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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Craft-Bamboo Commits to Indy 8H With AMG Factory Drivers

Engel, Stolz, Gounon to share Craft-Bamboo Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo at Indy 8H…

Image: Craft-Bamboo Racing

Craft-Bamboo Racing will return to international competition next month in the Indianapolis 8 Hour with a Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo shared by three factory drivers.

Maro Engel, Luca Stolz and Jules Gounon will get behind the wheel of the Hong Kong-based team’s No. 99 Mooneyes-liveried car for round two of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season.

It is set to mark Craft-Bamboo Racing’s first overseas race appearance since the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in February 2020, which was also one of the last major international sports car events to be held before the coronavirus pandemic affected the world.

Engel and Stolz contested the IGTC season-opening TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa with Haupt Racing Team, while Gounon drove for fellow Mercedes outfit AKKA-ASP.

The trio’s Craft-Bamboo Mercedes will race at Indianapolis in a special yellow and black Moon livery designed in collaboration with scale model producer Tarmac Works.

“I am really looking forward to racing with Craft-Bamboo Racing again,” said Engel.

“Obviously, it’s been a really tough period for racing in Asia, so I know Darryl [O’Young] and the whole team have worked really hard and it’s great to be back on track with them now for the Indianapolis 8 Hour.

“We have a great driver line-up with Luca and Jules so [I am] really looking forward to that. We have all the ingredients to do well.

“Luca and I don’t know the track, but Jules does, so that will be great to feed off Jules’ experience there.”

Gounon drove for Bentley at last year’s inaugural Indianapolis 8 Hour, when the British manufacturer was still involved in GT3 racing.

The Frenchman qualified second in the Top 10 shootout for K-PAX Racing but problems in the race caused the Frenchman and his co-drivers, Maxime Soulet and Jordan Pepper, to slip out of contention.

“I am very happy and very pleased to be driving for Craft-Bamboo Racing at the Indianapolis 8 Hour,” said Gounon.

“Especially driving alongside Maro and Luca will be a first for me and I am really looking forward to driving with them.

“I think we have a strong lineup and we will work very hard in the preparation, during free practice to set up a good car and fight with the best. Really looking forward [to it] and I cannot wait to see all the Craft-Bamboo Racing team in the U.S.”

Stolz and Engel drove for Craft-Bamboo during its last IGTC outing at Bathurst in 2020, when the team finished fifth as the second-highest Mercedes-AMG entrant.

Stolz also worked with the team twice during the previous season, taking a fourth-place finish in the Suzuka 10 Hours alongside Maximilian Goetz and Yelmer Buurman in addition to an unsuccessful Bathurst outing.

“We have had some great success together in the past – had a good race in Suzuka two years ago and also showed some good speed at Bathurst,” said the German driver.

“The team always does a great job. This time we are also joined by Jules Gounon, who is a good friend of mine. I am really looking forward to the race.

“It’s cool to be back in America and I hope we can make it to the podium.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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