It is great to see Craft-Bamboo Racing competing in LMP3 machinery this season. How was the teams first season competing with the Ligier JS P3 LMP3 Prototype in the FRD LMP3 Series?
Craft-Bamboo’s first season in the Ligier JS P3 has been great fun so far, as the team are heading into the final round this weekend in Zhuhai leading both the team and driver Championships with our #95 Lightning McQueen driven by Mathias Beche and James Winslow. The FRD LMP3 Series is incredibly competitive and with a field of 12 Ligier JS P3s and a roster of top international and Chinese drivers, every race has been a tough battle for the podium in this one-hour sprint format.
How did Craft-Bamboo Racing first get involved in prototype racing?
We first became involved in prototype racing back in 2014 when the team joined the Asian Le Mans Series for the first time in the CN class. It was an incredible season for us, taking the championship title and the class win in every race that year. It certainly inspired us to get involved with taking this step to compete with the LMP3 this season as we were hoping to find similar success.
We also expect prototype racing to continue to grow in Asia, so the opportunity to jump into the LMP3 category was an easy decision to make. The team enjoys working on the cars, and the drivers really enjoy driving them. This is true for both the Amateur drivers and our professional drivers. Greg Taylor and Alex Tagliani are having a great season together in our #20 Jackson Storm car as a pro-am pairing.
What are your goals heading into final round of the FRD LMP3 season in Zhuhai?
We are clearly focused on claiming both Championship titles in Zhuhai. We are only eight points ahead of second place though so the fight is going to go right down to the wire. I am confident that every member of the team will be giving everything they have to give us the best shot at taking the Championship titles.
Thanks to the support of Ligier and the Asian Le Mans Series, the grand prize is an LMP2 car to use in the Asian Le Mans Series, as well as a free entry into the series itself, so we are really aiming to win that prize. There is a great synergy between the Championships, and prototype racing continues to grow in the region thanks to the efforts of the Asian Le Mans Series over many years.
What are Craft-Bamboo Racing’s plans going into the winter?
With the FRD LMP3 season drawing to a close, we are now looking ahead at the possibility to run our two Ligier JS P3 LMP3 cars in the 2017/2018 Asian Le Mans Series.
We truly believe in the prototype formula, and are confident that the category will only continue to expand in Asia.
The Asian Le Mans Series runs a very succesful Championship, and I know first-hand how the ACO works. I have many years racing with them, from the first time I joined the European Le Mans Series in 2005, until Craft-Bamboo Racing’s WEC entry in 2014. The organisation is extremely motivated to deliver great endurance racing, so to take our LMP3’s into the Asian Le Mans Series is a natural progression.
We are currently in discussion with several drivers and sponsors to enter our two LMP3’s into this years Asian Le Mans Series, so the goal is to pull that program together in the coming weeks. If we can get the LMP2 prize through winning the championship in the FRD LMP3 Series, then that would be a big bonus!