It was only one year ago when Hong Kong’s Craft Racing AMR made their first appearance at an International 24 hour endurance race. It was a tremendous week as they walked away finishing above even their own expectations to capture the biggest result in the team’s history, 3rd place overall at the 24 hours of Dubai.
This year, Craft Racing AMR will return to Dubai a stronger team with bigger ambitions and ready for an all-out assault for overall victory. Entering 2 Aston Martin Vantage GT3’s, the team lines-up with two stellar driver line-ups, a more mature racing team, and strong support from Aston Martin Racing.
Leading the charge in the #07 is one of the strongest line-ups in the field, with 2 Aston Martin factory drivers Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke, paired with Hong Kong’s Darryl O’Young and Japan’s Tomonobu Fujii. They were close to victory last year, and come back hungrier than ever to take the top step of the podium.
In the #17 Craft Racing AMR entry, Hong Kong GT Driver Frank Yu returns to the race alongside Frenchman Jean-Marc Merlin. The pair carry with them tremendous experience at Dubai and will be ready to face the field paired with two top professionals, Britain’s Richard Lyons and Japan’s Keita Sawa. All out speed may not be the top priority in #17, but a consistent race plan may make them the dark-horse of the race.
Mark Goddard, Team Principle: “The team is really pumped to be back at Dubai and our aim is to get on the top step of the podium with one of our Aston Martin Vantage GT3 cars. Last year Dubai was our first 24 hour race and we were thrilled to finish third overall. We now have two cars with great driver line-ups and this, plus our previous experience at Dubai, gives us great confidence that we can achieve a good result again this year.”
Darryl O’Young, Driver #07: “I’m very proud of what Craft Racing has accomplished in 2013, as I’ve seen first-hand the hard work that has gone into it. 2014 is a new year and everyone is focused to take the next big step forward. Dubai 24 hours is one of the toughest challenges of the year due to the large number of entries and high traffic, so staying focused on not making mistakes is the single most important thing. This race will serve as great preparation for Craft Racing AMR ahead of the Le Mans 24 later this year in June.
Darren Turner, Driver #07: “We learned from last year that this race has a large field and a high level of competition. The strategy is very different to races in the WEC or in America, so that should play a big factor into the race result. I’m looking forward to returning to Craft Racing AMR as they have a great group of guys, and hopefully I can help the team to achieve success.”
Stefan Muecke, Driver #07: “Great to be back in Dubai where I first started driving for Craft Racing last year and finished 3rd. This year, we want to be on the top step! A 24hr race is always a big challenge especially with so many cars in different classes like in Dubai.”
Tomonobu Fujii, Driver #07: “I’m really happy to join again the Craft Racing AMR for the 24Hrs DUBAI this year. It will be the 2nd time for me racing at Dubai and also the working with their great drivers. It has been clear to me that Craft racing AMR has a strong package and I look forward to driving their V12 vantage GT3. We will try our best as usual and give it a good go for the victory!!”
Keita Sawa, Driver #17: “I really appreciate joining a great team like Craft racing AMR. I’m proud that I have become a part of this team and for sure I will use all my experience to help the team succeed. I feel really excited for the big race, Dubai 24. I think this week will be good preparation for the Le Mans 24h in June! I’m sure both of our cars have the potential to finish the tough race as the team has prepared well.”
Richard Lyons, Driver #17: “I’m really looking forward to my first 24hr race and first time to drive in Dubai. It’s great to join with Craft Racing AMR again and hope we can take up where we left off our last outing in Asia with another win!”
Jean-Marc Merlin, Driver #17: “This will be my 8th time racing at the Dubai 24hrs and I have been impressed by the continuing improvement of the field. After a year in a LMP2 in the WEC, I am looking forward to adapting back to the GT3 in the best and most desirable car in the field. I want to thank Frank Yu and Craft Racing for giving me the opportunity to join his team and to partner with such a great driver line-up.”
John Gaw, Aston Martin Racing Managing Director: “2013 was a great year for Craft Racing that ended with the now 2 car partner team with an entry to the Le Mans 24 hours this year, but it all started with a 3rd place finish at the Dubai 24 hours. They return stronger this year after a year of terrific results in GT Asia, the Asian Le Mans Series and at Macau in the GT Cup. Both cars have experienced driver line ups with strength in depth and the car crew will be sharp following just a short break following the last race at Sepang only a few weeks ago. Overall victory is not an easy target with an increased level of competition at this the first major event of 2014, but it is surely the objective for Craft Racing and AMR look forward to giving them the best support possible.”
Frank Yu, Team Founder and Driver #17: “We finished 2013 by winning an entry to Le Mans, so we hope to start the New Year off with a strong result in Dubai. The race continues to grow in competition and stature, which is why we committed to a two car entry this year. We welcome Jean-Marc Merlin to our team, and welcome back all the remaining drivers which have contributed to Craft Racing’s success in 2013. Having everyone together in a single event is a perfect way to start a new season.”