P5 and I got off to a good start, had a bit of contact at turn two which pushed me off the track but I managed to get it up to P4 and hand it over to Sawa-san. From there we seemed to struggle a bit with pace and with the 16 second success penalty we got pushed back a bit and finished P6, which was ok. For race two we have no success penalty and will start from P3.”

Race Two

Sawa would be tasked with the first stint of race two, this time in dry conditions and from P3 on the grid (an engine change from another competitor moved them up a position). It was another good start for the #8 Bentley and Sawa managed to secure P2 for himself on the first lap. From here, Sawa drove consistently and without fault to maintain second place before handing over to his teammate. After a flawless stop from the Bentley Team Absolute crew, Venter was on a charge to the podium but was briefly passed by Duncan Tappy in the #10 Bentley. The GT Asia young gun was unfazed, getting his head down and upping the pace, before lining up Tappy a few laps later for a textbook overtaking manoeuvre. Venter was unstoppable from here, edging out a considerable gap over those behind him before taking the chequered flag in P2 for his third podium of the season. This was a resounding return to form for Venter, taking a considerable number of points and revitalizing his championship charge before the series hits Shanghai next month.

 

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Race Two Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Continental GT3

“Really happy with result, Sawa-san got off to a really good start to get into P2 but there was some damage to the front end of the car, which affected aerodynamics and the pace. The Lamborghini built a big gap and Sawa-san handed the car over to me in P2. I was passed by Duncan Tappy but a few laps later I was able to regain P2, but from there the Lamborghini was too fast. All in all pretty happy with P2, good for the championship points and good for the team after some recent bad luck. Onwards to Shanghai, which we can head into with a bit more confidence.”

Ingo Matter, Team Principal of Bentley Team Absolute

“Brilliant race two, we could see right from the start that Sawa had some great pace. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do much about the Lamborghini. Jonathan did an awesome job in his stint and to overtake Duncan Tappy, who is an ex works driver and has a lot of experience with the Bentley speaks for itself. I think we did the best we could today, Jonathan kept it safe among teammates and he made a clean move stick and pulled away.”

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Jonathan Venter Mounts Championship Resurgence in Fuji

  • Jul 14, 2016
Jonathan Venter and his #8 Bentley will be mounting a GT Asia Series championship resurgence at the famous Fuji Speedway in Japan this weekend. The young gun is determined to overcome a recent spate of bad luck and get back to the dominant form that was shown in the first race weekend in Korea.

Venter is confident that he can turn his championship charge around at Fuji, given his experience at the Japanese circuit in the past. The young driver took pole position there last year before fighting his way to a second place podium.  With the pace that Venter has shown in the #8 Bentley this season, and his level of experience at Fuji, he will undoubtedly be challenging for the top step of the podium this weekend.

Venter says, “I am really excited to get back to the Fuji speedway in Japan; it is an incredible track and has made for some amazing racing in the past. I competed here in 2015, which gives me some more confidence heading into this weekend and I am looking forward to getting the Bentley back on top.”

Venter knows how important this round is for his championship hopes and the Australian is focused on a consistent weekend that should help bolster his position in the standings. Racing alongside teammate Keita Sawa, who took a win in the Bentley at Fuji last year, the #8 pair will make for a devastating combination to face on track. Additionally, with no success penalty in race one, the duo have the best possible shot of scoring another victory and moving back up the drivers' championship standings. With Venter fired up and ready to reignite his championship, he will be turning blistering laps for the entire qualifying session to make sure that he starts at the front for race one.

“This weekend is really important for me as our championship has taken some hard hits with bad luck in recent races, but I am focusing on what is ahead.  I am going to try and do the best I can to get some good results, so I can take some vital points and move back up the leaderboard,” Venter added.

Ingo Matter, Team Principal of Bentley Team Absolute 

“Fuji has been a good place for us in the past. I hope that we had our share of tough luck and can put the pace that Jonathan and Keita have into some good results. It is still a way to go to the final round but it is now time to continue where we left it in Korea.”

Timetable GMT +9

Saturday, July 16

08:25 – 08:40: GT Asia Series, Qualifying Session 1
08:50 – 09:05: GT Asia Series, Qualifying Session 2
12:20 – 13:20: GT Asia Series, Race 1 (60 minutes) Rolling Start

Sunday, 17 July

16:10 – 17:10: GT Asia Series, Race 2 (60 minutes) Rolling Start
 
To watch the Fuji round of the GT Asia Series, you can stream both races live at https://www.youtube.com/user/afosTV/videos or www.gtasiaseries.com

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Jonathan Venter Blighted by Bad Luck Once Again in Japan

  • Jul 04, 2016

Jonathan Venter was blighted by bad luck once again this weekend at the Okayama International Circuit in Japan. The young Australian was spun around by contact at the first corner of race one, dropping him to the back of the field and leaving him with an insurmountable gap to close. Even his good race pace wasn’t enough to save him and the #8 Bentley crossed the line in P12. Race two was going to be his saving grace and with his teammate starting on pole, it gave the #8 pair a strong chance at victory. Unfortunately, bad luck would rear its ugly head once again, with the Bentley slowly losing pace throughout the race. During Venter’s stint, the car finally gave up and put an end to the young driver’s weekend. With no points scored and through no fault of his own, Venter now sits 12th in the championship but is determined to turn it all around at Fuji in two weeks’ time.  

Qualifying

It was Venter who would determine the #8 Bentley’s start position for race one and his performance was looking strong. He set about his flying lap and was on the pace, but was held up by traffic, which resulted in him setting a time of 1:30.206 that would see him start that afternoon’s race in P7.

His partner, Keita Sawa, was able to take P1 in the second session and give them a good shot at the podium for the second race on Sunday.

Race One

Jonathan began the race in P7 and made a strong charge into the first corner when he was hit on the right side of his car, turning him around and dropping him into last place. He made a good recovery but was left nearly a lap down once he got back up to speed. Running in P13, Venter did his all to claw back precious time and was showing leader matching pace, but it wasn’t enough to offset the unfortunate incident at the start of the race. As soon as the pit window opened, Venter headed into the pits for the driver change to Keita Sawa. Bentley Team Absolute executed the 88 second pit stop perfectly and sent Sawa out to finish the race. Even though Sawa showed great speed, there wasn’t enough time to catch the rest of the field before the flag fell and the #8 pair finished in P12.

Race One Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Continental GT3

“Race one was very disappointing with contact at the first corner that was unnecessary. This caused a spin and from there we were unable to catch up, this was further compounded by our silver-silver success penalty and we had no chance of making up any further spots. It wasn’t a good race, but I’ve got my head up for tomorrow and with pole position and a new set of tyres, let’s hope we do well.”

Race Two

Things were looking positive for race two, with Venter’s teammate starting on pole position. Sawa was off to good start, maintaining the lead for the first five laps of the race before slightly dropping off the pace and falling back to P2. Over the coming laps, Sawa seemed a little off the pace and was down to P3 when the pit lane window opened. Venter hopped in the #8 and hit the track in the hopes of still securing a good result. However, it was now clear that the #8 Bentley had a problem and Venter continued to lose performance, forcing him to retire the car in what was a disappointing end to another tough weekend.

Race Two Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Continental GT3

“We had a really disappointing race today, Keita Sawa started on pole but after a while his pace seemed to drop off a bit, which made it seem like we had a problem with the car. When I got in after the driver change, it was apparent that there was a problem. There was a failure and this caused the car to stop. Disappointing weekend, I walk away with no points and I am now struggling in the championship but looking forward to Fuji, which should suit the Bentley.”

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Young Gun Jonathan Venter to Blow the Competition Away in Okayama

  • Jun 30, 2016
Jonathan Venter has arrived at Okayama and the young gun is ready to blow the competition away this weekend. With a take-no-prisoners attitude, Venter, who is one of the youngest drivers in the GT Asia Series competition is going to show the veterans who is boss by retaking the championship lead in his #8 Bentley.

Currently second in the drivers’ standings but trailing the lead by only 12 points, Venter is itching to get back into the British made bruiser so he can muscle his way back to the top spot with another dominant showing in Japan.

Venter said, “I am excited to return to the racing capital of the world in Japan. Okayama is a tight and twisty circuit and hopefully it should suit the characteristics of the Bentley and give me the opportunity to get back to the top.”

The young GT driver is certainly no stranger to Okayama, scoring a podium there after a front row qualifying performance last year. His knowledge and experience will give him the edge over his opponents and should allow Venter to make a very strong qualifying challenge, ensuring that the thundering #8 Bentley is at the head of the grid on Saturday.

With Venter’s teammate, Keita Sawa, making a return this weekend, the opening round winners will be reunited once again and will not be hindered by any success penalty for race one. This gives the #8 pair the perfect opportunity to capitalize and take back the championship lead on Saturday.

“It will be good to have Sawa-san back with me this weekend after his successful race at Le Mans, and with no success penalty to contend with we are in a good position to challenge for the lead,” commented Venter.

After a strong performance in Thailand that was unfortunately marred by bad luck, the Australian is keen to return to the winning form that he so masterfully displayed in Korea. With the commanding performance of the Bentley Continental GT3 behind him, Venter is ready to show the series’ regulars a clean pair of heels as he begins to usher in a new generation of GT Asia Series’ champion.

“We will do our very best to take our #8 Bentley back to the top step of the podium while making sure I pick up some valuable championship points to secure my lead in the drivers’ standings,“ Venter added.


Timetable (GMT +9)

Saturday, 2nd of July

08:25 – 08:40: GT Asia Series Qualifying Session 1
08:50 – 09:05: GT Asia Series Qualifying Session 2
12:20 – 13:20: GT Asia Series Race 1 (60 minutes) Rolling Start

Sunday, 3rd of July

16:10 – 17:10: GT Asia Series Race 2 (60 minutes) Rolling Start

Quotes

Ingo Matter, Team Principal of Bentley Team Absolute 
 

“After an unlucky weekend in Buriram we are headed to Okayama, which is a track that was good for us last year. We are happy to have Keita Sawa back in the car after his stunning performance in the famous Le Mans 24h race. Adderly and Sawa won in Okayama last year and with no success penalties holding Jono and Keita back there is no reason why we won't be able to get back to the winning ways that we saw in Korea. Our goal is to get Jono back into the top spot of the drivers’ championship and to drive a good weekend!”   

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Jonathan Venter’s Strong Performance Spoilt by Misfortune in Thailand

  • Jun 13, 2016
Jonathan Venter delivered another strong performance for the second round of the GT Asia Series but was blighted by bad luck in both races at the Buriram circuit in Thailand. After showing great pace in race one and running towards the front of the pack, Venter pitted for his 121 second pit stop, driver change and success penalty. After the #8 Bentley was deemed to have breached the stop by 0.6s, a stop and go penalty was issued, which resulted in a P9 finish. After an excellent first stint by Venter’s teammate managed to get them up into P3 in race two, an ill-timed safety car hit the circuit before they could complete their compulsory stop and driver change. This wiped out their advantage and forced them into an incredibly late stop after the safety car returned to the pits. Venter did all he could to regain time and positions lost but ultimately finished the race in P10. He is now second in the drivers’ championship but is confident that with no success penalty in Okayama and the strong performance of the Bentley that he will soon be back on top.

Qualifying

Venter was determined to gain a good start position to help him mitigate as much of the large success penalty as possible that he carried from Korea. The Australian managed to set a 1:34.310, which would see him start that afternoon’s race from P8.

Venter’s teammate Fabian Hamprecht, set a time of 1:34.683 in the second session to ensure that the #8 Bentley would start in P4 for Sunday’s race two.

Race One

Venter made an aggressive start and was forced wide at turn one but was able to hold onto his P8 start position by the end of the first lap with some great defensive driving. Venter quickly settled into a rhythm and was able to move up into P6 and began to close in on P5 around the 20 minute mark. As the race approached the compulsory pit stop window, the young GT driver had managed to lock himself into a battle with the Porsche in P5 but decided to back off, not wanting to risk the car or his championship. With such a large success penalty to deal with, Venter decided to enter the pits shortly after the compulsory window opened to switch to teammate, Fabian Hamprecht. The #8 Bentley entered the pits in P6 and needed to remain stationary for 121 seconds. After a smooth change, Hamprecht got back out on track and began to push but was soon told that they had breached the minimum pit stop time by 0.6s and therefore had to conduct a stop and go penalty. This was was a crushing blow to Venter and his championship lead but Hamprecht complied and would later finish the race in P9 after a quick and consistent drive.

Race One Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Continental GT3

“We had a pretty good start for race one, we managed to get up to P6, the car had very good pace and we were catching P5. Our pit stop was pretty good but after Fabian went out we had a stop and go penalty due to a short breach of the minimum pit stop time, which cost us very dearly. We were looking strong for a P5 or P6 finish but unfortunately finished in P9. I still maintain the lead in the drivers’ championship and we are starting tomorrow’s race in P4, so things are looking good with two new sets of tyres.”

Race Two

It was up to Venter’s teammate to start race two in P4 and Hamprecht did a good job to maintain his position after the start, which set himself up for an attack on the leaders. Hamprecht managed to work his way up the field into P3 and build a gap of around 14 seconds. Unfortunately, bad luck for the #8 Bentley was just around the corner once again. Before Hamprecht could pit, the safety car was called out, which prevented them  from making their compulsory stop at the optimal time. Their problem was further compounded by being picked up by the safety car as the leaders of the race, handing a big advantage to the leading Ferrari. Once the safety car finally returned to the pits and Hamprecht could change to Venter, the race was almost over. After losing time in the pits, Venter got back out on track and pushed as hard as possible, setting a leader matching pace on his way to the finish. However, there was nothing he could do to regain the time and positions lost. Never giving up, Venter completed the final laps of the race at full pace and crossed the line in P10, which sees him now occupy second in the drivers’ championship.

Race Two Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Continental GT3

“Very disappointing race two with the safety car coming out right before our pit stop. This meant that we weren’t allowed to pit in, so when we did, we lost all our time advantage from Fabian’s stint, which was very good. We were stuck in last position, so for the last 15 minutes of my stint I just had to try and make up as much time as possible but couldn’t get back to where I needed to be. I dropped back to second in the championship, so Okayama next round with no success penalty should get us a better result.”

Ingo Matter, Team Principal of Bentley Team Absolute
 
"Jonathan drove another outstanding weekend! Partnering with Fabian who fitted in seamlessly with the team. Unfortunately, in race one, a mistake from the team in the pit stop costed them dearly with a drive through. In race two, the safety car came out at exactly the wrong time for the strategy of car #8. Instead of rejoining first or second, almost the whole field went by. Tough weekend but on the bright side we are still very much in a high position for the drivers' championship and have lost our success penalty. I can only say sorry for race one and off to Okayama to continue where we left it in Korea!"
Jonathan Venter delivered another strong performance for the second round of the GT Asia Series but was blighted by bad luck in both races at the Buriram circuit in Thailand. After showing great pace in race one and running towards the front of the pack, Venter pitted for his 121 second pit stop, driver change and success penalty. After the #8 Bentley was deemed to have breached the stop by 0.6s, a stop and go penalty was issued, which resulted in a P9 finish. After an excellent first stint by Venter’s teammate managed to get them up into P3 in race two, an ill-timed safety car hit the circuit before they could complete their compulsory stop and driver change. This wiped out their advantage and forced them into an incredibly late stop after the safety car returned to the pits. Venter did all he could to regain time and positions lost but ultimately finished the race in P10. He is now second in the drivers’ championship but is confident that with no success penalty in Okayama and the strong performance of the Bentley that he will soon be back on top.

Qualifying

Venter was determined to gain a good start position to help him mitigate as much of the large success penalty as possible that he carried from Korea. The Australian managed to set a 1:34.310, which would see him start that afternoon’s race from P8.

Venter’s teammate Fabian Hamprecht, set a time of 1:34.683 in the second session to ensure that the #8 Bentley would start in P4 for Sunday’s race two.

Race One

Venter made an aggressive start and was forced wide at turn one but was able to hold onto his P8 start position by the end of the first lap with some great defensive driving. Venter quickly settled into a rhythm and was able to move up into P6 and began to close in on P5 around the 20 minute mark. As the race approached the compulsory pit stop window, the young GT driver had managed to lock himself into a battle with the Porsche in P5 but decided to back off, not wanting to risk the car or his championship. With such a large success penalty to deal with, Venter decided to enter the pits shortly after the compulsory window opened to switch to teammate, Fabian Hamprecht. The #8 Bentley entered the pits in P6 and needed to remain stationary for 121 seconds. After a smooth change, Hamprecht got back out on track and began to push but was soon told that they had breached the minimum pit stop time by 0.6s and therefore had to conduct a stop and go penalty. This was was a crushing blow to Venter and his championship lead but Hamprecht complied and would later finish the race in P9 after a quick and consistent drive.

