The new for 2014 Craft-Bamboo Racing team showed encouraging pace during the season opening Six Hours of Silverstone, according to team CEO Richard Coleman.
The race, which was ended half an hour early due to extreme weather conditions, was the team’s debut race in the World Endurance Championship, with two of the team’s drivers, Alex MacDowall and Darryl O’Young, also making their WEC debuts.
The first qualifying session for the team saw MacDowall and O’Young take the No.99 Aston Martin Vantage GTE on track, with the pair setting a four lap average of 2:01.122, putting them last in GTE Pro, almost two seconds slower than the pole sitting AF Corse Ferrari.
Despite the result, MacDowall says he was satisfied with his performance: “I was pleased with my laps in qualifying,” he explained. “I was up there with some of the experienced GT drivers and I know there was more time for me to find, had I had more laps. It’s great to know that going forward.”
Starting the race was 29-year-old Brazilian Fernando Rees, however, like his two team mates, had to contend with the decision to go to wet tyres as rain started to fall around the track on several occasions: “When the rain first came we made the decision to go stay out on slicks so we could complete a five-stop strategy,” said Rees. “That gamble didn’t pay off and we lost a few places but we did well to recover our qualifying position.”
Finishing the race off was O’Young, who had to contend with the worse weather conditions of the race, but the Hongkonger still took some positives from his stint in the V8 Vantage: “The weather was challenging today but it was great to race with Aston Martin Racing and Craft-Bamboo for the first time.
“The car was faultless and the team did a great job so we could finish the race and collect some points. We learned a lot and know where we can make improvements so we look forward to getting to Spa and progressing even further.”
Commenting on the weekend as a whole, Coleman concluded: “The drivers and team all did a fantastic job. They didn’t make any mistakes in the pit stops and the drivers brought the car home in one piece, which isn’t easy with a track that wet.”
The next race for the team is the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 3.