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