Clearwater Racing reveal star-studded lineup for GT Asia title defence
Mok Weng Sun will again start the new season as one of the firm favourites for the title.
The most successful team in GT Asia Series history has thrown down the gauntlet ahead of the opening round of the 2015 season, revealing a driver lineup that would rival any in the world as they prepare to defend their 2014 crown and go after their fourth championship title.
Just a week ago Clearwater Racing revealed the livery of the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 that three-time GT Asia Series champion Mok Weng Sun will use to defend his title, although at the time, they were tight-lipped about who would replace Mok’s highly rated 2014 race winning co-driver Keita Sawa.
There had been plenty of speculation and the drama of delaying the decision had many of their GT Asia rivals on the phone, but all of that speculation can now be put to rest with an announcement that looks almost certain to ensure that Mok will again start the new season as one of the firm favourites for the title.
The Ferrari 458 might be in its final season of competition, but it continues to be the benchmark in GT all over the world,
“There had been much speculation about who would be sharing the #1 car,” Arj Kulasegaram, Clearwater Racing’s championship winning team boss admitted. “We fielded calls from all corners of the world, but we had a plan, and I would argue that we now have one of the best GT driver lineups in the world for the coming season!”
For the opening three rounds of the 2015 GT Asia Series, the #1 Clearwater Racing Ferrari will see reigning champion Mok joined by Ferrari factory drivers James Calado, Gianmaria [Gimmi] Bruni and Toni Vilander.
“All three of these drivers compete with Ferrari in their World Endurance Championship program, with ‘Gimmi’ Bruni and Toni Vilander the reigning WEC World Champions in a Ferrari 458 GTE, so they know their way around the cars,” Kulasegaram confirmed.
At Yeongam in four weeks time, Weng Sun will be joined by Englishman James Calado who will be making his Clearwater Racing debut, although the Ferrari regular knows a thing or two about South Korea, as the third driver for the Force India F1 team at the venue in 2013 where he turned laps of the circuit during the Friday practice sessions.
“Gimmi [Bruni] will join us again at Okayama for round two, reacquainting himself with the team after winning last year’s Sepang 12-Hour with Mok and Alif Hamdan, whilst Toni Vilander - another driver who has driven with us and won at Sepang - will drive the #1 car for the third round at Fuji.
“Meanwhile Craig Baird - the winningest driver in Porsche Carrera Cup history, and our Clearwater Racing Carrera Cup Asia driver this year - will be doing ‘super-sub’ duties alongside Richie Wee again in South Korea, before Clearwater stalwart, Matt ‘Lucky Charms’ Griffin returns to drive alongside Richie from round two onwards, re-forming the team that took victory at Shanghai last year.
“Our firm focus for 2015 is winning a fourth driver’s and team’s title.
“All of us here at Clearwater Racing want to thank Antonello Coletta and Ferrari Corse Clienti for their commitment to our project in GT Asia - it shows how highly they rate this series - and we will be doing everything we can to ensure victory.”
“There’s no question that the 2015 season will be our biggest challenge yet,” Clearwater Racing team founder Mok Weng Sun admitted.
“There are more factory teams entering the GT Asia Series this year, and some of the world’s best drivers will be coming to challenge us as we go looking for a fourth title, but we’ll be ready.
“I have never driven with James Calado before, but he is very highly regarded by Ferrari who were quick to sign him after his efforts with Force India, and he has proven to be an outstanding addition to the team, so I am really looking forward to driving with him at Yeongam.”
“The Ferrari 458 might be in its final season of competition, but it continues to be the benchmark in GT all over the world,” Kulasegaram added. “Our plan is to send the grand old dame off with plenty of fanfare, and a final championship trophy to add to an already impressive string of titles.”
Clearwater Racing - 2015 GT Asia Series Team Drivers
Mok Weng Sun (Singapore)
3x GT Asia Series Champion (GT3) with Clearwater Racing
3x Sepang 12-Hour Champion (GT3) with Clearwater Racing
Winningest driver in GT Asia Series history (19 wins from 50 starts)
Richard Wee (Singapore)
2015 GT Asia Series ‘Rookie of the Year’ (GT3) with Clearwater Racing
1st - Rnd#10 2014 GT Asia Series (GT3) with Clearwater Racing
1st - Rnd#12 2014 GT Asia Series (GT3) with Clearwater Racing
Gianmaria Bruni (Italian)
2004 Formula One (Minardi)
3x Le Mans 24 Hour race winner (GT2/LMGTE Pro) with Ferrari
3x FIA World Endurance Champion (LMGTE Pro) with Ferrari
2008 FIA GT Championship Champion (GT2) with Ferrari
Winner 2014 Sepang 12-Hour with Mok Weng Sun and Alif Hamdan
Toni Vilander (Finland)
2x Le Mans 24 Hour race winner (LMGTE Pro) with Ferrari
2x FIA GT Championship Champion (GT2) with Ferrari
2014 FIA World Endurance Champion (LMGTE Pro) with Ferrari
James Calado (British)
2013 Formula One (Force India - third driver)
2nd 2011 British F3 Championship
2nd 2011 GP3 Series
3rd 2013 GP2 Series
7th 2014 FIA World Endurance Champion (LMGTE Pro) with Ferrari
Craig Baird (New Zealand)
5x Australian Porsche Carrera Cup Champion
6x New Zealand Porsche GT3 Champion
4x New Zealand Touring Car Champion
Winner 2013 Sepang 12-Hour with Mok Weng Sun and Hiroshi Hamaguchi
Matt Griffin (Ireland)
2013 European Le Mans Series Champion (LMGTE) with Ferrari
3rd 2013 Le Mans 24 Hour race (LMGTE Am) with AF Corse
2013 Spa 24 Hours race (GT3 - Pro-Am) with AF Corse
Winner Rnd#12 2014 GT Asia Series with Richard Wee
2015 GT Asia Series - calendar
Rnd#1/#2, 15-17 May - Korea International Circuit (South Korea)
Rnd#3/#4, 26-28 June - Okayama International Circuit (Japan)
Rnd#5/#6, 17-19 July - Fuji International Speedway (Japan)
Rnd#7, 4-6 September - Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia) - 3-Hour
Rnd#8/#9, 25-27 September - Shanghai International Circuit (China)
Rnd#10/#11, 23-25 October - Buriram International Circuit (Thailand)
NON-CHAMP, 20-22 November - Guia Circuit, Macau (MGP)
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