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Triple Eight Sets Asian Program with Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim

Prince Abu Bakar to make GT3 debut with Australian outfit in GTWC Asia…

Photo: SRO

Triple Eight Race Engineering has announced plans to compete in Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia powered by AWS with a Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo for Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim.

The Australian team entered the series in 2019 with Jaafar, Shane van Gisbergen and Prince Jefri Ibrahim, whose brother and fellow member of the Johor royal family Prince Abu Bakar is tackling the full series this time around.

Prince Jefri will take part in the season-opener at Sepang in May but will otherwise be tied to a program in Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS.

He and Prince Abu Bakar are set to share the Mercedes-AMG at their home race in Malaysia before Jaafar comes on board for the remainder of the campaign.

Former FIA World Endurance Championship competitor Jaafar is also booked to drive for LMP2 outfit Team Virage in the European Le Mans Series this year.

The GTWC Asia entry will compete under the Triple Eight JMR banner.

“I’m really looking forward to my debut race in the GT3 in Sepang,” said Prince Abu Bakar.

“I had my first race and first win there back in 2019 alongside my brother Jefri. We have a lot of memories there together and with the team.

“Racing with Jazeman for my debut season will be a great opportunity to absorb all the experience he has gained throughout his racing career.

“I’m very blessed and proud to be racing under the Triple Eight Race Engineering and JMR banner for the first time.

“It’s going to be a huge learning curve for me but I’m looking forward to the challenge, and having the experience of my team-mate Jazeman and also the racing team will be a strong advantage. I’m really pumped for this and can’t wait for the season to start.”

Triple Eight also recently announced a Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour commitment with its Mercedes-AMG and a driver lineup headlined by Supercars champion van Gisbergen.

The team’s GTWC Asia program covers the full six-round schedule that consists of four events in Japan sandwiched by races at Sepang and Mandalika. 

“After a brilliant year in 2019, Triple Eight and JMR are really excited to be back racing in Asia,” commented Triple Eight team principal Andrew Simpson.

“It was a shame not to be able to keep that momentum going after such a successful debut, including a class win in South Korea, what with the Covid-19 travel restrictions, but we’ve learnt a lot since then. 

“We had a lot of fun last year in the inaugural season of Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS with Prince Jefri and learnt an awful lot that we’ll be able to bring to Asia. 

“This will be Prince Abu Bakar’s first competitive season in the AMG GT3. He’s shown great promise so far and testing with us in Australia was a fantastic experience for him.

“Jazeman will be an excellent mentor and team-mate for him. As for Prince Jefri, he has matured immensely as a driver and should be very competitive at a track he knows well.”

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

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