A total of 20 cars, representing seven GT3 manufacturers, have been confirmed for next month’s FIA GT World Cup in Macau, with organizers having released the entry list for the Nov. 16-19 event at the Guia Circuit.
Teams representing Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche will battle for the crown under the race’s new professional-only regulations.
ENTRY LIST: FIA GT World Cup
The entry list, featuring drivers from 13 different countries, sees a number of new and returning names to the event.
Two-time Macau F3 winner Felix Rosenqvist will be seeking to become the second driver to win F3 and GT races, with last year’s F3 runner-up making his Macau GT debut in the only Ferrari 488 GT3 in the field, entered by IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD champions Scuderia Corsa.
Edoardo Mortara is the only driver to have won both the GT and F3 races in Macau, having been victorious in F3 in 2009 and 2010 followed by three consecutive GT titles in 2011-13, prior to the launch of the FIA GT World Cup.
The Italian trades in an Audi R8 LMS for a Mercedes-AMG GT3 this year, while his teammate Daniel Juncadella is also a former F3 winner, from 2011.
Reigning FIA Formula E Champion Lucas di Grassi will pilot a HCB-Rutronik-Racing Audi and is also aiming to become a winner in both F3 and GT, having taken victory in the single-seater category in 2005.
Inaugural FIA GT World Cup winner Maro Engel is one of four drivers to remain with the same manufacturer this year.
The German, however, has switched to the Asian-based GruppeM Racing team, which has claimed both the drivers and teams’ titles in the Blancpain GT Series Asia Cup. Engel’s teammate will be former FIA F3 European Champion Raffaele Marciello.
Newly crowned Blancpain GT Series champion Mirko Bortolotti will remain with Italy’s FFF Racing Team, in the only Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in the field.
Robin Frijns, who won the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup title, meanwhile, will make his Macau GT debut in one of four Audis, alongside DTM ace Nico Mueller at Audi Sport Team WRT.
Laurens Vanthoor, who won last year’s race with WRT, will represent Porsche at Craft-Bamboo Racing, partnered with Hong Kong-based Canadian Darryl O’Young.
Mortara’s switch to Mercedes-AMG and Vanthoor’s to Porsche head up a round of changes including Renger van der Zande, who moves from Mercedes-AMG to Honda, which is running a NSX GT3 for the first time outside of North America.
Two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann and Bathurst 1000 winner Chaz Mostert, meanwhile, will line up in a pair of FIST Team AAI-entered BMW M6 GT3s, with Tom Blomqvist and Augusto Farfus also confirmed in BMWs.
FIA World Endurance Champion and two-time Le Mans winner winner Romain Dumas is another top-level driver to take to the grid, in a HubAuto-entered Porsche.
“This year’s FIA GT World Cup has a hugely impressive lineup of top-level manufacturers and drivers, which shows how well established this event has become in global GT racing,” said FIA GT Commission President Christian Schacht.
“The changes we have made in the last year to raise the level of competitors has undoubtedly been successful, and there is fantastic anticipation from everyone involved to see how the world’s headline GT race will play out.”
Changes to the event, now restricted to manufacturer-supported entries and professional drivers only, have been made in the wake of an incident-filled 2016 race that saw limited running time.
While the race format will remain unchanged, with a 12-lap qualifying race and 18-lap main race, the GT sessions will be better scheduled to maximize track time in the event of red flags.
The restart procedure will also be reduced from ten to five minutes.
Safety improvements have also been announced, including new curbing in Turns 1 and 2, debris fencing and better use of TECPRO barriers.