Noble Group/ GruppeM - Flying the Flag for Asian Motorsport
Darryl O’Young and Matthew Marsh arrived in the LMES with a statement of intent nailed to the mast – the team want to compete at the very highest level in sportscars and that means the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Before that though the team recognised that they would have to show their seriousness, and that’s why a full 2005 LMES season was written into what could be a multi-year gameplan.

An effort from a Asian based (and backed) team is sadly rare in European sportscar racing, but the Hong Kong based team are determined to show other potential entrants that the opportunities exist for them to compete well in their European opposition’s own backyard.

Matthew Marsh: “Both Darryl and I have some pedigree in Asia and we’re here to do several things. Firstly to build a platform in Europe to show the ACO that we are a serious effort that will compete well with others in our class, both in the LMES and, we hope, at Le Mans. Secondly we’d like to show others currently racing back at home and elsewhere in Asia that this is both a competitive, but friendly, area of motorsport.

“There are always risks in travelling so far to compete when you haven’t tested yourself against the opposition in Europe, but what we’ve found is a very positive scene. There’s lots of help and advice available up and down the pitlane. Some of the very best teams in the world are here, it’s motorsport on the highest level, but with a less unfriendly outlook than in some areas of the sport. It’s OK ”

So how does the dynamic within the team work?

“Well first of all GruppeM are a top notch outfit, the car has been immaculate. Between the two of us though, Darryl is a more professional driver and so he does most of the set-up and technical work. I drive him to the circuit though!”

The pair are very active, and very successful in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, has that caused any scheduling problems?

Darryl O’Young: “The Carrera Cup Asia is really the ‘day job’, we are committed to a full season and are both running very well there. Of course we have to make sure that our sponsors’ interests in that series are looked after, so that does mean for instance that a run at Sebring next year would be difficult as it currently clashes with a Carrera Cup race.”

The team have already turned heads with both the preparation of the car and with their pace ‘out of the box’. The ACO would undoubtedly welcome other teams following their lead with new markets for sportscar and GT racing potentially opening up, there could be a rich and almost unmined seam of talent just waiting to be discovered by the European racing scene.


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