Race One Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Continental GT3

“We had a pretty good start for race one, we managed to get up to P6, the car had very good pace and we were catching P5. Our pit stop was pretty good but after Fabian went out we had a stop and go penalty due to a short breach of the minimum pit stop time, which cost us very dearly. We were looking strong for a P5 or P6 finish but unfortunately finished in P9. I still maintain the lead in the drivers’ championship and we are starting tomorrow’s race in P4, so things are looking good with two new sets of tyres.”

Race Two

It was up to Venter’s teammate to start race two in P4 and Hamprecht did a good job to maintain his position after the start, which set himself up for an attack on the leaders. Hamprecht managed to work his way up the field into P3 and build a gap of around 14 seconds. Unfortunately, bad luck for the #8 Bentley was just around the corner once again. Before Hamprecht could pit, the safety car was called out, which prevented them  from making their compulsory stop at the optimal time. Their problem was further compounded by being picked up by the safety car as the leaders of the race, handing a big advantage to the leading Ferrari. Once the safety car finally returned to the pits and Hamprecht could change to Venter, the race was almost over. After losing time in the pits, Venter got back out on track and pushed as hard as possible, setting a leader matching pace on his way to the finish. However, there was nothing he could do to regain the time and positions lost. Never giving up, Venter completed the final laps of the race at full pace and crossed the line in P10, which sees him now occupy second in the drivers’ championship.

Race Two Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Continental GT3

“Very disappointing race two with the safety car coming out right before our pit stop. This meant that we weren’t allowed to pit in, so when we did, we lost all our time advantage from Fabian’s stint, which was very good. We were stuck in last position, so for the last 15 minutes of my stint I just had to try and make up as much time as possible but couldn’t get back to where I needed to be. I dropped back to second in the championship, so Okayama next round with no success penalty should get us a better result.”

Ingo Matter, Team Principal of Bentley Team Absolute
 
"Jonathan drove another outstanding weekend! Partnering with Fabian who fitted in seamlessly with the team. Unfortunately, in race one, a mistake from the team in the pit stop costed them dearly with a drive through. In race two, the safety car came out at exactly the wrong time for the strategy of car #8. Instead of rejoining first or second, almost the whole field went by. Tough weekend but on the bright side we are still very much in a high position for the drivers' championship and have lost our success penalty. I can only say sorry for race one and off to Okayama to continue where we left it in Korea!"

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Jonathan Venter Focused on Continued GT Asia Domination

  • Jun 08, 2016
Jonathan Venter is focused on continuing his GT Asia Series domination this weekend at the Chang International Circuit. After taking two commanding victories in the opening round of the season in Korea, Venter is determined to further build on this success with another strong performance in Buriram, Thailand. The Australian driver currently leads the field by eight points and at this early stage of the season knows that consistency will be the key to a successful championship campaign.

Venter has yet to drive the 4.5km circuit but is confident that his #8 Bentley Continental GT3 will continue to deliver the performance necessary to help him fight for the podium once again.

Venter said, “It is my first time here, so it is going to be a bit of a learning curve trying to figure out the track. The Bentley has been very strong so far, so I think we should have a good car going into the weekend.”

With Venter’s teammate, Keita Sawa, competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend, Bentley ABT driver Fabian Hamprecht has stepped up to take his place. Fabian is an experienced racer who joined Bentley as a junior driver in 2015 and brings with him both experience and knowledge of the Bentley. This makes him perfectly suited to replace Sawa and ensure Venter has the best shot at commanding another win.

“It is sad to see that Sawa-san will not be my teammate this weekend but the whole of Bentley Team Absolute wish him the best of luck at Le Mans. I am excited to be paired with Fabian Hamprecht as he is a very quick, young driver, so I think we will make a good pairing;” Venter added.

While Venter’s pace in the #8 Bentley is undeniable, he will be battling a 36 second success penalty for race one. This will require him to set a rapid qualifying time in the hopes of getting ahead of his closest rivals. It shouldn't be a problem for the young driver as he has a sterling GT Asia qualifying record and will no doubt be one of the top challengers for the front row of the grid.

“The 36 second success penalty will be difficult for the first race but we will just have to maintain our consistency. Our aim is to try and run another perfect race to get the most points possible for the drivers’ championship campaign,” commented Venter.
 
Timetable (GMT+ 7)

Saturday, 11th of June
 
0945 – 1000 (15’) GT Asia Series Qualifying Session 1
1010 – 1025 (15’) GT Asia Series Qualifying Session 2
1425 – 1525 (60’) GT Asia Series Race 1 (Rolling Start)

Sunday, 12th of June

1400 – 1500 (60’) GT Asia Series Race 2 (Rolling Start)
 
Races 2 and 3 of the 2016 GT Asia Series in Buriram, Thailand, will be streamed live at http://www.gtasiaseries.com/

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Jonathan Venter Dominates GT Asia Series Season Open in Korea

  • May 17, 2016

Jonathan Venter dominated the GT Asia Series season opener on his debut with Bentley Team Absolute in Korea, taking the win in both races and mounting the perfect start to his drivers’ championship campaign. Starting race one from P3 after a strong qualifying session, Venter fought hard and kept the #8 Bentley within reach of the lead before handing over to his teammate who was able to capitalize and take the first win of the season. Race two looked tough with a 24 second success penalty, but teammate Keita Sawa opened up a considerable gap during his first stint. Venter was able to build on this with impeccable driving and pull a 10s gap to take the second victory of the weekend.

Qualifying

It was Venter who would take to the track first in the #8 Bentley Continental GT3 to decide his race one starting position. The young Australian driver has a history of impressing in GT Asia qualifying and this session was no different. He was one of only three drivers to record a time under 2:07.00 and finished the 15 minute session in P3 with a 2:06.481, giving the #8 Bentley a strong chance of success for race one.

Race One

Venter was off to a strong start in P3 but had to drive wide to avoid an incident in the first corner, hampering his initial progress. He was able to recover quickly and take P4 before another incident unfolded in the coming laps, allowing him to move up the field once again. Now within striking distance of the lead, Venter focused on producing consistently quick laps to ensure that his teammate would have a shot at taking the top spot after their driver change. His hard work paid off as Sawa was able to overtake the lead Bentley early into his stint before opening up the gap and taking the chequered flag for the pair in P1.

Race One Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Continental GT3

“It is great to win the race today, it has been a massive relief from last year. It has been a very long road back from injury and to take the win today is a true testament to all the work the team has done for me. Sawa-san did an amazing stint after I handed over to him, we were lucky that the Lamborghini took out the Porsche, which gave me and Adderly Fong good room for the rest of our stint. We are going to have a tough time with the (success) penalty tomorrow but we have a fresh set of tyres in the bank, so hopefully we can stay consistent and get as many points as we can.”

Race Two

Venter’s teammate, Sawa, started race two in P3 and stormed into the lead at the very first corner, where he began to gain an instant lead over the entire field. Sawa’s driving was textbook and as he dove into the pits at the halfway mark to change over to Venter, the #8 Bentley had a lead of over 12 seconds. After another flawless pit stop by the Bentley crew, Venter was back out in front and ready to make it two from two in Korea. Not content with just winning the race, the Australian continued to widen the gap in P1 and was turning laps at the same great pace as his teammate. On lap 21 though, Venter would set the fastest lap of the entire race as the hour long event entered the closing stages, proving that he was not just going to coast to the finish. In what was a faultless race, the #8 Bentley stormed home with Venter at the wheel and the final gap stretched to over 10 seconds. This ensured that both Venter and his teammate would be leaving Korea at the top of the drivers’ championship with the maximum 36 points.

Race Two Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #8 Bentley Continental GT3

“To get a double here at the GT Asia weekend with Bentley Team Absolute is a real honour. Driving with Sawa-san, he did a great job to get into P1 and pull a very good gap. We knew that with our 24 second pit stop (success) penalty it would be difficult to stay in the lead or even get a good positon but Sawa-san fortunately had some good pace and the other cars were locked in their own battles, which gave us some more room. To get the double is fantastic for the championship, I want to say thank you to entire team and Sawa-san, and I now have lots of confidence going into Buriram.”

Ingo Matter, Team Principal of Bentley Team Absolute

“Obviously very happy with the result for Bentley Team Absolute, a double win during the first race weekend is an amazing feat. Jonathan drove two outstanding races, his pace was extremely fast and consistent and left many faces, including the Head of Bentley Motorsport, Brian Gush, very impressed! We at Bentley Team Absolute Racing could not be happier having this winning combination of Jonathan and Keita!”

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Craft-Bamboo Racing Driver Jonathan Venter Injured in Cycling Accident

  • Aug 24, 2015

Craft-Bamboo Racing driver, Jonathan Venter, has been injured during a cycling training session last Tuesday afternoon (August 18th), resulting in a dislocated and fractured right hip. The injury will likely rule Jonathan out for the rest of 2015 and prevent him from continuing his challenge in the GT Asia Series where he is now tied for the drivers’ championship lead with teammate, Darryl O’Young.

During a training session for the upcoming GT Asia Series race in Sepang, Venter and his training partner were travelling down a hill at over 50 km/h when he lost control of the rear around a wide right hander, resulting with him hitting the kerb and taking the brunt of the fall.

Even when faced with the tough situation, the irony wasn’t lost on Venter, saying, “The first thing I thought lying on the road in pain after the fall was how ironic this incident is. After 15 years of racing kart and cars, with no serious injuries even close to this, I manage to fracture and dislocate my hip cycling whilst training for the next race.”

Venter was transported to the nearest ER at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney’s East.  After an X-ray, CT and ultrasound scans it was determined that Venter had no internal, spinal or neck injuries and only sustained light grazing to one leg and his back.

Given time in hospital to reflect on his unfortunate position, Venter said, “This whole situation is a massive shock to me and trying to digest that this season is over after such a strong performance has been hard.”

Venter will undergo surgery today (Monday) to clean his hip joint and insert plates into the area and will be expertly looked after by the team at St Vincent’s. 

Still focused on the championship and his team after the incident, Venter said, “I really feel for both the team and Darryl as we have come so far this year and become a real family, competing at our best this whole season. To have finally reached the top positon in the championship gave us all a great boost of confidence and motivation. My training and focus became much more intense and I was determined to give the rest of the season my best shot. Lying in hospital now brings up a lot of ‘what if’ questions and it’s been hard trying to re-focus on the road to recovery.”

Venter is looking at a lengthy recovery time and it's unlikely he'll be back in a GT3 car this year. For now however, everyone is focused on his overall wellbeing and recovery post-operation. “It’s important now to look ahead and use this time wisely to come back stronger and more focused than ever. I cannot wait to return back behind the wheel of a GT3 car. I would also like to thank everyone at the St Vincent’s Hospital for the care they have provided me with and also a big thank you to all of my fans and friends who have reached out and supported me during this difficult time,” the young driver said.

“I want to wish my teammate, Darryl O’Young, the best of luck for the remainder of the season and I also want to thank the entire team at Craft-Bamboo Racing, especially Frank Yu and Richard Coleman for giving me this fantastic opportunity. To my race engineer, Nic Clipson, the mechanics and all the others who have made my challenge possible this year,” said Jonathan.
 

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Jonathan Venter Drives an Incredible 24 Hours of Spa

  • Jul 28, 2015

Jonathan Venter drove the endurance race of his life during the Total 24 Hours of Spa, running as high as fourth in class during the weather plagued endurance event. Running 6th in the Pro-Am class and 14th overall out of the 58 car grid, the Oman Racing Team #44 was on its way to a solid result, with Venter’s three faultless double-stints contributing greatly as he battled through the grid of top international drivers. Unfortunately though, after 22 hours of punishing  racing which pushed both man and machine to the limit, a failed engine belt caused the #44 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 to lose oil to the engine, forcing their retirement after  444 laps. The #44 car was eventually classified 30th despite never seeing the last two hours of the race. Venter has come away learning a great deal from the race itself and his three young teammates, praising them for their pace and consistency.

Race

The 67th edition of the 24 Hours of Spa began under torrential conditions and several cars were caught up in incidents early on. This saw the safety car take to the track on multiple occasions and for extended amounts of time as repairs were carried out on the barriers. This brought about a period of strategic gambles in the pit lane and caused the positions at the front of the field to change constantly.

The race progressed through the terrible weather and the #44 Aston Martin kept out of trouble and settled into a rhythm, showing good pace right from the start. After five hours of trouble free running, Ahmad Al Harthy pulled into the pit lane and handed over to Venter for his first stint. It was the young Australian’s first time at Spa but that did nothing to stop him from impressing right from the start. He had a two hour stint to complete and kept the pace on the boil as the race descended into total darkness. Venter drove an incredible run, keeping pace with many of the factory drivers on the track and proving that even on his Spa debut he was one to look out for. After a strong drive he returned to the pits to hand over to fellow Aston Martin Evolution Academy driver, Daniel Lloyd.

The Oman Racing Team kept pushing and was making good headway throughout the night. It was now Jonny Adam’s turn to handover to Venter at 03:30am as the race approached the halfway mark. Tackling another difficult stint in complete darkness was a true challenge for Venter but the international GT driver applied his confident driving style and produced consistently quick lap times to keep the #44 car towards the front of end of the field. Venter returned the car to Al Harthy after his two hour session and the Motorbase Squad performed another fantastic pit stop before sending the Omani driver on his way.

The Aston Martin continued with its attack and everything had been running smoothly throughout the night. All four drivers completed faultless stints and avoided any racing incidents which helped them move up to fourth in class, giving them a good shot a top result. With the daylight hours now in full swing, it was time for Venter’s last stint, which began at 9:30am. Continuing the hard charge, Venter knuckled down and with the clearing weather conditions was able to push the car even further. As the race proceeded, mechanical stress was beginning to take its toll on the Aston Martin. A piece of floor on the front-left side of the car had become dislodged and caused a puncture. After the resulting pit-stop, #44 was now 6th in the pro-am class and 14th overall. Venter completed his final run and handed over to Al Harthy who went out to try and claw back some of the time lost to the puncture.

As the race entered the final stages, the #44 was running strong but it was not meant to be. With just over two hours left, debris entered through the exposed section and worked its way into the engine bay, severing a belt that prevented oil from reaching the engine. This ultimately led to the retirement of the Oman Racing Team and any hopes of a finish at the historic race were dashed. Venter is now focusing on his next race, the Three Hours of Sepang which will be held in September. The Craft-Bamboo Racing driver is now jointly leading the GT Asia Series drivers’ championship and he will be looking to get ahead of the competition by using the knowledge and experience gained from his incredible drive at the 24 Hours of Spa.

Quotes

"It was a real privilege to have been able to drive with Motorbase Performance in their Oman Racing Aston Martin. They did a great job all week and are a very professional team."

"The race itself was long and challenging with myself having to do 4 of the 7 hrs in the dark and another 2 in the morning. It was a great experience having to always adapt to the changing track conditions and stay out of trouble."

"I learnt a lot throughout this whole week and took away some priceless experience. Hopefully in the future I can return to this great race and have another go at it. For now it's focusing ahead to the next GT Asia race at Sepang which will be a 3 hour race."

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Jonathan Venter Now Tied for Drivers’ Championship Lead

  • Jul 21, 2015

Jonathan Venter Now Tied for Drivers’ Championship Lead 

Jonathan Venter is now joint leader in the GT Asia drivers’ championship after a hard fought second place podium in race two at Fuji Speedway. The young Australian completed a dominant qualifying session to take pole position (1:53.642s) for the second race, where he drove a flawless opening stint on the Japanese circuit before handing over to Craft-Bamboo Racing teammate, Darryl O’Young, who took the #99 VLT Aston Martin across the line in P2. With a P9 finish in the points for race one, the international GT driver was able to close the small remaining gap in the drivers’ championship and is now joint first as the season reaches its midpoint.  

Qualifying

Teammate, Darryl O’Young, set a time of 1:54.247 in Q1 which would see the #99 car start from P12 for race one.

Venter has a string of quick qualifying sessions behind him this season and Fuji was no exception. The Craft-Bamboo Racing driver started the second qualifying session and immediately began to push, setting a 1:53.642 which could not be bettered by any of the competition before the end of the session. This secured Venter pole position for the start of race two and gave the #99 VLT car a good chance at taking a top result.

Qualifying Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #99 Driver

“Qualifying was really hard with the mixed weather conditions so it was very important to get the right strategy in terms of tyres. The team did a really good job of finding the right strategy to allow me to get pole in the end.”

Race One

O’Young began the race one stint from P12 and made a smooth start, avoiding any first lap incidents to settle into a fast paced rhythm. Unfortunately, lap three brought with it a faulty sensor which caused the ABS and traction control systems to fail, making the car incredibly difficult to control in the wet. O’Young fought hard to get the car to the compulsory pit window where they attempted to fix the sensor and made the driver change to Venter.

Craft-Bamboo Racing made the decision to stay on slick tyres but shortly after Venter’s stint began, the team realized the error of their ways as the weather deteriorated. The team’s effort to fix the faulty sensor were also in vain and Venter was left to battle an unruly Aston Martin for the remainder of the hour long race.     This is where Venter shone, hustling the car around the Fuji circuit with a sublime delicacy.

