Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing heads to the 2019 Suzuka 10 Hours with an all-star line-up consisting of Mercedes-AMG Factory Drivers Maximilian Götz (GER), Luca Stolz (GER) and Yelmer Buurman (NED), all sharing the wheel of the #77 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. Maximilian Götz, who is also currently leading the Intercontinental GT Challenge Drivers Championship, has unfinished business at this event after finishing runner-up in the 2018 edition of the race. The three have all had experience of the fast and flowing Suzuka circuit, and confidence is high as the preparations ramp up.
Hong Kong based Craft-Bamboo Racing, an Official Performance Team of Mercedes-AMG, has a good track record at the legendary Suzuka circuit, most recently scoring a hard-fought outright victory in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia round back in June. With Mercedes-AMG winning the 2018 Manufacturers’ Title and currently leading both the Drivers and Manufacturers’ championship standings after 3 rounds of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the team has confidence of fighting at the front for the distinguished German marque in Suzuka.
Conditions at the Suzuka 10 Hours have traditionally been hot and unpredictable, with temperatures ranging from 24 to 31 degrees celcius, and sporadic showers and thunderstorms throughout the weekend. However the weather in Suzuka can be unpredictable, as seen in 2018 when Typhoon Cimaron interrupted the on-track practice sessions prior to the weekend. However, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 has performed well in both wet and dry conditions throughout the team’s running this year, and together with LVGEM’s support, the team has set its sights on fighting for the victory in the Intercontinental GT Challenge with Mercedes-AMG.
Darryl O’Young | Director of Craft-Bamboo Racing
“We have been looking forward to this race all year as its one of the highlight events on our 2019 calendar. The competition is extremely high, which motivates us to step up our game and take the challenge head on. Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing has been doing a stellar job all year, hence why they are currently leading both the manufacturer and driver titles heading into Suzuka.
We have been entrusted to carry the torch for the brand here in Japan, so we aim to deliver for them in every aspect. We have the opportunity to work with three top Mercedes-AMG drivers so our mission is to give them the best car and team performance, with a clear target for victory. We are also proud to announce LVGEM as our title sponsor for the event, and thank them for the support in this exciting endurance event. We are ready to take on the Suzuka 10 Hours!”
Maximilian Götz | Driver #77 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing
“I’m really looking forward to being in the #77 entry at Suzuka! I’ll be racing with new teammates and our target is for sure to fight for the overall win. Last year I finished in P2 and a personal target is to do one better to extend the lead in the championship. The Suzuka 10 Hours is one of the nicest races in the year with the amount of fans in attendance, and I want to enjoy the weekend and get the most points as possible. It’s really great to join Craft-Bamboo Racing after having been with the team in Korea, and I’m ready for the challenge in Suzuka.”
Luca Stolz | Driver #77 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing
“I’m looking forward to the race, it’s going to be hot like last year. Mercedes-AMG were really good last year with the win, and we know the car works well there. We’re also showed a great performance in Bathurst, and the speed was there despite the bad luck with ended our race. I’ll be joining Maximilian Gotz who’s currently leading the championship and Yelmer Buurman who I finished in P3 at Spa with. We have a really good line-up and a good team, so not much can stop us from having a good result!”
Yelmer Buurman | Driver #77 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing
“Really looking forward to Suzuka, I did one test day last year but did not take part in the race! But this year I will be, and it will be my first time racing at this amazing circuit, something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. My father actually raced here back in 2000, and took class honors then in GT2. I’ll be driving with Maximilian and Luca, both world class drivers. As Maxi is leading the championship, he will definitely feel the pressure to do well! But I think we have a really good line-up and with a strong team, and I can’t wait!”
Ms. Huang Jingshu, Chairman of the board of directors of LVGEM (China) Real Estate Investment Company Limited | Title sponsorship of Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing #77
“It’s our pleasure to be the title sponsor of Craft-Bamboo Racing at the world-class racing event Suzuka 10 Hours Endurance Race. Since our establishment 30 years ago, we have actively anchored our presence in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area under the guidance of our strategic principle ‘Focus on Urban Renewal in the Greater Bay Area, Develop a Brand New Smart City’. ‘Building Joy’ is our mission. In the coming decade, with the changes in times and the implementation of the planning of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, our strategic perspective will be further extended to aspects other than home building. Our corproate mission of becoming the most respected value creator of cities and vision of enhancing the value of cities are completely in line with Craft-Bamboo Racing’s pursuit of victory. With the star-studded team and their determination to win, we believe Craft-Bamboo Racing can achieve exceptional results at this world-renowed race.”
Race Schedule (+9 GMT)
Friday 23 August
10:00 – 12:00: Paid Practice
14:10 – 16:10: Free Practice 1
18:30 – 20:00: Free Practice 2
Saturday 24 August
09:15 – 10:15: Free Practice
13:00 – 14:15: Qualifying 1,2,3
17:30 – 17:50: Pole Shootout
Sunday 25 August
08:05 – 08:20: Warm-up
10:00 – 20:00: Suzuka 10 Hours Race
Source. Craft-Bamboo Racing