Craft-Bamboo has confirmed J-Fly Racing duo Jeffrey Lee and Alessio Picariello as its first driver crew for this year’s Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia campaign.
Lee switches to the Official Mercedes-AMG Performance Team having recently competed in Japan’s Super Taikyu championship and Audi R8 LMS Cup. He and Picariello also teamed up for the inaugural season of Blancpain GT Series Asia, as it was known in 2017.
In addition to his driving duties, Lee will also represent Mercedes-AMG Taiwan in a promotional role with the German manufacturer.
“It has been a long winter break but we have been busy with many changes for the coming season,” said Lee. “Joining the Mercedes-AMG family is the biggest one, as I have had many great years competing with Audi. However, I felt like it was time for a change and I am really looking forward to this new challenge ahead as J-Fly Racing joins Craft-Bamboo Racing for the 2019 season, returning to the prestigious Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia as well as adding several special one-off events along the way as the season progresses. I’m also excited to be driving alongside Alessio; someone whom I’ve worked with in the past and we will certainly be pushing each other forward.”
Meanwhile, Picariello is no stranger to GT3 machinery or silverware: the Belgian’s 2017 Audi R8 LMS Cup title followed the ADAC Formel Masters crown he won in 2013. That talent was equally evident throughout 2017’s Blancpain GT Series Asia season with Lee when the 25-year-old scored three pole positions. His CV also includes recent outings in the European Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup and ADAC GT Masters.
“I’m really excited to start this new journey with Jeffrey and Craft-Bamboo Racing,” he said. “I’ve known Jeffrey since my debut in Asia and in GT racing and I’m really pleased to continue driving with him. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is new to both of us and that’s going to be a challenge. But it’s an exciting, fast and sexy car so I am looking forward to getting to know it and the Craft-Bamboo Racing team.
“I’m not setting any particular goals for this season in the strong Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia but I’m not planning to be just a number either. Every time I jump into the car I push to be right at the front in every single session and that won’t be different this year!”
Craft-Bamboo will announce its other driver pairings before the season begins at Sepang on April 6/7.
Further GT3 entries are also expected in the coming weeks.