Coming under attack from the Nismo GT-R towards the closing stage of the race, Venter used all the moves in his defensive repertoire to keep the Nissan at bay. He focused his attention and managed to pull away with his smooth driving style and consistent lap times.

Venter kept his position for the final laps of the race and avoided any costly mistakes to bring the #99 car home in P9.

Race One Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #99 Driver

“Race one was really difficult, it went from dry to wet throughout the session. We also suffered from a sensor failure, so when Darryl handed over to me on the slick tyres and it started to rain it was a big handful trying to muscle the V12 around Fuji Speedway. Happy to hang onto to P9 and score some valuable points.”

Race Two

Jonathan Venter started race two from the front of the grid and he made a fantastic getaway, maintaining his first place position ahead of the Bentley of Adderly Fong. It was Venter’s mission to escape the clutches of the Bentley and the young driver’s ability saw him open up a 2.5 second gap by only the third lap.

It was now a battle between Venter and Fong, with the Bentley slowly closing in on the rear of the Aston Martin. Venter held off his advances for as long as possible but eventually relinquished the position, knowing that a consistent points haul was what they needed most. Venter was not deterred by the Bentley’s pace and remained hot on Fong’s tail until the compulsory pit window opened.

The Bentley dove into pit lane and Venter followed close behind, changing over to, O’Young, who remained on the same tyres. The Craft-Bamboo Racing crew performed a lighting stop and O’Young exited the pits ahead of the Bentley. O’Young fought hard to remain in P1 but it just wasn’t possible. The #99 VLT car crossed the line in P2 and gave Venter enough points to become joint leader in the drivers’ championship.

Race One Quotes

Jonathan Venter, #99 Driver

“Race two was good as I was starting on pole and for the first time of the weekend it was a dry track. I got a good start and pulled a bit of a gap, Adderly started to close in but the Bentleys were really quick and we ended up having a good battle for the lead. I handed over to Darryl in P2 and we managed to jump the Bentleys but their pace was too strong, so we had to settle for P2. Good points in the end and tied for the championship now. Heading into the Sepang 3 Hour with loads of confidence.”

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Jonathan Venter to Race at the 24 Hours of Spa

  • Jul 21, 2015

International GT driver, Jonathan Venter, has landed a drive with the Oman Racing Team to compete in the historic Total 24 Hours of Spa this weekend. The rising motorsport star will be driving the #44 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 in the Pro-am class. Venter will be taking on more than 40 top international GT teams when he tackles the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium for the grueling 24 hour race that begins on Saturday.

This is another incredible opportunity for the Aston Martin Evolution Academy driver who has been having a stellar season in Asia’s top GT competition, the GT Asia Series. Fresh off a podium finish in Fuji, Venter will be looking to expand his international credentials with a top result from the historic Belgian race. The 24 hour event has long been on Venter’s wish list and he is ecstatic that he will be finally getting the chance to tackle the legendary endurance race.

“I am incredibly excited and honoured to be driving in the Motorbase Aston Martin at the 24 hours of Spa. It has been an ambition of mine to race at Spa and to be given this opportunity with the Oman Racing Team is amazing.” said the rising star.

The Oman Racing Team is run by Kent-based squad, Motorbase Performance who currently compete in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Venter will be joining their regular trio of drivers that include, Aston Martin Works driver, Jonny Adam (Scotland), fellow Aston Martin Evolution Academy driver, Daniel Lloyd (England) and Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman).

David Bartrum, Team Principal of Oman Racing had this to say, “The big decision for us this year was to move into the Pro-Am class so we needed to add a driver with the right ingredients to complete our line-up. To make sure that the balance is right, it’s essential not only to get the grading right but also to find a driver that fits well within the team, has the character we need, offers the turn of speed required and is also able to use the product - and in Jonathan we have the ideal man.  A young, dynamic driver that fits perfectly in the Oman Racing Team line-up and I’m really, really excited about Spa now.”

Venter is no stranger to Aston Martin; he is currently one of only ten young drivers worldwide to be inducted into their Evolution Academy which will award the most successful participant a full works contract with Aston Martin Racing. Currently driving for Craft-Bamboo Racing, his quick pace, consistent and confident driving style have helped him take the joint lead in the drivers’ championship. The 19 year old driver has only just completed a successful race weekend in Fuji, Japan and has travelled directly to Europe to be a part of the young driver lineup for Oman Racing, with the hope of learning the track before the race start on Saturday.

“Having just raced at Fuji in the GT Asia series with a fantastic result, I am going into the week with loads of confidence. Testing will be really important for me to learn the track as I have never been there before but I know the Aston Martin GT3 very well so I have one less obstacle to face.” said Jonathan.

This will be Oman Racing’s second year in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, but due to a mid-race accident last year that was caused by another competitor; the team was forced to retire prematurely in P17. Returning this year with a new driver lineup, Venter brings both speed and consistency in the Aston Martin and is hungry to build on his burgeoning endurance career. The  young driver understands that he will be facing some tough competition during the 24 hour race but is focused on learning all he can.

Jonathan added, “As in previous years, the 24 hours of Spa has made for some very interesting racing with a track full of GT3 cars, changing conditions and of course racing for 24 hours! This will be one of the biggest challenges of my career and I am really looking forward to gaining as much experience and knowledge as possible. ”

Free Practice for the Total 24 Hours of Spa will begin at 12:00pm (local time GMT+2), Thursday 23rd of July. Later that day, pre-qualifying is scheduled for 18:10, qualifying 1 at 20:30 and night qualifying at 22:15. Super pole will be set for 15:30 on Friday 24th of July and the main race will begin on Saturday, 25th of July 16:30 (GMT +2).
 

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Venter Mounts Championship Attack in Fuji

  • Jul 16, 2015

Jonathan Venter is focused on continuing his march up the championship leaderboards this weekend in Fuji, Japan, for the next round of the GT Asia Series. He is aiming to complete another successful round of podium results to help support his sustained attack on the championship. Now equal third in the standings with Craft-Bamboo Racing teammate, Darryl O’Young, Venter is intent on cementing himself as the championship contender to watch out for as the season reaches its midpoint.

The young Australian performed flawlessly in Okayama and he was able to come away with 24 championship points after an excellent race one charge to P4 and a third place podium in race two. Venter is confident that the #99 Aston Martin’s strong performance can continue as the pairing between himself and his teammate has proved to be so effective.

Jonathan Venter, No. 99 VLT: “Darryl and I have been working very well together in the Aston and the Craft-Bamboo team has been excellent with the car preparation and on race strategy.”

Venter will once again concentrate on producing a quick qualifying time to add to the string of strong sessions already seen this year. The Aussie’s strategy will be dependent on the weather at Fuji and judging by past events held here during the rainy season, anything could happen. While the weather is unpredictable, the weekend is going to produce some more competitive racing while the top teams battle for the championship.

Since the start of the 2015 season Venter has constantly been developing his performance and this has been reflected in each race. The international GT driver wants to keep evolving his skill set with each coming round and knows how much of an important role this will play in Fuji.

“With every round so far I have gained a lot of confidence in the car and have been making improvements with each session, so in Fuji it will be important to maintain this progression and stay quick” said Jonathan.

Fuji Speedway is a historical Japanese circuit that has hosted some of the world’s greatest motorsport disciplines and Venter is proud to be a part of it, but recognizes just how tough this year’s GT Asia field has become.

Jonathan Venter said, “I am very excited to be driving the VLT Aston Martin GT3 this weekend in Fuji. It’s a great track and a great event with a very strong line-up once again for GT Asia. Let’s see what Fuji brings!”

The 4.563km circuit features 16 turns and a winding layout; it also features one of the longest straights in motorsport at 1.5km. The circuit was remodeled on a new design by Hermann Tilke in 2003 and boasts an 110,000 crowd capacity, where fans will be out in force to witness Craft-Bamboo Racing’s fight for the GT Asia championship lead.

Practice for the third round of the GT Asia Series will begin on Friday, July 17th. Qualifying one will be held on Saturday, July 18th, 08:25-08:40 (GMT+9), with qualifying two held from 08:50-09:05 (GMT+9). Race one (60 minutes) will also be held on Saturday, running from 12:20-13:30 (GMT +9). Race two will be held on Sunday, June 28th, 16:10-17:20 (GMT+9). Live streaming of the event will be available from the GT Asia Series YouTube page, https://www.youtube.com/user/afosTV.

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Jonathan Venter Claims Hard Fought Podium in Japan

  • Jun 30, 2015

Jonathan Venter Claims Hard Fought Podium in Japan

Jonathan Venter has claimed his second podium in as many rounds, with a hard fought P3 in race two to make it a Craft-Bamboo Racing double podium in Japan. Race one proved just how dangerous Venter is from any start position, as the nineteen year-old rising star put together a spectacular performance on the tight and twisty Okayama circuit.  His teammate Darryl O’Young started from P13 in the #99 VLT liveried car, before handing over to Venter where he carved through the field and took an incredible nine places to secure P4 and take a big chunk of valuable championship points. Venter was extremely consistent with his results at Okayama and delivered on every level by showing speed and maturity behind the wheel of his Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3. The Aston Martin Evolution academy star’s hard work and big points haul has helped him reach third overall in the drivers’ championship and has contributed greatly to Craft-Bamboo Racing taking the lead in the overall team championship standings.

Qualifying

Venter took on the Okayama circuit in the second qualifying session of the day and he was up against a tough field of competitors. His sights were set on pole position and he was looking good after he set an impressive 1:29.909 around the Japanese circuit, but Adderly Fong put in a quick lap just before the end of the session to snatch away P1. Venter’s time proved quick enough for P2 and this secured the team a front row start for race two in Okayama, setting the #99 VLT Aston Martin up for a strong podium challenge.

Race one

O’Young drove the first stint in race one and set out to move up the field and avoid any incidents with other competitors so he could hand the car over to Venter in a good position.  O’Young completed his stint successfully and without incident before entering the pit lane for their compulsory pit stop and driver change. After a well-executed pit stop, it was Venter’s turn to hit the track and carve up the field in the hopes of still being able to capture a podium position.

Venter got straight to work, putting his head down and focusing on the cars ahead. He powered through the closing stages of the race and had moved into P4, a staggering gain of nine places.  Venter was still pushing though and was doing his all to catch up with the third placed BBT Ferrari but when the flag fell, it just wasn’t enough. Venter had produced a brilliant drive to take multiple positions and helped the #99 make a strong points haul to add to their current tally.

Results

1. Tonio Liuzzi/Hiroshi Hamaguchi (FFF Racing McLaren 650S GT3) - 32-laps
2. Carlo Van Dam/Piti Bhirom Bhakdi (Singha Ferrari 458)
3. Davide Rizzo/Anthony Liu (BBT Team Ferrari 458 Italia GT3)
4. Darryl O’Young/Jonathan Venter (Craft-Bamboo Racing Aston)
5. Andy Soucek/Jeffrey Lee (Absolute Bentley Continental GT3)

Race Two

In race two, it was Venter’s turn to start the race and he would do so from the front row of the grid.  He executed a strong start and put in some strong opening laps to keep pace with the front running Bentley. The young Australian continued to push to open up a gap of five seconds from the third placed Ferrari, but an unfortunate safety car was called out onto the circuit closing up the field once more and erasing any gap that Venter had built up to the rest of the field throughout the race. The safety car had an adverse effect on the #99’s race strategy and forced the team to adapt quickly to keep the car in podium contention. After the safety car came in, Venter upped his performance in a final push to create as much of a gap as possible before diving into the pits to switch over to teammate Darryl O’Young.

O’Young continued Venter’s strong challenge and battled for the lead straight out of the pits. Unfortunately, tyre degradation was starting to affect the #99’s performance after Venter’s attack earlier in the race.  O’Young fought as hard as possible and finished the race in P3, just behind Craft-Bamboo Racing’s #88 sister car to make it a double podium for race two. Venter has now moved up to 3rd place overall in the drivers’ championship together with O’Young, whom both have 42 points going into the next round at Fuji. Craft-Bamboo Racing have now also moved into first position in the teams’ championship standings after the two strong finishes for the #99 VLT Aston Martin.

Quotes

“It was overall a tough weekend from Thursday up until the last race today in Japan.  The other cars and competitors were very fast this weekend, so we had to do our best and keep pushing. It is a really nice track, it is hard to get right but the team did an amazing job and I felt as though I made good improvements and gained confidence for the following rounds.  We are constantly improving the car and I’m looking forward to the future races as we continue our fight for the GT Asia championship title.  A big thanks to the team for the big effort this weekend as everyone worked hard for these results.”

Results

1.  Adderly Fong/Keita Sawa (Absolute Bentley Continental GT3)
2. Frank Yu/Richard Lyons (Craft-Bamboo Racing Aston Martin GT3)
3. Jonathan Venter/Darryl O’Young (Craft-Bamboo Racing Aston) 
4. Richard Wee/Matt Griffin (Clearwater Racing Ferrari 458)
5. Anthony Liu/Davide Rizzo (BBT Team Ferrari 458 Italia GT3

Teams' Championship

1. Craft-Bamboo Racing - 80 pts
2. Bentley Team Absolute - 78 pts
3. FFF Racing Team by ACM  - 58 pts
4. BBT -  57 pts
5. Clearwater Racing – 43 pts

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Jonathan Venter Focused on Consistent Podiums at Okayama

  • Jun 24, 2015

Jonathan Venter is looking to build on his successful start to the GT Asia season by focusing on achieving consistent results that will help him close the small gap in the championship. Venter will be tackling the Okayama circuit in Japan with teammate, Darryl O’Young, in the #99 VLT-liveried Aston Martin.

The Craft-Bamboo Racing driver had an incredible race two victory in his first outing in South Korea. After qualifying on pole position, Venter drove a flawless stint before handing over to his teammate who took the #99 car across the line for their first win of the season. It was a textbook lights-to-flag victory for both the team and the international GT driver, one that they will be looking to recreate in Okayama.

While success was enjoyed in race two, during race one the hard charging #99 was rear ended on only the third corner of lap one, causing severe suspension damage and preventing them from continuing their march through the field. This ultimately left Venter without a single point for the first race of the season and he will now be fighting to claw back those missed results.

This is where Venter’s focus on consistency really comes into play. While it is still early days in the championship, the young Australian knows that consistent top results are necessary if he wants a shot at the championship title and he will be focused on this when he takes to the circuit in Okayama.

Craft-Bamboo Racing has a successful track record at Okayama with a double race win back in 2013, when the GT Asia series last visited the circuit. Hoping to repeat this result, all eyes will be on the yellow-green liveried #99 to see if the flying pace that was seen in South Korea can make another appearance and earn young, Venter, another place on the top step of the podium and move him further up the championship standings.

The Okayama International Circuit is a 3.703 km (2.301-mile) race track near Mimasaka, Okayama Prefecture, Japan and makes a return to the GT Asia Series calendar this year. This is a technical circuit with two long straights and 13 corners that mix hairpin bends and angular turns. The circuit has played host to major events such as the F1, Super GT and MFJ Superbike.

Practice for the second round of the GT Asia Series will begin on Friday, June 26th. Qualifying one will be held on Saturday, June 27th, 10:50-11:05 (GMT+9), with qualifying two held from 11:15-11:30 (GMT+9). Race one will also be held on Saturday, running from 15:10-16:00 (GMT +9). Race two will be held on Sunday, June 28th, 13:00-13:50 (GMT+9). A delayed broadcast of the event will be available from the GT Asia Series YouTube page,https://www.youtube.com/user/afosTV.

Quotes

Jonathan Venter, driver, #99-VLT

“With a DNF in one race at Korea, we are slightly lower down in the championship than we hoped for. Trying to get as many championship points in round two will be critical for our 2015 GT Asia campaign and we know that the Craft-Bamboo Aston Martin is quick, even in this strong GT Asia field, so we are coming into round two at Okayama with good confidence”

“I have never been to the track before so it will be important that we make the most of the practice sessions and get the car ready for qualifying and the race quickly. It looks like a very technical track with some difficult corners. The weather will definitely play a part in the weekend so I am excited to see how each race plays out with the changing conditions.”

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Jonathan Venter wins in South Korea

  • May 19, 2015

Jonathan Venter stormed to victory in race two of the GT Asia Series with a dominant nine second victory over second place at the Korea International Circuit. After securing pole position in qualifying two, the young driver drove a commanding race, leading the field for his entire stint before handing over to teammate, Darryl O’Young, who continued the #99 VLT-liveried Aston Martin’s run to the chequered flag, unable to be caught by the competition.

Qualifying

Jonathan Venter’s first qualifying session of the season was a major success. Although the young driver had no prior experience with the 5.62-km circuit, that did not stop him from posting the fastest time of the second session. Venter, hit the circuit and posted a 2:08:243, a time that was only .142s off his more experienced teammate and good enough to see him sit atop the leaderboard in first place. Throughout the session no one was able usurp the young Australian driver, his brilliant lap on the technical circuit would see him start on pole position for race two on Sunday. Venter’s teammate, Darryl O’Young, completed a 2:08:101 in Q1 to secure fifth fastest for the first race of the season.

