Reigning and double Le Mans 24 Hours winner Earl Bamber and current FIA WEC championship leader will race in Blancpain GT Series Asia’s penultimate event of the season at Shanghai this weekend.
He’ll drive with fellow series newcomer Will Hardeman in Arrows Racing’s Pro/Am-entered Porsche 911 GT3 R (below). Hardeman will become the first American to race in the series as a result.
Elsewhere on the 29-car entry list, Craft-Bamboo Racing has confirmed that Dempsey-Proton Porsche FIA WEC pilot, Marvin Dienst, has joined Darryl O’Young in the team’s #99 entry. The 20-year-old German raced a 991 GT3R in last season’s ADAC GT Masters one year after graduating as ADAC Formel 4 champion. This year he’s in the GTE Am title battle, after winning at the Nürburgring and Mexico City with Matteo Carol and Christian Reid.
His fellow countryman Nico Menzel is also set to make his first Blancpain Asia start, with FIST – Team AAI’s M6 GT3 alongside championship returnee Lin Yu.
Both Bentley Team Absolute cars and all four of its drivers are also making their championship debuts in Shanghai. And last season’s results at the same circuit suggest both cars should be quick following GT Asia Series podiums for Adderly Fong, Andrew Kim and Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak.
China GT points leaders HubAuto Racing also has two Porsches entered for Shanghai, although one of its driver crews is different to that originally announced last week. It’s as you were for Leo Ye and Tim Bridgman who line up in car #277, but #33’s driver crew has switched since last Friday’s news to Taiwanese amateur Brian Lee and Super GT regular Hideto Yasuoka.
Lamborghini Young Driver Yuki Nemoto makes his series and GT3 debut aboard VSR’s #66 Huracan, Jeff Lu joins Keo Chang in Taiwan Top Speed Racing’s Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR, and James Wong takes the wheel of HubAuto Racing’s GT4-spec Porsche.
Of the omissions, Singaporean WEC team Clearwater Racing – after winning in its debut in the series, and in its first run with the McLaren 570S GT4 last time out at Fuji (below) – will not take part. It leaves the GT4 class five cars strong, all of them Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs.
The first two practice sessions take place on Friday before Saturday’s qualifying session and first hour-long race. The second is a day later at mid-afternoon local time.