Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Selected Driver Yifei Ye and Absolute Racing continue their European Le Mans Series (ELMS) campaigns this weekend as the championship returns to Imola on 13-15 May. On the other side of the world, Grove Racing will be taking on the 2022 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in Australia.
Ye will race for Swiss squad COOL Racing alongside four-time 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 winner Nicolas Lapierre and 2021 ELMS LMP3 runner-up Niklas Krütten. Despite starting from the back of the grid in the season opener at Circuit Paul Ricard following a red flag in qualifying, a commanding stint from the Chinese driver helped the team recover to a solid fifth-place finish.
Absolute Racing will also resume their 2022 campaign, with Indonesian racer Andrew Haryanto, former Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Selected Driver Alessio Picariello and Estonian driver Martin Rump at the wheel of their #18 Porsche 911 RSR. The Shanghai-based team made their ELMS debut in the season opener in Le Castellet, recording an eighth-place finish.
The series returns to Imola, the host of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, for the first time since 2016. Loved for its fast-flowing nature and old-school feel, corners such as Tamburello, Acque Minerali and Rivazza feature on the iconic 4.909-kilometre race track.
Meanwhile, Grove Racing will take on the famous Mount Panorama Circuit, hoping to replicate their 2020 victory in the Pro-Am category. The Australian squad will field the same three drivers, with father and son duo Stephen and Brenton Grove teaming up with Ben Barker in the #4 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Yifei Ye, #37 COOL Racing Oreca 07: “I’m looking forward to Round 2 this weekend. We achieved a good result at Paul Ricard, and we showed excellent pace throughout. We were unfortunate to not set a time in qualifying, but we learned from it and recovered strongly on Sunday. Our goal for Imola is to put everything together and continue to be competitive. I enjoyed the challenge of competing here in Formula 4, and I can’t wait to return to the circuit.”
Andrew Haryanto, #18 Absolute Racing Porsche 911 RSR: “We had a solid debut at Paul Ricard, and for this race we hope to further strengthen the foundations we started at the first round. We’ve learned a lot already as a team, so we’re working hard towards a strong points finish.”
Alessio Picariello, #18 Absolute Racing Porsche 911 RSR: “We have a lot of potential in the car, so I’m excited to show what we can do at Imola. It’s a circuit I’ve never been to before but I’ve always wanted to race here, and it should be a lot of fun at the wheel of our 911 RSR!”
Martin Rump, #18 Absolute Racing Porsche 911 RSR: “It was a solid first round at Le Castellet and while the result wasn’t as much as we were aiming for, we still have plenty of positives to take away from our first ELMS event. I’m ready for the challenge that Imola will provide, it’s such a legendary circuit with a good flow. The team is determined to keep working hard and aim for strong results, and I’m confident we can accomplish that in the coming race.”
Brenton Grove, #4 Grove Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R: “Bathurst is one of the best circuits in the world, it is a privilege to be racing this weekend in a Porsche, the field has many Supercars drivers who know the circuit well however we are confident we know our car and how to approach this endurance event and are confident we will put in a strong performance on Sunday.”
Stephen Grove, #4 Grove Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R: “We’re really excited about the weekend and being back at the mountain, it’s a tough race with an exceptionally strong field. However, we’re confident of putting in a good performance and flying the flag for Porsche and would love nothing more than to bring home a great result for the Porsche family.”
Ben Barker, #4 Grove Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R: “Bathurst is one of the best circuits in the world, it’s a privilege to be racing this weekend in a Porsche, the field has many amazing drivers who know the circuit well, but we’re confident in our car. We know how to approach this event and we’re sure we can put in a strong performance on Sunday.”
Alexandre Gibot, Managing Director Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific Ltd: “I’m looking forward to seeing Yifei and Absolute Racing take on the next round of the European Le Mans Series at Imola. Yifei showed great speed at Le Castellet and I’m sure he can continue that in Italy. Absolute Racing also had a solid debut in the championship, and they’ll be looking to build on the first round at the coming race and progressively throughout the season.
“It’s always exciting when we have interests on different continents at the same time, so we will be sure to keep an eye on Grove Racing in the Bathurst 12 Hour. It’s a tough event on the unforgiving Mount Panorama Circuit, but we are hopeful they can repeat their success from 2020.”