Quotes

Jonathan Venter, Driver #99 VLT

“I got the car on warm tyres from Darryl for qualifying and I was able to push in the opening few laps of the session and kept building up my pace until I finally reached the limit. The times were tight to get P1 from the Bentley in second and I’m really happy to get pole position for the first race tomorrow. I think it will put us on the front foot going into the race.”

Race One

It was Jonathan Venter’s teammate, Darryl O’Young who would start the season for the team in the #99 VLT-liveried car. O’Young made a strong start from P5 and cleanly made it through the first two corners. Unfortunately, on turn three, heavy contact from behind by Vernay sent the car sideways into Craig Baird, which would cause rear suspension damage that would rule them out of race one.

Quotes

Jonathan Venter, Driver #99 VLT “It was a disappointment with race one, we definitely had potential and there was pace in the car the whole weekend, so for contact to happen in the first lap and having to retire was really disappointing. We have to keep focused for race one on Sunday where we start on pole position. We just need to maximize the number of points we can get out of it and put race one behind us."

Race Two

Jonathan Venter began the race on pole position and made a brilliant start into the first corner, maintaining the first place position. Instantly, he began to widen the gap from those behind, using the clear air ahead to maximize his starting position and build up a commanding lead. Unfortunately, a safety car period diminished Venter’s lead, allowing the other drivers another chance at catching the flying VLT Aston Martin. Once normal racing resumed though, it was clear that Venter wasn’t even going to allow them the opportunity. He was back on his previous pace almost instantly and once again, began to move ahead.

Thinking about his compulsory pit stop and driver change to teammate Darryl O’Young, Venter continued putting in quick, consistent lap times, approaching those of qualifying. He stayed out on track for as long as possible before making his pit stop and driver change to maximize his gap but the Ferrari behind proved to be a strong challenge as the gap remained at only 2.5 seconds after Venter’s thirty-minute stint. Darryl O’Young would take over from Venter after another flawless pit stop by the Craft-Bamboo Racing team and would put in a stellar performance to bring the car home in P1.

Jonathan Venter’s first stint of the season demonstrated his ability to cope with pressure and be a true race leader, making no mistakes despite a very quick Ferrari’s best efforts to catch him. With the young driver only just beginning his first full GT Asia season, it only looks like he will be improving. The series travels to Okayama, Japan, for the weekend of June 27-28 and the GT Asia grid will be on the lookout for Jonathan Venter, who will be intent on building on his race two victory.

Jonathan Venter, Driver #99 VLT

“It was definitely great to walk away with a win, we went into the race with a strategy and we executed it perfectly. It was an advantage having two new sets of tyres and both Darryl and I did very consistent times, and I am now focusing on the next round in Okayama.”

Results

1. 99. O’Young/Venter (Craft-Bamboo Racing Aston Martin)

2. 37. Liu/Rizzo (Ferrari)

3. 8. Fong/Sawa (Bentley)

4. 11. Bhirom Bhakdi/Yokomizo (Ferrari)

5. 12. Wee/Baird (Ferrari)

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Venter Aims for Podium in 2015 GT Asia Series Opener

  • May 14, 2015

Jonathan Venter has arrived in South Korea and is looking for a strong start to his 2015 GT Asia series campaign, where he will be taking on some of the world’s best GT drivers. This will be Venter’s first, full GT Asia season, after competing in selected rounds last year where he impressed with his rapid pace and maturity. The young Australian will be driving for international race team, Craft-Bamboo Racing, a team that has experienced great success in past seasons, taking second place in the teams’ championship last year. Venter is looking to make his mark on the international GT race scene and will be fighting hard for a podium finish in South Korea.

Piloting the #99 Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 decorated in the iconic yellow-green VLT (Vita Lemon Tea) livery, Venter will pairing with championship winning driver, Darryl O’Young. They will be a tough pair to beat, mixing youth and experience that should see them challenging for the drivers’ and teams’ championship right from the start.

The race will be held at the Korea International Circuit, located in Yeongnam, South Korea. The track is 400km south of the nation’s capital, Seoul, and near the port city of Mokpo. A former Formula One Grand Prix host, the 5.615-km circuit features 18 turns and combines a layout that mixes both conventional and street design, providing a challenge for Venter who has yet to drive on the circuit. He will have to adjust quickly to its technicality and diverse layout, something the rising star will be focusing on during his practice sessions.

Venter is no stranger to the Aston Martin, putting in a stellar performance at the start of the year, in the Bathurst 12 Hour and recently being accepted into their prestigious Evolution Academy. He is one of only ten, young Aston Martin drivers in the world to be given the opportunity. The most successful participant at the end of the season will be awarded a factory works contract for 2016. This is something Venter will be fiercely competing for every time he hits the track.

Practice for the first round of the GT Asia Series will begin on Friday, May 15th. Qualifying one will be held on Saturday, May 16th, 10:00-10:15 (GMT+9), with qualifying two held from 10:25-10:40 (GMT+9). Race one will also be held on Saturday, running from 14:00-15:00. Race two will be held on Sunday, May 17th, 13:30-14:30. A 90 minute delayed broadcast of the event will be available from the GT Asia Series YouTube page, https://www.youtube.com/user/afosTV.

Quote

Jonathan Venter, Driver #99

“It’s my first time on the Korea International Circuit this weekend for the opener of GT Asia with Craft-Bamboo Racing. I’m confident that the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 will be very competitive in the field. It’s great having Darryl O’Young as my team mate as he has previous experience on the track so hopefully I can learn off his knowledge. Every year, GT Asia steps up in the level of competition and this year it has delivered once again with a great entry list, so I hope together with Darryl we can start off with a strong result.”

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Australian Jonathan Venter secures full season contract with Craft-Bamboo Racing

  • Apr 21, 2015

Rising motorsport star Jonathan Venter has secured a seat with global motorsport team Craft-Bamboo Racing, which will see him take on the top international racing teams and drivers in the GT Asia Series. Venter, who is only 19 years old will partner with Hong Kong motorsport ace Darryl O’Young, in the #99 Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 for the full championship season.

This is an incredible opportunity for the young Australian, who steps up to his full season role after completing a transition year last season from the Australian national ranks. Venter will be looking to put his speed and skill up against some of the worlds top GT drivers, and at the same time demonstrate his maturity to score points and challenge for the GT Asia Series title. Pairing with an experienced driver like O’Young should prove to create a fast and dynamic pairing, and Venter will be using O’Young’s extensive knowledge of the circuits and the car to further assist in his steep learning curve thus far.

Venter already has valuable experience behind the wheel of the Aston Martin, competing in the Bathurst 12 Hour in January and in three rounds of GT Asia in 2014. He made a serious impression with his speed and consistency in both series and successfully paved the way to be accepted into the prestigious Aston Martin Evolution Academy. After a rigorous selection process amongst the world’s most talented pool of young Aston Martin drivers, Venter was awarded one of only ten places in the coveted program.

It is not only his recent race history that will make him a formidable opponent on track but his championship winning experience in other racing disciplines. Climbing up through the karting ranks, Venter won an Australian Championship and three state titles all before the age of 15. Graduating to the high performance world of single seaters, Venter joined Formula Ford and in 2012 clinched the Victorian Formula Ford Championship and was awarded the very first Chairman’s cup by the Australian Formula Ford Association.

The 11 race season sees the series compete at Asia’s best circuits, finishing with the invitational event at the famed Macau street course. The first round of GT Asia will begin in South Korea, where the cars will line up on the grid at the Korea International Circuit. The weekend is comprised of two one-hour races, with the first to be held on Saturday May 16th, followed by the second race on Sunday May 17th.

Quotes

Jonathan Venter, Driver

“Ever since I’ve been a kid starting off in go-karts, racing GT cars has been my dream and the brand Aston Martin has always been a favourite. So to have the ability this year to race the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 for a full season is more than a dream come true. Having been to the Aston Martin Factory and seeing the cars being built has given me so much more respect for the hard work and dedication that goes into building every one of these cars, whether it’s the race or road car. The Aston is a very strong GT car and has proven that on many occasions so I am more than excited to be able to race such an iconic car.”

“I am still so honoured to be chosen to represent Aston Martin as a part of the Evolution Academy. The academy is still in its early stages but I have already been to AML HQ in Gaydon with the rest of the Academy drivers and it was a fantastic experience. With each visit there we learn new ways and methods that are required to become a successful GT driver. Whether it’s driving itself or how to approach the media or fitness, the Academy gives us all a detailed insight into what it takes. It is a long road ahead and I have a lot to learn but I am dedicated to giving it my all and doing the best I can throughout the whole year.”

GT Asia Calendar

15 – 17 May,Yeongam, Korea – Round 1 & 2

26 – 28 June, Okayama, Japan – Round 3 & 4

17 – 19 July, Fuji, Japan – Round 5 & 6

4 – 6 September, Sepang, Malaysia - Round 7 (3 Hours)

25 – 27 September, Shanghai, China – Round 8 & 9

23 – 25 October, Buriram, Thailand – Round 10 & 11

20 – 22 November, Macau, China – Invitational

For more information on the Evolution Academy: www.astonmartinracing.com/evolution-academy

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Darryl O'Young and Jonathan Venter complete Craft-Bamboo Racing's GT Asia series line-up

  • Apr 20, 2015

Craft-Bamboo Racing is proud to announce Hong Kong’s Darryl O’Young and Australian rising star Jonathan Venter will drive the #99 Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3. The pairing is a combination of experience and youth, which could prove to be the perfect driver combination in the GT Asia Series. With two strong line-ups for Craft-Bamboo Racing’s 2015 season, it demonstrates the Hong Kong teams’ intention to challenge for both the drivers’ and team championship titles. Previously announced was the sister car with Richard Lyons and Frank Yu in the #88 Interush sponsored entry.

Darryl O’Young is a multi-championship winning driver whose list of accolades includes being a triple Macau Grand Prix victor in the GT category, two-time winner at the Bathurst 12 Hour, and double Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Champion. O’Young is no stranger to Aston Martin as he’s competed in both endurance and sprint events in the Vantage, including the 2014 World Endurance Championship in the Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE. He also contested the Bathurst 12 hour earlier this year with Craft-Bamboo Racing where they claimed a strong podium finish.

Jonathan Venter has accomplished a great deal in his young career. Gifted at karting, his natural ability and dedication won him an Australian Championship and three state titles all before the age of 15. Tackling the high performance world of single seaters, Venter joined Formula Ford and in 2012 clinched the Victorian Formula Ford Championship and was awarded the very first Chairman’s cup by the Australian Formula Ford Association. Venter joined Craft-Bamboo Racing in 2014, competing in several GT events and was recently selected into the Aston Martin Racing Evolution Academy designed for young upcoming talent from around the globe.

The #99 Aston Martin will be title-sponsored by VLT (VITA Lemon Tea) and will first take to the grid in South Korea, where the first round of the GT Asia series will be contested at the Korea International Circuit. The weekend is comprised of two one-hour races, with the first to be held on Saturday May 16th, followed by the second race on Sunday May 17th.

The pursuit of the GT Asia Championship Title would not be possible without the support of VLT, POAD, Gravity, Tunewear, and FreeM

Quotes

Darryl O’Young Driver #99, Driver

“Jonathan Venter has raced with Craft-Bamboo Racing on several occasions and on each outing, he has gone quicker and really impressed the team. He has become more mature as a driver in a very short time and he especially impressed me with his speed in Bathurst. He's a young driver with a lot of talent and I'm hoping to pass off my experience this season to unlock his full potential. I'm really happy to be paired with Jono and I think we'll have a fun season ahead.” “Craft-Bamboo Racing has great sponsorship partners, strong mechanics, experienced engineers, and the backing of Aston Martin Racing. I also have great team mates this year in Jonathan Venter, Frank Yu, and Richard Lyons and we will be working hard together to optimise our setups at each track. I feel we have the full package so we just have to go out this year and fight hard, drive with consistency, and put all our focus on the prize, which is the GT Asia Series title.”

Jonathan Venter #99, Driver

“To be partnered with Darryl is such an honour for me considering his very successful background in motorsport. Darryl has raced some of the toughest categories in the world and has gained lots of valuable experience so I wish this year that I can develop off that experience. He’s a very quick driver and I definitely believe that our pairing will be very competitive against the strong GT Asia field this year.” “I have had nothing but great experiences with Craft-Bamboo Racing. Having so far done five race weekends with them, after every race I feel much more confident and learn so much from their amazing engineers and mechanics. Craft-Bamboo Racing is one of the most professional teams in the world, competing in many disciplines. I feel very comfortable racing with them this year and I believe they are a winning team.”

Richard Coleman, CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing

“We are pleased to have two strong driver line-ups this season in the GT Asia Series. Having Darryl and Jonathan together as drivers should prove to be a real dynamic pairing, with the mix of experience and young talent that they bring to the series. Both have experience with the Aston Martin and the GT Asia series and I have a strong feeling they will be challenging for victories in the opening round of the season.”

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Jonathan Venter awarded place in Aston Martin Racing’s Prestigious Evolution Academy

  • Mar 31, 2015

Rising star Jonathan Venter is about to realize every young race driver’s dream after being given the chance of a lifetime by famed British marque Aston Martin. Venter was chosen over numerous applicants to take part in Aston Martin Racing’s new young driver program, the Evolution Academy. The young Australian will now be given the chance to demonstrate his talent, and if successful will be offered an incredible 2016 Aston Martin Racing factory contract.

Venter, who is only 19 years old, was hand-picked by a panel of Aston Martin Racing’s senior team management; who scrutinized his race history to determine if he had what it takes to join an elite selection of drivers at the Evolution Academy. The panel was impressed by the driver’s list of accomplishments at only such a young age and seeing his huge potential gave Venter one of only ten places in the highly coveted program.

Venter has accomplished a great deal in his young career. Getting into his first kart at the age of four sparked a passion that would eventually take him onto the International stage of competitive racing. Gifted at karting, his natural ability and dedication won him an Australian Championship and three state titles all before the age of 15. Tackling the high performance world of single seaters, Venter joined Formula Ford and in 2012 clinched the Victorian Formula Ford Championship and was awarded the very first Chairman’s cup by the Australian Formula Ford Association.

Wanting to take the next step in his already impressive career, Venter joined Craft-Bamboo Racing in 2014 where he would pilot the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 in the GT Asia series. It didn’t take long before continually impressing with fast times on a variety of Asia’s best circuits. At the start of 2015, Venter competed in the gruelling Bathurst 12 Hour, impressing with quick lap times matching veteran GT drivers and staking his claim as a driver to look out for in the future.

Venter will now be assigned a professional mentor chosen from Aston Martin Racing’s team of top GT drivers. He will be given advice on how to improve his fitness and nutrition, as well as PR, marketing and sponsorship support. Driver training will be taken care of through sessions in the Aston Martin Base Performance Simulator.

At the end of the year a panel of judges will assess Venter’s performance based on a variety of factors. These will correspond to his performance during the season, but also on what he has learned from the academy. The winning driver will receive an Aston Martin Work’s contract for the 2016 season. 

The program is aimed to help develop young drivers from GT4 through GT3 and up to the pinnacle of current GT Racing, GTE. Aston Martin Racing believes that these young stars have what it takes to become a future Work’s driver and Venter will be looking to claim his place at the top.

Quotes

Jonathan Venter, Driver

“I am incredibly surprised and delighted to be given the chance to participate in the Evolution Academy, it is a dream come true to be recognized by such a famous racing brand like Aston Martin. I can’t wait to begin my training with them so I can learn as much as possible about what it takes to become a truly professional GT driver.“

“I would like to thank everyone who contributed to my success into the academy, including the whole of Craft-Bamboo Racing, especially Frank Yu and Darryl O’Young, Anglo Motorsport, Top Gun Driving Academy and also Macquarie University for the support they provided.”

Andrew Williamson, Head of Customer Programmes, Aston Martin Racing

"It really is an exciting season for all the drivers in the inaugural Aston Martin Racing Evolution Academy,  and it is a pleasure for us to be working with young talented drivers like Jonathan Venter. Jon has a mature head on young shoulders, and in working with Craft Bamboo Racing in GT Asia, has chosen to partner with not only a great team, but also our technical partner team in Asia. This combination will prove to be a great package, and the perfect environment for Jon to learn and grow as a GT driver."

 
For more information on the Evolution Academy: 
 www.astonmartinracing.com/evolution-academy

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Craft-Bamboo Racing secures podium finish in Bathurst 12 hour debut

  • Feb 09, 2015

Hong Kong’s Craft-Bamboo Racing finished 3rd overall and 2nd in the pro-am class in their maiden outing at Mount Panorama.

The three drivers, engineering team and pit crew all put in stellar performances to help secure a well-deserved podium after a nail-biting conclusion to the 12 hour race. This is Craft-Bamboo Racing’s second international endurance podium finish since taking third place at the Dubai 24 hour in 2013.

