Craft-Bamboo’s funky strategy devised after Saturday study session

Daniel Juncadella, Maro Engel and Kevin Tse

Daniel Juncadella has given a comical account of how Craft-Bamboo Racing’s innovative Bathurst 12 Hour strategy drew scrutiny from family and friends back in Europe.

Having missed the entirety of Saturday’s schedule, including qualifying, due to an engine change, the Hong Kong squad opted for a left-field approach.

That involved them bringing the #91 Mercedes-AMG GT3 into the pits at just about any opportunity to clear all nine 120-second compulsory transits of the lane inside the first four hours.

By the end, they had completed 21 stops in total, finishing second to the #75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes by less than nine seconds.

Their tactics caught out rivals, some of whom were as many as five timed stops behind at one point. Upon ticking off the nine CPS, any visit to the pit lane thereafter could be completed as quickly as possible.

“I’m very surprised that we actually fooled everyone with that because nobody really probably thought about it,” smiled Juncadella.

“I had my parents back at home, my friends back at home writing to me ‘what the hell are you guys doing? This looks really shit!’

“So apparently they knew better from home, but we did what we had to do and we were standing up front, which was great.

“We lost a lot of track time yesterday. Me personally, I went into the race with a total of seven flying laps on the track, but the team gave us a great car, great team-mates.

“Kevin [Tse] did a great job also for a Bronze for his first time here; Maro [Engel] as the expert, he gave us the right experience and we felt very comfortable in the car.

“So yeah, second I have to say is honestly a little bit disappointing but I’m equally very happy for these guys [winners Jules Gounon, Luca Stolz, Martin Konrad, and Kenny Habul].”

Tse, who admitted to being hooked following his Mount Panorama debut, noted it was actually during their suddenly quiet Saturday that the strategy was devised.

“It was pretty funny, [Saturday] of course we didn’t have any running, all of us, the team members actually sat in the trailer going through the rules,” the 43-year-old from Macau explained.

“We had hours and hours of studying of the rules and we came up with this strategy, so a big thanks to the team, they really came up with the perfect strategy for us to climb from last to second.”

An engine change wasn’t their only drama in the race build-up, Engel having hit a kangaroo during the Friday night practice.

“First encounter with the local wildlife. To be honest, I didn’t see it, it was dark, and I just heard a big bang, it was scary,” he said.

“Luckily it just hit the A-pillar. I didn’t really see where it went after that so hopefully it’s alright.”

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