Craft-Bamboo Racing are set for a Bathurst 12 Hour return in 2018 with a star studded factory Porsche driver lineup.
Laurens Vanthoor, Earl Bamber and Kevin Estre will team up the #991 Porsche 911 GT3-R for Craft-Bamboo’s first appearance at the Bathurst 12 Hour since 2015, where they scored third outright.
As well as their rich history in the 12 Hour, Craft-Bamboo has also competed in numerous other GT events, including the Blancpain GT Series Asia and the FIA GT World Cup on the streets of Macau.
Bamber, Estre and Vanthoor are no slouches either, with all three driving under the Porsche factory banner.
The experienced trio, who also paired up in 2017 edition of the Bathurst 12 Hour with Walkinshaw Racing, have unfinished business at ‘The Mountain’ after they retired from the 2017 race in the early stages.
Vanthoor, who competed the Macau GT World Cup with Craft-Bamboo, says continuity with the team and his co-drivers will be key to success.
“I am really looking forward to going to Bathurst,” said Vanthoor.
“It is one of the more exciting events, especially in Australia, it is a big event and it is always very enjoyable to go there.
“I came very close to a victory one year but until now I couldn’t get one and it is a dream for me to get a win.
“I am looking forward to getting back together with Craft-Bamboo, we had a good experience in Macau and we will only be better in Bathurst because we know each other.
“Together with Earl and Kevin, I think we have a really good package to go for the win.”
Two-time overall Le Mans 24 Hours winner, Bamber has a number of accolades to his name, but the New Zealander is still looking to add a Bathurst 12 Hour victory to his rèsumè.
“I can’t wait to join the challenge of the Bathurst 12 Hour once again,” said Bamber.
“Especially with Craft-Bamboo, a team that I drove with in my early days with Porsche in 2013 with the support of Frank Yu.
“It is really nice to be rejoining that relationship and taking on ‘The Mountain’, I think we have a really good chance especially with the driver line-up of Kevin and Laurens, it is going to be fantastic.
“The car was very competitive there last year, so I can’t wait to go there in the new year.”
Frenchman Estre is looking forward to getting back to Australia next year and is confident the squad will be competitive over the Bathurst 12 Hour weekend in February.
“I am really pleased to join Craft-Bamboo for Bathurst, they are a really experienced team, which has had great results in the past year with Porsche in Asia,” said Estre.
“Bathurst is a fantastic track and our race with Earl and Laurens was a bit too short last year, so I hope we can achieve a good result.
“I am sure we will have a competitive car to challenge the competition and fight for a good position. I am really looking forward to experiencing a new team and a great race.”
Director of Craft-Bamboo Racing, Darryl O’Young is also confident in his team’s line-up and says they’ll be chasing the outright win.
“Craft-Bamboo Racing are really excited to be back at Bathurst this year (in 2018).” said O’Young.
“Following our podium in 2015 we have tried hard to come back in a position to go for the win and together with Porsche and the line-up of Earl, Laurens and Kevin, I feel we have a strong shot this year (2018).
“The team has experience at this race and we will be working hard over the next month to have everything ready to go for the win.”
“We really enjoy competing in front of the Australian fans and we hope to deliver a great race, but the competition is tough and it will take a near perfect race to go for the win.”
The 2018 Bathurst 12 Hour takes place from February 2-4.