Two-time Bathurst winner Darryl O’Young (HK) started the race from 5th position in the #97 Autoart-Biante-liveried V12 Vantage GT3, after Stefan Mücke’s (DE) strong qualifying session in his inaugural weekend on the Mountain.

The privateer team of Craft-Bamboo Racing took the fight to the factory backed efforts of Audi, Bentley and Nissan, constantly battling it out with the top five throughout the race. With only three hours left, O’Young was in the lead of the race before pitting to switch drivers to Alex MacDowall (GB).

MacDowall was able to put in a solid and consistent effort to keep the team in the running for a podium. He finished his stint and pulled into the pits where the crew was able to once again perform flawlessly, getting Mücke back out onto the track as fast as possible to see off the closing stage of the race.

Due to numerous instances requiring the safety car, 12 hours of racing had boiled down to the final couple of laps with Mücke in 4th position. In a heroic display of driving, Mücke was able to lunge past the factory Bentley on the last lap of the race and claim a step on the podium for Craft-Bamboo Racing, only 2.8 seconds behind the lead car.

The #99 Craft-Bamboo Racing V12 Vantage GT3, claimed a respectable 9th place in the Pro-Am class. The drivers Frank Yu (HK), Jonathan Venter (AU) and Jean-Marc Merlin (FR) fought hard to bring the car home. During Friday’s practice session the car suffered extensive damage after the passing #88 Ferrari made heavy contact resulting in the Craft-Bamboo car hitting the wall. The team made a herculean effort to repair the vehicle but it unfortunately suffered some minor problems during the race due to overheating.

With a 100 percent finish rate for both of the Aston Martin vantage V12 GT3s it was a successful weekend for the Craft-Bamboo Racing team in their first outing at the Mount Panorama circuit. This success would not have been possible without the support from the team partners, Autoart, Biante, Gravity, POAD, J2M Racing, Kee Wah and ECM. We would also like to give a special thanks to the team’s two technical partners, Michelin and Aston Martin Racing.

Driver Quotes

Darryl O’Young (HK) – Driver #97
“It was a great race this weekend, I’m really proud of the team; the mechanics made perfect pit-stops and my teammates drove really well. Of course, I was looking for my third win but we are very happy with the podium here because it was a really tough competition against all the top factory teams. I think the goal will be to come back with Craft-Bamboo next year and try to win this race.”

Alex MacDowall (GB) – Driver #97
“The race went really well for me, the first stint was really good and the pace was right on the leaders straight away. The car was good for a double stint, it was tough to be in for three hours but we showed good pace throughout, the strategy worked. Stefan produced a good result to bring us home to third.”

Stefan Mücke (DE) - Driver #97
“The race was very tough for us, everyone in the team did a great job, we did not have the fastest car on the track in terms of top speed so it made it a bit difficult, but all three drivers were just amazing in how they performed today and we are really pleased for Craft-Bamboo to be on the podium at the end of that tough race against those factory teams, so we can all be very happy.”

Jean-Marc Merlin (FR) – Driver #99
“I was looking for new adventures by racing for the first time in Australia and I have to say that Bathurst did not disappoint! After being pushed into a wall after just 4 laps in the first free practice session, I was privileged to witness the fantastic team spirit of the Craft Bamboo Racing crew who managed to put a perfectly setup car back together in time for qualifying. Frank Yu trusted me to start the race which is something unique. The sunrise on the mountain at full speed is quite an experience! A few laps down a kangaroo even took down an unlucky BMW just in front of me. The final laps were quite special and Stefan Mücke was just incredible. Quite a lot of stories to tell back in France! The reception by everyone in Australia was amazing. It was an honor to race with Frank and Jonathan. Craft Bamboo has proven that it is already a world class organization, the only privateer at the top of the rankings amongst works outfits.”

Jonathan Venter (AU) - Driver #99
“It was a good race, a very long first stint and I felt a bit of the illness and heat come into play so I wasn’t feeling up to shape but the car was amazing. The boys did a very good job of rebuilding it, and it was strong the whole day and had some very good pace. So I’m very proud of the team.”

Frank Yu (HK) - Driver #99
“We had quite a bit of drama in the #99 car this weekend. In the morning it was great but in my last stint it lost power due to the heat. The boys did a great job rebuilding the car and under the circumstances we finished 9th in class and that’s pretty good.”

Richard Coleman, CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing
“Absolutely fantastic weekend, a really difficult entry list with so many factory backed outfits here. I’m very proud of the team and the way we have come through this weekend. It certainly wasn’t an easy one; it’s the kind of event where you have to race against the circuit before the opponents. We have come away with a great result and all credit to the team. We have had great pit-stops and dealt with all kinds of things that the race has thrown at us and it’s a delight to get the guys on the podium after working so hard.”

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Craft-Bamboo racing team up with Autoart and Biante Model Cars at Bathurst

  • Jan 29, 2015

Craft-Bamboo Racing has signed a title partnership agreement with Autoart and Biante Model Cars for the upcoming Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

Craft-Bamboo Racing will challenge Mount Panorama with a two-car assault next weekend with their Aston Martin Vantage V8 GT3’s, and now with the added strength of two strong partners, hopefully it will be enough to give the team the extra edge to get onto the top step of the podium.

AUTOart is a producer of precision scale model cars and car related lifestyle products. They are a company committed to producing the best quality die-cast models in the market place and accept no compromise on quality.

Said Jimmy Yee, President of AUTOart, “It is a proud day for AUTOart to join forces with Biante Model Cars to partner the two Craft-Bamboo Racing entries at Bathurst. We will produce both these Bathurst contenders in 1:18 scale for a limited edition release later in the year, so we wish them all the success on this great challenge.”

Biante Model Cars is a producer and distributor of scale model cars in Australia. The company is the exclusive representative of Autoart model cars in Australia since 1998 and they have strong history of working together. “Bathurst and Biante go hand in hand, but the Bathurst 12 Hour is not an event we have been involved with recently. To be able to partner with Craft-Bamboo Racing, along with Autoart, is an exciting extension of our existing Australian Motorsport programs,” said Biante General Manager, William Hall.

Commented Richard Coleman, CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing, “We pride ourselves at Craft-Bamboo Racing to work with top level partners in our various programs. AUTOart and Biante Model Cars have a long history in their industry and are of no exception. We will give it our 100% in Bathurst to have success both on and off the track for our partners.”

In addition to the title partners, Craft-Bamboo Racing would like to thank POAD, Gravity, J2M, ECM, Michelin, and Kee Wah for the support in the event.

In car #97 will the trio of Alex MacDowall, Darryl O’Young, and Stefan Mucke, with car #99 driven by Frank Yu, Jean-Marc Merlin, and Jonathan Venter.

The Bathurst 12 Hours starts at 05.50 on Sunday 8 February.

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Craft-Bamboo Racing's mountain crusade

  • Jan 20, 2015

Craft-Bamboo Racing’s pair of Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3s will take on the LiquiMoly Bathurst 12 Hours next month (8 February) and will be looking to take the overall race win with Stefan Mucke (DE), Darryl O'Young (HKG) and Alex Macdowall (GB).

The trio, which drove for Aston Martin Racing’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) works team last year, will race one of 30 GT3 cars in the world-famous endurance race that scales Mount Panorama in New South Wales, Australia.

Although it will be Mücke and MacDowall’s first attempt at mastering the 6.2-km long mountain road, O’Young has contested the race three times taking the overall race win twice in 2011 and 2012.

“It is amazing to see the growth of this event,” he commented. “With 30 GT3’s on the grid this year, the event has taken a major step forward. I expect an extremely challenging race because there are several strong teams and cars, so we will have to focus on having a clean race. The target is to be on the lead lap at the final hour to challenge for the race win.”

The team will race its second Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 in the Pro-Am class with drivers Jonathan Venter, Jean-Marc Merlin and Frank Yu.

Despite being just 18 years old, Craft-Bamboo Racing’s GT Asia driver Venter has competed in Bathurst 12 Hours twice and hopes to lead the team to class victory.

“I'm really excited to race with Craft-Bamboo Racing in the 12hr,” Said the young Australian. “Its a great opportunity to gain experience and continue the learning from my GT Asia races with CBR last season. The Aston is very strong and being on Michelin tires is the perfect package for us here in Bathurst. With each race my confidence is growing, so I'm keen to put what I've learned to the test and help the team go for the class win at my home race."

Experienced gentleman driver Merlin is looking forward to adding Bathurst 12 Hours to his extensive list of endurance races that includes the FIA WEC, 24 Hours of Le Mans in both LMP2 and GT, ELMS, Spa 24 Hours and Dubai 24 Hours, which he has contested seven times.

“I have always been fascinated by the tradition of motor racing in Australia. I even own and race a Bathurst 1000 car in a vintage series in Europe: the 1984 Mobil 1 TWR Rover Vitesse of Ron Dickson and Steve Soper. I am really loking forward to tackling the legendary Mount Panorama Circuit, especially in the mighty Aston Martin Vantage V12 and with the great Craft Bamboo Racing team.”

Completing the line-up is Craft-Bamboo Racing’s regular driver Yu, who returns to Bathurst hoping for a stronger result than when he first contested the race in 2012.

“We’ve been looking at the Bathurst 12 Hour for some time now. I’m glad we made it reality this year and we are very excited on the prospect of competing on the mountain. Pro-Am is the ideal category for us and we will give it our all to fight for the win.”

This will be the first time an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 has contested the 12-hour race and Aston Martin Racing team principal John Gaw believes that Craft-Bamboo Racing is the right team to represent the brand in the high-profile race.

“Every year, our cars are competing in more and more races and championships around the world and with great successes for our customer and works team,” commented Gaw. “Bathurst 12 Hours is such an exciting race to watch and I’m delighted that Aston Martin will be there battling it out. Craft-Bamboo Racing has an excellent track-record and we believe they are the right team to conquer the mountain with our V12 Vantage GT3.”

The Bathurst 12 Hours starts at 05.50 on Sunday 8 February.

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CraftBamboo takes sensational win but relegated to third after penalty

  • Sep 15, 2014

It was the highest and lowest of days for Craft-Bamboo Racing in Sepang International Circuit as the team claimed a GT Asia Series round ten win only to have it revoked at the end of the day for a grid infringement – for not having its tyres on during the five minute warning – a decision the team feel is controversial, but have accepted. In the end, both car #97 and #99 had thirty seconds added to its final time, relegating #97 to third and #99 to twelfth.

Nevertheless, it was a sensational drive by Frank Yu (HKG) in the #97 Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 on a drying track. Yu and a handful of other drivers opted to start on slicks as the rain slowly stopped half an hour before the race, causing a mixed choice in tyres by teams. It was the opposite for Daniel Bilski (AUS) in #99 as he chose to run with wets and suffered as the track dried out, looking for wet patches to cool the tyres.

After a perfect pit-stop, Stefan Mücke (DEU) took over the car and maintained the lead all the way to the chequered flag, opening up an 18 second gap to the second placed car.

Meanwhile in car #99, Bilski began to struggle halfway through his stint as the track dried. He managed to climb all the way up to fourth from 9th before the tyres started to heat up causing him to drop down the order. By the time he handed the car to his partner, Jonathan Venter (AUS), they were down in 11th.

Venter tried hard to pick up some spots, but the gap to the front was too big for him to catch and he was only able to bring the car home in eighth. Venter did however display his abilities when he maintained his position ahead of the Super GT pro Naoki Yokomizo, who was behind him for the entire stint.

Said Venter, “It was always going to be harder when the track is a little bit wet and you are starting on cold slicks, but the tyres warmed up pretty quickly and the track warmed. By the time the Ford got behind me, I was already in a rhythm so from there it was just staying consistent. A few laps I had to really hold him off, it was a good race.”

On Saturday it was #99’s day. Venter started the race in eleventh after an extremely close qualifying which saw the top 12 drivers within two seconds. The 18-year old Aussie was just pipped by former Formula 1 driver, Alex Yoong, putting him just outside the top ten.

It was a fight from the green light for Venter, whose great start saw him up to ninth at the first turn and from there, he was in an all-out fight till the end. The youngster was fending off a number of professional GT drivers during his stint, showing great maturity and mental strength. He changed positions several times and at one point was caught up in a five way battle with various professional drivers. Venter kept it clean and handed the car over to Bilski in eighth.

Then it was the Hong-Kong based Aussie’s turn to continue the run, however just three laps into his stint and running in sixth, Bilski was tapped into a spin by the NB Team’s Aston Martin. He dropped two spots down the order but made a great charge to re-claim his lost positions, which included a two lap battle with Samson Chan, whom seemingly had the straight line advantage. Bilski kept his head down and brought the car home in a fantastic sixth.

At the end of the day, Venter added, “It was a great race, we had a strong package, we did a good job to finish sixth, especially with Dan having contact. I think we learnt a lot this weekend, we both drove the best we could and we can be happy with that.” 

The #97 suffered a blow in round nine, when the team made a mistake during the pit-stop session. Car #97 was parked at an angle instead of straight, causing them to lose time and positions. In the end, the team had to retire the car early after finding an issue with the car.

Craft-Bamboo Racing will take a short break until the start of round 12 & 13 at Shanghai International Circuit in October.

 

Craft-Bamboo Racing’s efforts are made possible with the support of team partners: Gravity Partnership, POAD, Interush, Ravenol, Kee Wah Bakery, Racerlink, Orangebus and Tunewear.

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Venter and Bilski duo impress in Sepang

  • Aug 17, 2014

It was a strong performance by Craft-Bamboo Racing at Sepang International Circuit when the Australian pairing of Daniel Bilski (AUS) and Jonathan Venter (AUS) in car #99 finished round eight race in sixth and for their outstanding performance, the Aussie duo were Awarded by the GT Asia Series organisers with the Best Performing Driver Award for being the best and most consistent pair of drivers over the race weekend. 

It was a tougher race for their teammates, Frank Yu (HKG) and Stefan Mücke (DEU), in car #97. After crossing the line just behind car #99, Mücke was called to meet with the Stewards and was given a 30 second time-added penalty for the incident involving him and car #11 during the race.

After yesterday morning’s shower, the weather held and it was a typical hot and humid Malaysian sunshine that greeted the drivers at the 5.54km circuit today. Bilski started the race for car #99, lining up in fifth place while Yu started the race from ninth in the #97 Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3. Bilski got caught off and dropped down three spots to ninth before making one position back at the next lap, while Yu managed an impressive start propelling himself up to seventh as the lights turned green.

The two Craft-Bamboo Racing drivers continued in formation throughout their stint putting in consistent lap-times throughout.

At the pit-stop window, Yu came in first for the driver change, handing over the car to Mücke, but the duo had a longer pit-stop stint with the time-added due to the win yesterday, causing them to come out in 13th. From there Mücke pushed on and lap by lap, improved his position up to seventh.

In the meantime, Bilski continued the race and was up to third before coming in to pass on the car to Venter. After the race, he said “overall I am really happy with the results, Jon drove an absolutely mega second stint and to hold Stefan off was just outstanding. My first session, I just got a terrible start. I couldn’t see the green light and I missed the jump. Coming into turn one, I held the inside line but unfortunately I got boxed in by the car in front and there was a car beside and a couple of cars went around the outside and I lot a bunch of positions in turn one.

“The team has done an immense job this weekend, I want to give a huge thank you to everyone for making me welcome into the team and the help that they are giving me” ended Bilski.

After a perfect pit-stop, Venter got the car back out in eighth, running behind Mücke. Then on lap 17, the duo caught up to the troubled Singha AAS Motorsport Porsche and at turn 14, the Porsche braked early, spun causing Mücke to brake and release fast to avoid but spun alongside him instead. Both drivers recovered but at this point, Venter overtook them for 6th. Mücke rejoined right behind Venter and after a few short laps, began to push the Aussie. Venter remained steadfast, putting in some fast laps, maintaining his position all the way to the chequered flag.  

“It was a long and hot stint. Daniel did a good job to stay where he was, bringing the car back in one piece. When I got out, I knew that Stefan would catch up quite quickly, which he did and we battled for a few laps. Then he passed in in that one lap and in the same lap he had an incident with the Porsche which allowed me to get a gap on him again. Then towards the end, he caught up with me again and it was all out battle for the last five laps.

“He definitely ‘forced’ me to really concentrate and I think in the five laps I made one mistake which allowed him to get up close to me, so yeah, he pushed me along quite a fair bit” said Venter with a laugh. He then continued, “I’m very happy with the weekend, it was a good experience. It was a bit of a shame about yesterday but we just have to move past that and concentrate on the next race”.

Mücke too had some mixed feelings about the weekend. Speaking of his race, he said “yeah after the pit-stop we had a big gap. I was catching up quite quickly to Jon. Great race from Jon, it was a shame that we lost some time, at the end we would have been one position better”.

Disappointment registered on Mücke’s face when he was given the penalty after the meeting with the stewards, pushing them down to 9th.

 

Craft-Bamboo Racing’s campaign in the 2014 GT Asia Series can only be made possible with the continued support of the team sponsors; Gravity Partnership, POAD, Ravenol, Racerlink, Tunewear and Vortex Racewear.

