Craft-Bamboo Racing take another FRD LMP3 Series victory and podium in Shanghai

Craft-Bamboo Racing took another FRD LMP3 Series victory and podium this weekend, with the #95 of Mathias Beche and James Winslow scoring a win in race one and a third place in race two. Thanks to the success of the #95 Ligier, Beche and Winslow continue to lead the drivers’ championship. The pair now have 89 points and hold an eight point lead over second place as the FRD LMP3 Series heads into the final round of the season in Zhuhai. The #20 Ligier of Dean Koutsoumidis and Alex Tagliani had a challenging weekend but showed great pace and development throughout to take P8 in race one and P9 in race two.

Race One

#95 ‘Lightning McQueen’ Ligier JS P3

James Winslow put in a stellar qualifying lap to claim a P2 starting position and give the #95 pair the strong start they needed on Saturday. Winslow dove up the inside into turn one and secured the lead before starting to build the gap on the way to the compulsory driver change. Winslow managed to grow the gap to 3.3s when he handed the #95 Ligier to Mathias Beche, who rejoined the race and continued the charge to the flag. The #95 Ligier was unstoppable and Beche drove a flawless stint, taking a dominant win 10.4s ahead of P2.

#20 ‘Jackson Storm’ Ligier JS P3

Dean Koutsoumidis got his first competitive outing at Shanghai underway from P10 on the grid and quickly made a pass to slip into P9. Koutsoumidis managed to maintain his position throughout his stint and despite having a spin was able to hand the car over to Alex Tagliani in P9 during the compulsory driver change. Tagiliani took over for the second stint and showed some good pace, taking another position to bring the #20 home in P8.

Race Two

#95 ‘Lightning McQueen’ Ligier JS P3

Mathias Beche continued his string of flawless qualifying results, scoring his third successive pole position in as many races. Beche maintained his lead into the first corner and tried to pull away from the rest of the field. The #95 Ligier did not have the same pace as they dominantly displayed in race one due to the hotter midday conditions, but Beche was able to bring the car into the pits with a 0.5s lead. However, due to the pair’s pit stop time penalty, Winslow rejoined the race in P3 with 20 seconds to makeup on P1. He put in another incredible performance to decrease the gap to only 4.7s by flag fall, finishing P3 to secure an eight point lead in the drivers’ championship.

#20 ‘Jackson Storm’ Ligier JS P3

Alex Tagliani kicked off race two in the #20 Ligier and after keeping his P8 start position began the fight to close the gap to those ahead. Unfortunately, after some contact that resulted in a spin during the opening stages, Tagliani was forced to combat a damaged splitter. Combined with the higher temperatures, the Canadian driver could not find the pace to challenge those ahead and handed the car to Koutsoumidis in P10. The Australian did a great job to drive an effective stint, managing the car and running a clean race to take another position and finish P9.


#95 ‘Lightning McQueen’ Ligier JS P3

Mathias Beche

“Race one was great, James gave me the car in the lead after a cracking stint and from that point I just pushed to increase the gap so it was pretty easy from my side. Race two was tough in the hotter conditions, I managed to keep the car in the lead but I couldn’t extend the gap and thanks to the pit stop penalty it was too much for James to make up during his stint.”

James Winslow

“Race one went perfectly to plan, we made a huge setup change right before the race and it worked even better than expected. I was able to pull a nice lead, which is really important for us as we have the longest pit stop penalty, but Mathias drove well as always to finish off a perfect race. Race two was more difficult but we still managed to close the gap to second, but we just didn’t have enough time to make a move and then catch the lead car. Thankfully, we have maintained our championship lead before Zhuhai.”

#20 ‘Jackson Storm’ Ligier JS P3

Dean Koutsoumidis

“I started race one and the car was set up beautifully for new tyres and high fuel. I continually progressed with my lap times until I spun at turn 12 as the tyres came off their peak. It was a steep learning curve with the tyres today but I handed the car to Alex and we finished 8th. We hoped we could find more balance for race two; however, the significantly hotter track temperature worked against us. Tyre management was difficult in the heat but we pushed hard and the team worked brilliantly to help us take P9 overall.”

Alex Tagliani

“The car felt really good for race one; we knew we had a big fight ahead of us from P10 but Dean put in a good stint in his first ever race in Shanghai and I was able to finish the race in P8. We struggled a little in race two; we had some issues with balance and had to battle with a tricky car. The team did a good job overall to finish P9. We understand where we can improve and will implement these changes for Zhuhai next month.”