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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Craft-Bamboo Still “Fighting Through” Logistical Challenges

Darryl O’Young explains continued hurdles for Asian-based team competing overseas…

Photo: John Dagys

Craft-Bamboo Racing is still “fighting through” the logistical challenges of being an Asian-based team racing on the global stage according to team director Darryl O’Young, who is hoping to deliver its long-awaited first Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli win this weekend.

The Hong Kong outfit is making its second IGTC start of the season as one of only three international teams taking part in the Indianapolis 8 Hour presented by AWS, alongside AF Corse and Akkodis ASP.

Twelve months on from making its first overseas appearance since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Craft-Bamboo has returned to Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a “very similar” operation to its 2021 endeavor.

“We’re still working with Lone Star Racing,” O’Young told Sportscar365. “It worked out really well last year.

“As a team from Asia, it’s always complicated with logistics over here. It works fantastic this way.

“It’s a very similar setup with us providing the team and running operations and [Lone Star] offered a certain amount of support on the car and equipment.”

As was the case with its effort in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, Craft-Bamboo is unable to utilize many of its Asian-based crew, instead relying on staff from Europe.

“It’s still complicated,” O’Young said. “There’s a lot of issues coming out from the pandemic.

“It’s not like everything is back to normal. Definitely Asia is on the back foot for a lot of things in opening quite late.

“Even Hong Kong itself only opened up last week.

“A lot of our crew still couldn’t fly in. We brought in a lot of the guys we work with in Europe.

“Obviously most of our team structure is here but still a lot of our key crew that we normally have with our team, our full-time guys, couldn’t make it here.

“There is that complexity, similar to Bathurst. At Bathurst we had to assemble a crew because we couldn’t get visas and the same with the U.S.; we couldn’t get visas for a lot of our guys.

“It’s been great working with LSR because the shipping timings to get to the U.S. is very complicated and very expensive at the moment.”

O’Young believes the current logistical hurdles, specifically with sea-freight costs and related delays, has contributed to the reduced turnout of overseas teams in this year’s race.

“These are the reasons that a lot of international teams are not here,” he said.

“Just the costs and logistical obstacles you have to face. That’s why we were the only international team at Bathurst as well.

“We fight through these challenges. We go for it. We’re happy to be here and we’re going to give it everything we can.”

Featuring an all-new lineup compared to last year in Silver-rated Daniel Morad and recently crowned Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup champions Raffaele Marciello and Dani Juncadella, O’Young is bullish on their chances this weekend.

“I feel like the driver lineup, the car, everything is perfect for us in where we want to be,” he said. “Now it’s just a matter of executing.

“Last year ended pretty poorly for us. Also, in IGTC, we’ve always come close but we haven’t had the victory yet.

“Not only with the AMG partnership but in the years before even when we were racing the Porsche we never got it on the top stop.

“For us, going for the win is the clear objective. With Mercedes-AMG we’ve always had good support, great drivers, so it’s our turn to deliver the win.”

Craft-Bamboo Plotting 2023 Program

O’Young confirmed the team’s next IGTC race will be February’s 2023 season-opening Bathurst 12 Hour, with other international races and a possible full-time return to Asian competition under consideration.

“We’re looking at [GTWC Asia] but right now still evaluating a lot,” he said.

“GT World Challenge Asia is a series we’ve always been involved with. The calendar has been released and again it’s a very Japanese-centric series.

“There’s still some challenges we’re looking at, in terms of would we be able to enter the full season next year?”

“We’re looking to do more international events besides IGTC. I think our plans will be finalized in the next month. We would love to do more racing in America. We think the racing is great here and it’s growing again.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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