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Craft-Bamboo wins Round 7 of the GT Asia series at Sepang

  • Aug 16, 2014

Craft-Bamboo Racing wins round seven of the GT Asia Series with car #97 of Stefan Mücke (DEU) and Frank Yu (GBR) on a sizzling Sepang International Circuit.  It was a dominant win today which went trouble free for the pair that crossed the line with a margin of 6.520 seconds.  

Fate wasn't the same for the #99 of Aussie duo with Jonathan Venter and Daniel Bilski when they suffered some shifting troubles just six laps into the race. The crew worked quickly and expertly to rectify the issue, allowing Bilski to continue the race, bringing the car home to the chequered flag.

The race started on a dry track with the sun coming out just half an hour before the race, after heavy rains which started in the morning. Mücke started the race for the #97 Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 in fifth whilst Venter was two rows behind, starting the race in ninth.

Venter was driving a very strong stint which saw the young Aussie putting in strong lap times to stay with the pack of strong experienced pros.  He managed to overtake the car of Davide Rizzo for ninth on lap four, but soon ran into shifting issues which forced him to pit the car two laps later.

“I am a little disappointed at the moment because I think we had a pretty good chance to finish in the top five with the pace and consistency that we had” said Venter after the race. “Its just disappointing when a mechanical failure gets you like that but what can you do.

“The start was pretty hard with a lot of Pro drivers around me and I did my best but in turn one I just got stuck behind an Audi and in turn four I got passed by two cars but I made that up soon after, so I was pretty happy with how it went”.

The crew worked efficiently to fix the gearbox but the precarious position of the shift compressor meant that they had to take a lot of time to change the component. After almost 15 minutes in the pit, dropping down the grid with a 10 lap gap, Bilski got in the seat to finish the race and bring the car home.  Although behind, Bilski took the opportunity to learn the car and set fast lap times throughout his run to the flag.

He said, “a very tough day unfortunately. We had a mechanical issue during Jon’s session, he was doing a great job, holding quite a good position and with the pit-stop penalties the other cars were going to have, we were looking quite good.

“Unfortunately we had a component failure in the car, which meant a very long pit-stop but the guys did a great job to switch it out in very hot and uncomfortable circumstance. But we got the car running again, which was important. Then it was just get out, get more seat time, get familiar with the car and don’t worry about the result, just run the car so that I can come back and give the guys feedback”.

Both Venter and Bilski drove a great race with consistent pace and are working with the engineers and mechanics for the race tomorrow.

Venter commented, “we are in a better position tomorrow and hope that the weather stays. We know we have got the pace, we just have to pull it all together.”

 

Craft-Bamboo Racing’s campaign in the 2014 GT Asia Series can only be made possible with the continued support of the team sponsors; Gravity Partnership, POAD, Ravenol, Racerlink, Tunewear and Vortex Racewear.

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All-Australian line-up for Craft-Bamboo Racing in Sepang

  • Aug 01, 2014

Craft-Bamboo Racing will field its first all-Aussie driver line-up in the #99 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 for the next two GT Asia rounds in Malaysia. The duo will pair together starting next weekend (15-17 August) and the following month (12-14 September), as the 2010 GT4 Asia Cup Champion Daniel Bilski joins compatriot Jonathan Venter at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia for the seventh round of the 2014 GT Asia Series.

 

Newcomer to the team, Bilski boasts extensive experience in GTs, classic cars and endurance races, getting behind the wheel of several different types and makes of cars. Based in Hong Kong, he is familiar with the world-famous Sepang International Circuit - having raced and won there on numerous occasions - so will no doubt be a formidable force in the up-coming race.

 

“Joining Craft-Bamboo Racing for the next two GT Asia race weekends is an honour for me and extremely exciting. I have to thank Frank Yu for his support in making this happen and will be doing everything possible to achieve strong results for the team.”

 

Although Bilski has experience in Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4s, this will be the forty three-year old’s first outing in the V12 Vantage GT3, but his recent GT3 success leaves him confident and excited at the challenge ahead.

 

“After winning both the GT4 Asia Cup in 2010 and the Sports Production Class in the 2012 Sepang 12-Hour (MMER) in Aston Martin’s GT4 cars, I can’t wait to take the step up into the marque’s “Hulk” Vantage GT3,” he adds. “It’s a phenomenal car with an incredible racing pedigree, so I can’t wait to drive it. I’ve had some good results recently in GT3 and Cup-spec cars, so I am looking forward to taking that momentum with me to fight for good results.

 

“I’m also really excited to be co-driving with fellow Australian Jonathan Venter, who is an extremely talented driver with a big future in GT racing. Jonathan showed his tremendous abilities in the #99 in Fuji. I have a bit of catching up to do as Jonathan has a couple of races under his belt and is very quick in the car already.”

 

This will be the second outing with Craft-Bamboo Racing for the eighteen-year old Venter. After a successful outing at the Fuji Speedway with the team, he has extended his participation in the hope of improving his performance and with an aim of getting on the podium. Venter was paired up with American Kevin Gleason in the #99 at Fuji where the duo made its GT debut battling a 35 car grid to finish both races in the top ten, which saw Venter running up as high as P4 overall during race 2.

 

“After a great result at my debut round at Fuji in the GT Asia Series, I am approaching Sepang with more confidence and more knowledge of what is required. The track seems challenging and it is the first time I will be driving on it so it will be important to get up to speed quickly in the Craft-Bamboo Racing Aston Martin.

 

“I have great confidence in my team-mate Daniel Bilski who has a lot of experience at Sepang and I am sure I will be learning a lot from him. I am very excited to be pairing up with him and I believe we will be a strong team.

 

“It will be another tough weekend similar to Fuji as there is a strong line-up of drivers on the grid. It will be very competitive so I will have to perform my best to get another good result. Despite the challenge, I am very excited to get in the car again and compete against some of the best GT drivers” said Venter.

 

The GT Asia Series will head to Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia for rounds seven and eight on 15-17 August 2014.

 

Craft-Bamboo Racing’s campaign in the 2014 GT Asia Series can only be made possible with the continued support of the team sponsors; Gravity Partnership, POAD, Ravenol, Racerlink, Tunewear and Vortex Racewear.

 

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Gleason and Venter make fantastic debut with Craft-Bamboo Racing

  • Jul 12, 2014

It was an emotional race in round five at Fuji Speedway for Craft-Bamboo Racing, with the newcomers Kevin Gleason (USA) and Jon Venter (AUS) in the #99 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 making a strong charge from P14 up to P6.  However, disappointment struck the #97 car of Stefan Mücke (DEU) and Frank Yu (HKG) after contact on the opening lap of the race.  They later decided to cut the race short as the front splitter vibrations got worse. The duo completed only 24 laps in the one hour race.

The young pairing of Gleason and Venter proved to be a formidable duo as they made use of quick consistent laps times and a perfect pit-stop to finish the race in sixth from fourteenth.  Gleason started the race for the duo in the #99 and quickly moved up several positions during his stint. There was a short Safety Car period in the opening half of the race, which benefitted him and by the time he handed the car over to Venter, the duo were up in 10th.

Gleason had the hard task of keeping the car in one piece with the hectic start, but the 28-year old kept his head down and stayed out of trouble. “It was a good start, a little hectic in the beginning, a couple of guys running into each other, which helped us. I managed to get into a rhythm and run consistent laps, which was part of our strategy to have a good result.

“To finish P6 was an excellent result, especially with the lack of time we both had in the car this week. The driver change made it exciting and having a pit-stop made it a total team effort for the race.  As for tomorrow, we have better tyres so I think we will be in good shape to get another good result” ended Gleason.

For Venter, the car was handed to him in great condition in tenth, “the car was good, and in one piece so I was happy about that” jokes Venter. 

“The tyres were consistent and the handling was good, the changes we made worked so it was a pretty good package. It was a hard stint, there was a lot of traffic and a lot of cars that I had to overtake but towards the end when I caught up to the faster ones, it felt pretty competitive again.

It was the last lap and at the very last corner that Venter managed to get #99 up to sixth, overtaking NB Team’s Aston right before the chequered flag. “The last two laps were definitely interesting but the last lap I had to pull everything out to try and get past the other Aston and luckily it paid off. I am really happy about that and also for the team!”

Mücke who started the race for the pair in the #97 said, “It wasn’t the best race for us. The start was actually okay, there were some bumps going on and I was hit in the rear, then I hit the Ferrari who had a problem with his exit. We had a little damage to our front left and after that we had some vibrations. The car wasn’t very good in high speed corners but we were able to continue but after the driver change the vibrations became more and we decided to stop for safety reasons.”

In the end, after the driver change, Yu only managed three laps before bringing the car in. “Stefan had a little contact into turn one at the start of the race, which caused some damage to the splitter, it was coming off and flapping. When I got in the car, it was getting worse and worse, so I came back in, we checked the car, did a quick fix and I went out again but it didn’t work so the team decided to retire the car for safety reasons” said Yu.

QUALIFYING 1 & 2

Solid qualifying effort for Craft-Bamboo Racing

After days of typhoon warnings, the skies cleared up for the two GT Asia Series qualifying sessions held at Fuji Speedway Circuit today where Craft-Bamboo Racing put in a solid effort in the strong 35 car grid.

The first qualifying session, with car #97 driven by Stefan Mücke (DEU) and car #99 by Kevin Gleason (USA), was marred by a red flag halfway through the session which forced both cars to abort their quickest laps. Both Mücke and Gleason were unable to better their times after getting caught behind traffic in the second part of the session. The car #97 duo will start round five from sixth on the grid, whilst the pairing of car #99 will start from 14th.

The second qualifying went a little better with a clean uninterrupted session, however traffic was still a big factor for both the #97 driver, Frank Yu (HKG) and #99 driver, Jon Venter (AUS).  Despite the issues, both drivers still managed strong performances with both cars putting in top ten result. GTA newcomer Venter impressed putting the #99 in fourth place overall while Yu, using a different tire strategy, ended his session early and placed sixth for the start of race two.

DRIVER QUOTES:

Qualifying 1 - Car #97, Stefan Mücke

Not the best qualifying, we ran very early into traffic then there was the red flag so we haven’t used the peak from the new tyres so we went out again but there was nothing left in the tyres, unfortunately. I think our race pace will be better. 

Qualifying 2 - Car #99, Jonathan Venter

We had a long red flag which happened to come out while I was going through the final corner on, by far, my best lap and what I think was the peak of my tyres, so I had to abort that lap. We have improved the session over the weekend, which is positive but still a little frustrated with the final result of the qualifying. 

Qualifying 2 - Car #97, Frank Yu

The overall grip level of the circuit is not great the whole weekend. On the flying lap, we got caught in some traffic, it wasn’t big but it was enough to cost me about half a second. Sitting on P6, we decided to come in early and save the tyres for the race. I could have pushed a bit more but the race is more important than qualifying.

Qualifying 2 - Car #99, Kevin Gleason

The car felt really good in the first few laps, but there was a lot of traffic and I was struggling to get past, they don’t really check their mirrors. Anyway, the clean laps that I got were pretty good, so I am happy with the time and I am happy with the position. 

 

The Fuji Speedway Circuit is located at the foothills of Mount Fuji in the Shizuoka Prefecture. The circuit is a favourite among drivers as it is a technical circuit that is combined with a varying degree of elevation. The circuit is also known to have one of the longest straights of any race circuit at 1.5km.

Round six is scheduled to be held at 4.25pm on Sunday, 13th July.

Craft-Bamboo Racing’s campaign in the 2014 GT Asia Series can only be made possible with the continued support of the team sponsors; Gravity Partnership, POAD, Ravenol, Racerlink, Tunewear and Vortex Racewear.

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Gleason and Venter make their GT Asia debut in Fuji with Craft-Bamboo Racing

  • Jul 08, 2014

Craft-Bamboo Racing has set its sights on a podium finish as it heads to Fuji Speedway Circuit for rounds five and six of the GT Asia Series 2014, this weekend (12/13 July) as it welcomes two new faces and one very familiar face back into the team.

Once again, Craft-Bamboo Racing will enter two Aston Martin Vantage GT3s for the GT Asia race. Car #97 will once again be driven by Frank Yu (HKG) who will be rejoined by long-standing partner Stefan Mücke (DEU), who missed the first two races of the season in his capacity as Aston Martin Racing’s factory driver.  Car #99 will be driven by a new pairing, with both Kevin Gleason (USA) and Jon Venter (AUS) making their GT Asia debuts.

After the highs and lows of the race in Autopolis at the end of May and the long break in between, the team is excited to be back and is confident of a strong finish, having been at the circuit with good results in the past.

Last year, Yu and Mücke had a strong outing in Fuji, setting the fastest time during free practice and claiming pole position for race one. The team started out strong, crossing the line first but a 30-second time-added penalty pushed the team down to fourth. In race two, the duo was determined to fight back and did, finishing the race in third behind the hard-battling Audis.

“I am happy to have Stefan back. We have had two great drivers in his place in the first two race weekends this year. Having paired up with Richard Lyons in Autopolis and with Warren Luff at the season opener in Korea was a great experience and they were both excellent drivers who helped the team a great deal. We are all looking forward to a great weekend and I am sure we will all make the most of it,” said Yu.

The drivers paired to race car #99 are both up-and-coming GT drivers. Gleason, from the United States, started racing in 2008 in Spec-Miata’s before moving on to various touring car and GT competitions, including endurance races such as the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, Bathurst 12hrs, and the Nuburgring 24 Hours.

“I am thankful to have the opportunity to drive a Craft-Bamboo Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3. It will be a new track and a new car for me so we have to keep our goals reasonable. I am aiming to work hard with the team, improve each session, and run strong races for a competitive result with my team mate.”

Partnering Gleason will be Australian youngster Venter, who has completed two seasons in Formula Ford with his most notable result being crowned Victorian Formula Ford champion in 2012.  He also recently competed in the 12 Hours of Bathurst in his first long-distance endurance race with a Formula Ford race on the very same weekend. The 17-year old has won three state karting Championships and a national karting title before his move up the ranks to open wheelers and GT cars.

The Fuji Speedway Circuit is located at the foothills of Mount Fuji in the Shizuoka Prefecture. The circuit is a favourite among drivers as it is a technical circuit that is combined with a varying degree of elevation. The circuit is also known to have one of the longest straights of any race circuit at 1.5km.

The GT Asia Series will begin with the official practice session on Friday, 11th July at 11.20am and 4.25pm (local time). Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday, 12th July at 8.25am with race one (round five) scheduled for 12.15pm on the same day. Race two (round six) is scheduled to be held at 4.25pm on Sunday, 13th July.

Craft-Bamboo Racing was formed as the result of a merger between two renowned race teams - GT and endurance series participants Craft Racing AMR and touring car series participants Bamboo Engineering - to make Craft-Bamboo Racing. The partnership was announced early April, prior to its first outing at the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Europe.

 

Craft-Bamboo Racing’s campaign in the 2014 GT Asia Series can only be made possible with the continued support of the team sponsors; Gravity Partnership, POAD, Ravenol, Racerlink, Tunewear and Vortex Racewear.

 

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Venter preparing for Bathurst 12hr after international endurance introduction

  • Feb 05, 2014

Sydney’s Jonathan Venter will compete in his second Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour race this weekend,  following a successful introduction to GT endurance racing at the recent Dubai 24-Hour. Venter will be at the wheel of a Motorsport Services prepared Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car as he further develops his skills as a GT enduro driver.

The opportunity for Venter to participate in the international endurance race in the U.A.E. was his first true experience behind the wheel of a top level GT car, with the 17 year old being part of a team of four including fellow Australian, Keith Kassulke in an Audi R8.

“Going into the Dubai 24-Hour, I was very nervous, not knowing what to expect in my first internationalendurance race. I was chosen to complete qualifying, with my quickest time placing us second in class which reflected a superb team effort.”

“I was also given the opportunity to both start and finish the race which was an incredible experience.Being mid-pack in a 77 car field on a rolling start is not for the faint hearted! Our final result being third in class and 26th overall was a fantastic achievement after encountering a technical problem during the night session.” Jonathan also set the fastest lap time for his class during the race.

“The overall experience of the 24-Hour race is one that I will never forget and is by far the most rewarding  race I have ever competed in. I can’t thank theRed Camel Jordan.nl team enough for their support over the whole weekend and making the transition to the event format so easy,” Venter said.

“Driving a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car for my second Bathurst 12 Hour will present some new challenges. I’m keen to learn a lot this year from the more experienced drivers, but I will remain focussed on ensuring I do my very best at every opportunity I get in the car.”

“The entry list for Class B has attracted some big names. It will be crucial to have every aspect of our race as precise as possible to give us the best opportunity. It will come down to the ability of the drivers, the reliability of the car and the ability to overcome any problems in the most efficient manner.”

“I am really looking forward to the race and hope we can finish with a strong result,” Venter concluded. 

The 2014 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will take place at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, NSW from February 7-9.

