Naiyanobh (Toy) Bhirombhakdi and Chris Van Der Drift will join forces at Craft-Bamboo Racing for rounds three and four of this season’s Inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia campaign at Chang International Circuit next weekend (May 20/21).
The pair have been partnered aboard the team’s second, #88 Porsche 991 GT3 R, which was previously raced by Joel Camathias and Jules Gounon at Sepang.
Thai driver Bhirombhakdi returns to Craft-Bamboo Racing and the Porsche after his debut season with the team in 2016, which marked his first ever full campaign in a GT car. Business commitments have prevented Toy from committing to a second full season, but an outing on home soil at Buriram proved too good an opportunity to pass up.
“I have not been behind the wheel of a Porsche 991 GT3 R with Craft-Bamboo Racing since the end of last year, so it will be interesting and exciting to get back to racing this car in Buriram for the Thailand round of Blancpain GT Series Asia,” he said.
“With the new series the team is competing in and the development during the off season, I hope for a strong and satisfying result in Buriram this time around, which will certainly help with my decision regarding any other races for this year if my work schedule allows.”
His co-driver Van Der Drift is no stranger to Porsches, albeit via the single-seater ladder. The Kiwi is a former Formula Renault 2.0, Formula BMW and International Formula champion, and has also tasted success in GP2, World Series by Renault, Superleague Formula and A1GP.
In 2012 he switched to the GT ranks and three years later was crowned Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion. In 2016 he joined the German-based ADAC GT Masters where he gained crucial wheel time in the same 991 GT3 R he’ll now race in Blancpain GT Series Asia.
“I’d like to thank Craft-Bamboo Racing for giving me the opportunity to race with the team, it is my first time driving for the team but I know them well. They know the Porsche well after running them last year in the GT Asia Series, so that is a positive knowing that they know the car. I also know the Porsche myself, so that’s handy and I am really looking forward to getting to Buriram.
“It will be my first time meeting Naiyanobh so that will be great and thanks to Porsche as well for this opportunity and all of their technical support. I look forward to the race and I look forward to seeing how we get on and I am sure we will have a good result and that we can take it to the rest of the guys in the championship.”
Darryl O’Young and Devon Modell will campaign Craft-Bamboo Racing’s #99 Porsche in Buriram before the latter switches to the team’s #88 entry from Suzuka onwards.