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Class podium for Red Camel Racing Audi R8 V8

  • Jan 12, 2014

The 24 Hours of Dubai was held this weekend. One Audi was on the entry list and competed in the ninth edition of the event. 

The Audi was entered by Red Camel Racing, a regular entrant in the 24H Series. It is one of the two privately built Creventic Audi R8 V8 race cars, which are also known as “CR-8”. These Audis were built by Creventic and the first one debuted at the 2008 24 Hours of Dubai. Red Camel Racing later acquired one of the cars and has been competing with it for a number of years.

The #150 Red Camel - Jordans.nl entry was driven by Jonathan Venter, Yusif Bassil, Keith Kassulke and Maurice Faber. The Audi R8 was entered in the SP3 class, which is intended for GT4 equivalent cars.

They showed good pace during practice and qualified forty-fifth overall on the grid, second in the SP3 class. 

It was a long hard race, but the Red Camel Audi entry ran well within SP3 and also moved forward through the field. By the end of the 2014 24 Hours of Dubai the #150 Audi squad came trough to finish twenty-sixth overall, taking third position in the SP3 class.

 

The 24H Series will now be heading to Italy for the first running of the 12 Hours of Italy, hosted at Mugello. So far Red Camel Racing and their Audi R8 V8 is the only Audi entry on the entry list for the event in March.

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Venter set for National series opener on the Apple Isle

  • Apr 04, 2013

Sydney’s Jonathan Venter has confirmed his entry into the opening round of the 2013 Australian Formula Ford Championship which will form part of the second round of the V8 Supercar Championship series this weekend at Symmons Plains in Tasmania.

Venter claimed the renowned Victorian State Formula Ford Championship last year in a close battle that came down to the result of the last races in the series, and this in conjunction with selected National events throughout last year has Jonathan confident that he is in a good position leading into this weekend.

“The first race of the season is always one of the best as it shows you who you are up against for the rest of the year and how you compare to them,” said Venter.

With its varied layout, Symmons Plains is a track that requires a lot of commitment and is something that Jonathan has firm in his mind. “Symmons Plains is not one of the longest and most difficult tracks but with the long straights and sharp hairpin, it makes for some good racing and passing,” added Venter.

While his State series rival Anton De Pasquale joins the National series full-time this year, there are many others that Jonathan is keeping his eye on leading into the event. “With some new drivers in the series this year it will be good to see how competitive the field has become and hopefully we will be able to stay at the pointy end and be amongst the challengers for the podium,” stated Venter.

Remaining with Sydney based Formula Ford outfit Anglo Motorsport, the 17 year-old is looking to consolidate on his strong performances both in Victoria, and at the Bathurst 12 Hour in February which saw him take two race victories from three races in Formula Ford. “I will again be racing the same car (Mygale SJ10A) as the other years, despite its age, it still has plenty of pace and potential left which is all we need to keep improving.

“As always I am very eager to go racing and hopefully the weather plays along to make it a bit more fun,” Venter concluded.

Round 1 of the Australian Formula Ford Championship will support the Tasmania Microsoft Office 365, round two of the V8 Supercar Championship Series from Symmons Plains, Tasmania on 5-7 April.

 

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Venter set for double duties at Bathurst 12hr

  • Feb 04, 2013

After a second place finish at the 2012 Bathurst 12 Hour in the Formula Ford support category where he also became the youngest ever driver to compete at the world renowned track, Sydney’s Jonathan Venter is set to take a step up this year, with an entry into the main event while also seeking an outright in the World’s Premier Junior Development category.

 

With a strong result from last year’s event, Venter is confident heading back to the mountain. His successes from the Bathurst event were transferred to the nation’s premier State Formula Ford Championship in Victoria, taking victory in the series, while also being crowned as the inaugural Chairman’s Cup winner for the Australian Formula Ford Championship.

 

“It was an excellent accomplishment to win the State Championship, and I’m now focussed on further National success in my career, I’m really excited for the upcoming race at Bathurst; it will be the third time I take to the mountain in a Formula Ford,” said Venter.

 

The 12 Hour event will see Jonathan make his debut in a production car, and his first ever endurance event, competing with the GWS Personnel team in a BMW 130i running under the guidance of motorsport veteran and Team Manager, Garry Mennell.

 

“I am very eager to learn a lot in the 12 hour event with the GWS team and most importantly to get more laps around Bathurst, it will also be a good indicator of what it takes to drive for long periods both mentally and physically. It is good to see the size of the field increasing compared to last year in all classes, with more cars on track it will require me to stay on top of my game throughout the whole event,” Venter concluded.

 

The 2013 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will take place at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, NSW on February 8 – 10.

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Venter and LeBrocq to sample Mygale F3

  • Nov 02, 2012

Formula Ford champions Jack Le Brocq and Jonathan Venter will take to the wheel of Mygale's latest Formula 3 in a special test to be held at Winton in late November.

The Australian and Victorian Formula Ford Championship winners received the call up as a special prize for being the leading Mygale drivers in their respective Formula Ford series'.

Mygale made its debut into Australian Formula 3 this year with a limited program and claimed two podium positions through the efforts of Cameron Waters and Jake Fouracre.

The new generation chassis is currently under construction at Mygale's Braeside headquarters and will be unveiled in the coming weeks before a full assault on the 2013 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship.

Mygale's Australian boss Greg Woodrow is excited about the prospects of challenging in another championship category and giving some of his young Formula Ford talent the chance to experience a 'wings and slicks' car.

"We're really excited to be able to give two talented young guys a chance to drive our Formula 3 car," Woodrow said.

"This year was really just a bit of a trial for us in the older model car and with limited testing but we're looking to give the series a real shake in 2013.

 

"We've got a new car in the workshop currently being built up and some big announcements coming in the next few weeks regarding our Formula 3 program for next year, we're all really excited about challenging in another category."

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Venter claims championship at Phillip Island

  • Oct 15, 2012

Jonathan Venter claimed the 2012 Victorian Formula Ford Championship at Phillip Island on the weekend.

After qualifying on pole position on a damp track, the racing was fierce and backing up from his pace in Friday practice, Jonathan was confident heading into the three races for the weekend. This confidence greatly assisted Venter towards the victory.

“To walk away with the Championship after not only a tough weekend such as this one but after a tough year of racing with some very good drivers is really exciting and I could not have asked for more,” Venter said.

Having also contested the Championship in his first year in a car in 2011, Jonathan returned to the hotly contested series in 2012 with one goal in mind - championship glory. Added to the season was an appearance at selected National rounds including the Qantas Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix and Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 where Jonathan provided strong showings against more experienced opposition.

 

“All the hard work from last year and this year trying to get the car to where it is now and keep finding the limit and pushing it that bit further has definitely helped keep the car fast this year and made for some very interesting and close races,”

 

“I would like to say a special thanks to Tim Beale from Anglo Motorsport and also everyone else involved in the team to help make this possible,” Venter concluded.

 

Jonathan’s racing plans for 2013 are currently being reviewed.

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Championship in sight for Venter at Phillip Island

  • Oct 12, 2012

Following a strong showing at the latest round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship in the category’s return to Bathurst, Jonathan Venter will again return to the seat in this weekend’s final round of the Victorian State Formula Ford Championship, one that will decide the hotly contested series.

Phillip Island is a track that has already offered up success for Venter this season, with the last state series round held there in April seeing him take a clean sweep of race victories and a round win, this alone gives him firm confidence of another strong result.

“Heading into the final round of the Victorian series is very exciting and being in the lead of the championship has added a bit more pressure but has also meant that my goals for the weekend are to stay at the front and hopefully win it,” Venter said.

Another dense field will grace the World famous circuit with up to 40 in previous rounds, it ensures that Jonathan remains focussed ensuring to utilise his race craft to the best of his abilities.

“As always the field is full of strong competitors and so the racing will be hard but at least it will be a good end to what has been a successful year so far,” said Venter.

 

The experience of competing at Mount Panorama last weekend is something Jonathan is sure to add to his string of career experiences, and will continue to assist in the development of his career into the future.

 

“Racing at Bathurst, especially as part of the 50th anniversary of the ‘Great Race’ was an amazing journey and something I hope to re live very soon,” Venter concluded.

 

The final round of the Victorian State Formula Ford Championship will take place on October 13-14 at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Victoria.

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Venter calling on experience for Mountain success

  • Sep 30, 2012

The return of the Australian Formula Ford Championship to Mount Panorama will bring about the second visit for the year to the World famous venue for Jonathan Venter, and he is calling on this experience in order to achieve success in his return to the National series.

Sydney’s Venter will also be the youngest driver in the 17 car field, as the now commonly used Duratec engine makes its debut at Bathurst. The weekend brings with it not only the excitement of the 1000km race for the V8 Supercars, but a landmark in the history of the great race.

“Having the opportunity to race not only at Bathurst but at the Bathurst 1000 on its 50th anniversary is a great privilege. I am certainly looking forward to it and it will probably be one of the most exciting but hardest races of the year,” said Venter.

Formula Ford did make an appearance at Bathurst in February as part of the 12 Hour event, despite it being in the older model Kent engine cars, the experience around the 6.2km circuit will prove crucial for Jonathan in the heat of the battle.

“Having already had experience around the Bathurst circuit in the beginning of the year, I believe that we should be up to speed quickly by the time qualifying comes around,” Venter said.

 

Weather is always a key at Bathurst, and history has proven that it can change rapidly in the space of one session, yet another tactical element the 16 year old is taking into account.

 

“I am hoping for clear weather as rain would making racing around the mountain that much harder, “Not being part of the national series means that there is no pressure on me going into the round and therefore I can concentrate solely on my racing with the focus of have nothing to lose, Venter stated.

 

It is a busy time of year for Jonathan with the weekend following Bathurst being the final round of the Victorian State Formula Ford Championship at Phillip Island of which he currently holds a firm lead.

 

Round 7 of the Australian Formula Ford Championship will take place on October 4-7 at Mount Panorama, NSW as part of the 2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

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Venter takes clean sweep at Island opener

  • Apr 24, 2012

Jonathan Venter’s first visit to Phillip Island for the 2012 season has brought with it his inaugural race win and round win in Formula Ford, an event that has setup a big year ahead that will encompass some of the biggest events Venter has taken part in.

With Jonathan sitting in third in the Formula Ford Association State Championship, heading into the first Phillip Island round for the year, the 16 year old was confident based on his recent achievements. With 40 cars entered across both the Duratec and Kent field, it would be a battle of the best to complete a fast lap time in the short twenty minute qualifying session. Venter was able to use his experience to his advantage. “Qualifying was very difficult due to the amount of cars on the track and it was therefore critical to get an open lap clear of traffic. After three laps there was no chance of that happening, and being in second spot by only a tenth was the best it was going to get,” Venter stated.

Starting from the front row alongside Winton round winner Anton De Pasquale, Jonathan got a superb start and leaped the field, but the hard charging Sonic Mygale of De Pasquale managed to reel in Venter. The Sydney-sider’s experience shone through despite the lead changing a number of times. Anton made a slight mistake late in the race, allowing Venter to claim his first race win. “It was such a relief to take my first win,” the Sydney teenager stated, “but I knew from here the job wasn’t complete.”

Wet conditions faced the Formula Ford’s second race of the weekend. Experience was again on Jonathan’s side, but for a small mistake on the opening lap pushing him back to seventh. A determined Venter fought through to resume a battle for the lead, this time with Todd Hazelwood. “I had a great battle with Todd. A move on Todd late in the race allowed me to take my second win,” an excited Venter added.

There was one thing on Jonathan’s mind going into the final ten lap race - a clean sweep and round win to add to his inaugural race win from the opening event. The track had very quickly dried from race two, and yet again the lead battle would be resumed, however on this occasion, former National star Caleb Rayner would join the fray. In a truly thrilling race, no corner was spared from an attempted overtaking manoeuvre; however Jonathan eventually crossed the line in second. A post race penalty applied to original winner, Anton De Pasquale for passing under yellow meant Jonathan was eventually crowned as the race and round winner.

“To walk away with a clean sweep from Phillip Island has given not only me, but the entire team at Anglo Motorsport a huge amount of confidence for the three remaining state rounds and our selected National rounds to come in 2012. My priority now is to prepare for Sandown in June,” Venter concluded.

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Venter storms home in stellar performance at Albert Park

  • Mar 18, 2012

Jonathan Venter has again proved that youthfulness in Formula Ford can be a true asset as the 16 year old has driven through to 3rd in the final race of the Australian Formula Ford Championship at Albert Park, placing him 4th outright for the weekend, a career best National performance. Jonathan was the youngest competitor across all classes at the Australian Grand Prix weekend.

In yet another outstanding start, Venter looked close to a passing manoeuvre entering turn 1, yet discretion became the better part of valour and Jonathan took the mature approach to rather maintain his starting position of 4th in the opening chapter of the 6 lap dash.

“Throughout the race, I made the odd small mistake but I worked hard to make up any lost ground,” an excited Venter added, “it’s a true testament to how well our car setup has been all weekend, and the thorough preparation by the Anglo Motorsport team under the leadership of Tim Beale.”

A late race mistake by Matthew Hart allowed Jonathan to progress to 3rd behind Garry Jacobson and join onto the battle pack that he had fought with right throughout the weekend. “I had an amazing time not only racing so closely against the guys (Le Brocq, Jacobson and Hart) in front of me, but also to be apart of this huge event here at the Formula 1 Grand Prix. It will be something I never forget,” added the Sydney teenager.

With a focus on his Year 11 studies this year, Jonathan will now look ahead to the next Victorian State Championship round at Phillip Island in April, as well as selected National rounds including the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in October.

“The opportunity to be apart of the 50th Anniversary of the Bathurst 1000 as a competitor, as well as being part of the return of the National Formula Ford Championship to The Mountain is something I am really looking forward to” Venter concluded.

 

Round 2 of the Victorian Formula Ford Championship will take place at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on 21-22 April.

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Top 10 finish affirms Venter future in Formula Ford

  • Nov 13, 2011

Jonathan Venter has completed his second National Series event and the final round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship at Symmons Plains in Tasmania on the weekend with consistent top 10 results in all three races, which continues to boost the confidence of the Sydney teenager.

After strong performances in the early stages of the meeting, incidents on the track managed to work in favour of a fast paced Venter across the 15 lap journey. Jonathan stated, “racing with my left rear wishbone bent in Race 1 and still finishing 10th gave me a boost in confidence as we knew that we definitely had more pace in the car,” further stating, “throughout the race, I seemed to have strong pace behind Liam Sager”. Race 2 saw Jonathan continue to narrow the gap between his and the leaders’ fastest lap times, resulting in an excellent finish in 8th.

Heading into Race 3, Venter said, “in race 2, I got into a comfortable rhythm behind Sager and continued to push hard till the end of the race where Tom Williamson had a problem which bumped me up another spot. Race 3 was going to be hard since there were a few strong drivers starting behind me due to incidents in race 2.”

Jonathan remained consistent across the entire final race, managing to fend off his more fancied opposition and hold down a top 10 place which again attracted a lot of attention toward the 15 year old. Venter jumped to 8th with 4 laps to go which is where he would remain across the line as the chequered flag dropped.

“As the race ended, it saw me in 8th position which was a good finish and I felt like I definitely made some progress from the earlier races. Coming away from the weekend, I have again gained much experience that will be vital in 2012,” Venter added.

 

Jonathan will now prepare for the final round of the Victorian State Formula Ford Championship set to take place at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on November 25-27.

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Venter charging towards future National success

  • Sep 18, 2011

Jonathan Venter has ended his debut round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship after being crowned with the EWP Hard Charger Award as the World’s Premier Junior Development category wound up its races at Phillip Island today.

The EWP Hard Charger Award is passed on to the driver who makes up the most positions over the weekend from their qualifying position.

“Going into the weekend I knew that it was going to be hard and that aiming for a top 10 position was a big ask, though at the end of the day my main goal was to gain as much experience and learn as much as possible,” the Beecroft teenager stated.

With the final 10 lap sprint ahead of the 15 year old, Venter had to remain confident after his opening encounters yesterday that, to his own admission, were a superb chance to gain yet more experience on the fast flowing Victorian circuit. It was yet another exciting battle between Jono and Tasmanian Callum Mitchell as the two teenagers fought for position and subsequently changed spots across the race. After the tight tussle, Venter eventually claimed 18th following a Safety Car intervention that threw yet more interest into the race.

Jono said following the meeting, “on the start of race 3, I didn’t get the clutch down properly due to changing the travel slightly before the race, this cost me dearly as I lost 3 positions before turn 1,” Venter continued, “after that, it was a tough race which ended rather bad after being held out on turn 1 on the last lap and going off the track.”

Looking back on the weekend, it was definitely a good learning experience and we have taken a lot out of it. But once again it shows us the level of experience and skill needed to run at the front at one of these meetings. I would once again like to thank the entire team at Anglo Motorsport and in particular Tim Beale for their brilliant support across the weekend.” Venter concluded.

 

Jonathan and his team are now preparing for the final round of the Victorian Formula Ford Championship set to take place at Phillip Island on November 25-27.

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Venter gaining momentum at Phillip Island

  • Sep 17, 2011

Jonathan Venter has today continued to make improvements in both car setup and track position in his debut meeting as part of the Australian Formula Ford Championship at Phillip Island.

After managing to improve the car speed following qualifying yesterday, and placing his Mygale on 16th, Jonathan battled with fellow teenagers Jon Collins and Callum Mitchell fighting for prime track space with a good dice entering the ultra fast turn 1. Venter then managed to fend off the encounter to claim 15th by the end after running as high as 13th before a fuel surge forced the 15 year old back two positions by the end.

With another 10 lap journey ahead of him, Jonathan had to remain composed to put in yet another strong performance. A renewed Venter then regained his composure to push through with his forceful determination to claim 12th after another strong battle with the AMSF Rising Star car of Collins.

“I felt a lot more confident today having had a chance to get used to the pressure of the National Championship, we are happy with the car and are hopeful of a strong result in race 3,” Venter concluded.

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Venter on a learning exercise at Phillip Island

  • Sep 16, 2011

As Round 6 of the Australian Formula Ford Championship began today at Phillip Island, 15 year old Jonathan Venter hit the Phillip Island track for his first time in the National race as part of the World’s Premier Junior Development category.

Practice 1 kicked off in cool conditions, Jonathan had to soon become acclimatised to the pressure of National competition, in addition, being the youngest driver in the field. After completing a total of 10 laps throughout the 20 minute session, Jono managed a best time of 1:39.940, placing him in 16th and just over a second off the quickest time. Venter stated following practice, “we were happy to get out there and get some track time, and with a few slight tweaks with setup our times should improve heading into practice 2.”

With it being a long day for the Formula Ford’s at Phillip Island, Jono had to remain composed as he headed out for practice 2. Yet another solid 20 minutes behind the wheel of the Anglo Motorsport prepared Mygale saw Venter claim a lap time of 1:39.913, remaining in 16th overall. Jono added, “after the changes to setup that we made, I felt there was a clear improvement and it prepared us well for qualifying.”

Jonathan was faced with just 20 minutes for his debut qualifying session. At first, Venter worked to become accustomed to the track conditions, and as the session continued, consistency became the format for the Beecroft student to work from. By lap 7, Jono had lapped his quickest time of the session with a 1:39.929, placing him in 18th. “We know the pace is in the car, now it’s a matter of finding the absolute best setup for the conditions and capitalising on that pace to move through the field,” Venter concluded.

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Venter confident with National debut approaching

  • Sep 14, 2011

Sydney based teenager Jonathan Venter will this weekend enter his first ever round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship, as the series heads to the famous Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit as a support to the annual L&H 500 for the V8 Supercars at the start of their season of endurance.

After an already successful season to date competing in the Victorian Formula Ford Championship, 15 year old Venter will also hit the track as the youngest in the category for the weekend. Jonathan said looking ahead to the weekend, “With only a few days left before the national round at Phillip Island I am getting increasingly excited but also preparing myself for my first national race,” further adding, “I am looking forward to improve my experience in Formula Ford and learn new things from other, more experienced drivers.”

Having competed on the illustrious Phillip Island circuit already in his short circuit racing career, in addition to a recent successful test day, Jonathan is pleased to have some experience behind him heading into the weekend. Venter stated,  “Phillip Island is a familiar track to me which takes out one less factor to overcome on the weekend,” further saying, “I am also looking forward to the atmosphere created by the large crowds, which will be there to watch the V8 Supercars, but at the same time, it will be another element to get used to over the course of the weekend.”

Following in the steps of other junior drivers this year, along with working under the immense experience of his Anglo Motorsport team, in particular Tim Beale (Team Principal/Engineer), Jonathan is hopeful of a strong first up result. “I am hoping to achieve a top 10 finish as this would be a sensible target for my first national race though I am always determined to hunt down the leaders on every occasion,” Venter added.

 

The Australian Formula Ford Championship is on track for practice and qualifying on Friday, with race 1 and 2 on Saturday and race 3 on Sunday prior to the L&H 500 for the V8 Supercars

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Venter recovers for a strong weekend at Winton

  • Aug 27, 2011

After a successful day of testing on Friday, Jonathan Venter has come out all guns blazing in the second Victorian Formula Ford event at Winton Motor Raceway for the year, placing his Anglo Motorsport Mygale on pole for race 1.

It was to be a brief, but effective session for Jonathan in qualifying, as he took to the track conditions well, lapping his quickest and the session’s best time on his 3rd effort around the 3km country Victorian circuit. In a time of 1.26:877, Venter was just .06secs ahead of fellow teenager, Jordan Lloyd. However, immediately following this superb time, the 15 year old unfortunately misjudged the fast paced turn 6, spinning and making contact with the wall. Following the accident, Jonathan was ok and it subsequently encouraged him to push on toward the opening 6 lap encounter.

Jonathan said following qualifying; “I managed to get in a flying lap on lap 3 and on the next lap, still pushing hard, I lost the rear out of turn 6 and into 7 which caused me to spin off the track and park the car in the wall. I only broke a couple of wish bones on the rear right but other than that the car seemed fine.” Venter further added, “back in the pits the team were a bit down, but when we found out that we had managed to put it on pole, it lifted the spirits and work started to get underway on fixing the car.”

Starting from pole position, Sydney teenager Jonathan Venter knew he had it all before him to maintain the strong position, unfortunately Victorian driver Jesse Fenech had an ideal start passing Venter into turn 1, but for Jonathan, continued race pace allowed him to maintain a strong battle with Lloyd. Following the disappointing events from qualifying, this instilled Jonathan with strong levels of confidence.

Despite claiming 3rd on track, post race analysis found that four cars, including Jonathan’s car, was in breach of regulations with regard to ride height, forcing him to be excluded from the results.

“We are really looking forward to just moving on from today, and getting into the longer races tomorrow to make some good results up as the team and I know we have the winning pace,” Venter said.

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Venter continues championship climb at Sandown

  • Jul 24, 2011

Sydney teenager Jonathan Venter once again has shown his skill and determination in driving his Mygale to another strong result at Round 3 of the Victorian Formula Ford Championship which was completed at Sandown International Raceway.

In drenching conditions, the entire Formula Ford field were allowed to put new tyres on to ensure the best possible grip on the soaked track. Starting from 6th on the grid, Venter was somewhat nervous as it was his first wet race in Formula Ford at a track that is known to be notoriously difficult in these conditions. Jonathan stated, “I got off to a great start and managed to get into 2nd by the first corner from 6th, which was partly due to Brabham (Sonic Motor Racing) stalling off the line on pole.” A safety car period during the race caused the field to be bunched up again.

Unfortunately during the restart, the National series drivers took advantage of their experience and cannoned to the front few positions, seeing Jonathan return to 6th, which is still a stellar performance by the 15 year old. A 20 second penalty applied to a fellow driver saw Jonathan advance to 5th in the final results, seeing him start from a good position for race 3.

Venter said following the race, “we made some changes to improve the car and concentrate on where I was lacking compared to other drivers,” further adding, “going into race 3, I was a more confident with how the racing was going to be like, but still unsure of what to expect.”

 

With the final event being in dry conditions, Jonathan unfortunately got a disappointing start seeing him lose some positions going into turn 1. A determined effort by Venter saw him return to 4th position early into the race. Late in the final however, as the result was looking strong for the Anglo Junior driver, a safety car was deployed again bringing the field back to a controlled situation. Jonathan said, “with a 2 lap dash to the end, I tried to put as much pressure on Sam Power (Synergy Motorsport) in front of me which payed off when he out braked himself going into turn 8 on the last lap.” Despite grabbing 3rd position on the penultimate lap, a red flag brought the race to an end. A decision by race officials to revert to a countback procedure would see Jonathan forced back to 4th in the final result, unfortunately affecting his round position with the final race being worth triple points. On provisional series points, Jonathan has leapt to 2nd in the Victorian State Circuit Racing Championship, with one round remaining at Phillip Island in October.

 

In closing, Jonathan said, “overall, I finished 4th for the round which was an excellent achievement since there were 3 National drivers competing. I definitely learnt a lot this weekend, as I was 2.6 seconds off the front runners in Saturday morning practice, but we worked hard, didn't give up and had some good results in a tough field. Thanks to Tim Beale and the team from Anglo Motorsport for preparing a fantastic car.”

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A day of development and improvement for Venter at Sandown

  • Jul 23, 2011

Jonathan Venter has continued on his successful debut season in Formula Ford after a day that saw some development for his Anglo Motorsport Mygale which saw an eventual strong improvement as he continued his run in the top 10 today at Sandown, Victoria.

With qualifying allowing just 15 minutes to set a quick time, it meant Jono had to be on pace right from the start in order to get a clean lap in to ensure the best possible starting position for race 1. Venter said, “going into qualifying, we made quite a few changes to the rear of the car hoping that it will fix the problems from practice. Throughout the session, the car felt really good and it was a huge improvement on before, but I wasn't sure how I would compare to the rest of the field knowing that everyone would e going quicker with new tyres.” With the improvement in the session, Jono managed to grab 5th, and being just 4 tenths off pole position.

For race 1, an unfortunate start saw Jono lose two positions by the exit of turn 1; however a determined fight combined with luck going his way saw Venter gain further positions as the race progressed. A tussle ahead of him that saw Garry Jacobson spin allowed Venter a pathway through to 6th position, where he would continue to battle it out with Jordan Lloyd. As the 8 lap dash came to an end, the battle was ensured to continue in the upcoming races.

With two races ahead tomorrow, and the championship standings continuing to grow closer amongst the top group of drivers, each race here on in is crucial to determine the winner. Venter added, “going into tomorrow I believe we have a good package to race with and should be able to run with the front pack being only 1 tenth off Brabham (race 1 winner) in the opener. It will all be determined on how the race plays out.

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Venter prepares for second round of Sandown success

  • Jul 21, 2011

Following a brilliant start to his opening campaign in Formula Ford, backed up by a stellar performance in recent testing that saw him lap amongst the quickest drivers across three days, Jono Venter is now preparing to take to the track at Sandown for Round 3 of the Victorian Formula Ford Championship this weekend.

Since the last round of the championship, also held at Sandown, that saw some of the most chaotic racing seen in the category, Venter has seized the opportunity of test days at both Phillip Island and Winton Motor Raceway, and succeeded greatly.

Jono said looking ahead to this weekend, “going into this round I am a lot more confident than what I was before the rounds earlier this year. Now having done a race there before, it takes that nervousness of a debut away.”

In continuing his preparation for the event, Jono will be faced with competing against national series Formula Ford drivers looking to get track experience ahead of the National round at Sandown in September. This opportunity will ensure Venter is as well prepared for his National debut as possible.

Venter stated, “since learning from some mistakes at my last round, I have taken onboard the lessons I learnt and look forward to striving for some more strong results,” further adding, “I enjoy the track and it makes for some good racing so I am definitely looking forward to this weekend and the challenges it will bring.”

 

Round 3 of the Victorian Formula Ford Championship will take place at Sandown International Raceway this weekend, 22-24 July. Jono will contest 3 races across the event.

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A mixed end for Venter to a chaotic weekend for all

  • May 15, 2011

Following a strong start to Round 2 of the Victorian Formula Ford Championship for Jono Venter, some unfortunate conditions occurring across the final day saw a mixed end to the weekend for the 15 year old; however a top 10 result was still to come as the round concluded.

Race 2 for the weekend, and few could predict the events that would subsequently follow. Yet another strong start off the line for Jono Venter meant he grabbed the lead, but a fast chasing Matthew Brabham managed to get past under brakes entering turn 1. Following an incident that brought about another Safety Car, and a 1 lap dash to complete the race, unfortunately for Venter after a three wide entry into turn 1 on the restart and engaging in a battle with Matthew Brabham and Sam Power (Synergy Motorsport) seeing him run wide and lose some positions, saw him complete the race in 11th. Venter highlighted after, “It was unfortunate what happened, but it was a racing mistake, and I have learnt from it.”

For the final event of the weekend, first lap problems eventuated with Tom Grech rolling causing a red flag, with the race reduced to 5 laps from the original 10. Championship leader Brabham struggled with a problem off the line on the restart; with all cars avoiding him, including Jono Venter who made it to 8th by turn 1. Following this, a further incident caused another safety car, putting Jono at odds to achieve a podium result, instead accepting 6th, which would also be his round result.

Venter said following the weekend, “It was disappointing with the amount of ‘racing’ laps we had across the weekend, all in all though, we were relatively happy with the overall result,” also adding, “I’d like to thank greatly, Tim Beale from Anglo Motorsport for the precision in the car setup in every session, in both the wet and the dry.”

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Some things are worth the wait

  • May 14, 2011

For Anglo Motorsport junior driver, Jono Venter, what seemed at first to be an average day, has turned into yet another podium for the 15 year old at Sandown International Raceway for Round 2 of the 2011 Victorian Formula Ford Championship.

In a qualifying session that was marred with red flag conditions, it saw Jono amongst many others, only managing two laps, with the times completely off what was expected. After a common sense decision by officials to allow the Formula Ford’s another attempt at putting in a good time over 10 minutes, Venter managed to score 6th in the shortened session. Jono said following the session, “in the 2nd qualifying where again there were only 2 flying laps the remainder was under red flag in the pit lane, so the grid positions were going to be a lucky dip for who got in a decent lap.”

More chaos was ahead in race 1 in the afternoon at Sandown, “I got a great start and gained 3 spots into the first corner which put me into third, shortly after that having a safety car deployed again. After the restart Elliot (Barbour), Matthew (Brabham) and I went three wide into the first corner which made for an interesting game of chicken,” said Venter, with Brabham leading from Elliot Barbour and Venter himself in third.

With light rain falling toward the end of the race, Jono applied the upmost pressure to Elliot Barbour, causing him to spin and lose 2nd spot at turn 1, progressing Venter up behind the Sonic Racing entry of Brabham. Yet more issues floundered in the final stages of the race, causing it to finish under Safety Car, with Jono Venter eventually claiming 2nd.

“I thought my overall performance today was really good and I learnt the track really quickly. I am certainly looking forward to the racing tomorrow and my goals are set to give Brabham a hard race to the end,” said Venter, with races 2 and 3 taking place tomorrow.

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A podium effort for Venter at the Island

  • Apr 17, 2011

Jonathan Venter has this weekend placed himself amongst the ones to watch in this year’s Victorian Formula Ford Championship, after clinching 3rd in both races 2 and 3 today at Phillip Island onboard his Mygale SJ10A.

After having the opportunity to speak on-air via the commentary system this morning at the Island, and be interviewed, it motivated Jono, 15, to put in a strong effort ahead over the two race journey he had in the day. A strong opening effort on Day 1 saw Venter finish 5th, the first race of the final day occurred and saw Jono not only finish on the podium, but added a fastest lap of the race to his 3rd position of 1:39.1300.

“I was truly ecstatic, not only with the podium, but to get the quickest lap, it proved our setup was great, and the conditions suited my driving style,” said Venter.

For the second event of the day, Jono managed to avoid late race carnage ahead of him, and propelled himself from 6th to 3rd on the final lap. Venter said following the event, “our car speed was excellent yet again, I was really happy to avoid the issues ahead of me, stay focussed, and maintain with yet another strong finish,” “My thanks must go to Anglo Motorsport for preparing a great car.” These results also saw Jono clinch equal 2nd on points for the weekend with Jordan Lloyd, making it an overall success for the youngster.

Jono is also yet to achieve any sponsorship, and the results this weekend are definitely positive for a potential future investment. The next round of the Victorian Formula Ford Championship will occur on May 14-15 at Sandown International Raceway.

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Venter passes debut hurdle at the Island

  • Apr 16, 2011

Jonathan Venter has today achieved his best result in Formula Ford to date, following a somewhat unfortunate weekend at Winton in the opening event of the year, clinching 5th in race 1 today at Phillip Island.

 

After opening practice on Friday, whereby the overall balance of the car was improved to suit the fast flowing circuit, Jono today arrived at qualifying, achieving an acceptable 8th position, with a quickest lap time of 1:39.7166, in a session dominated by quick consistent times of all the top 10 competitors. Being 1.3 seconds off the pole lap time, further changes were made by the Anglo team to improve the setup on Venter’s car, which proved its worth, seeing him place in 5th in an overall shortened 5 lap journey around the 4.5km track.

 

There was one objective of his racing for this weekend that Jono has now successfully ticked off, after performing his first ‘true’ overtaking manoeuvre in a Formula Ford under race conditions, when he took a position from fellow competitor, Jake Fouracre, entering the turn 4 hairpin. “I was so proud of myself, yet I knew there was still a job ahead,” said Venter. This race also saw Jono achieve consistent lap times of 1min40secs, maintaining the speed of the top 5 all race.

 

Venter will now enter the second day of the meeting, with 7 and 10 lap races ahead of him. The team also intends to look at competing in selected rounds of the Australian Formula Ford Championship this year, and this experience is most certainly ideal.

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