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FIA GT World Cup

Macau Post-Race Notebook

Rene de Boer’s post-race notebook from Macau…

Photo: Rene de Boer/Rebocar

Photo: Rene de Boer/Rebocar

***It was announced at 5 p.m. local time that the surprise result of the FIA GT World Cup will stand, despite rumors that Laurens Vanthoor might lose his victory. There is no rule stipulating that a driver causing a red flag should be penalized, and Porsche is expected not to protest the outcome. The final classification can be viewed here.

***Vanthoor expressed mixed emotions after the race: “Now, officially, I have won it, but the way it happened is very strange and I don’t really know if I have deserved in a way,” he admitted. “I crashed and I have made a mistake, but I am still the winner. That is very awkward. It would have been a better show without the crash for everybody. It is a victory, but I don’t know where to put it in my head.”

***Winning the FIA GT World Cup wasn’t the only success for the WRT team at Macau. The Belgian squad scored further success on Sunday morning with victory for Stefano Comini in the first of the two TCR International touring car races, and the second consecutive title win for the Swiss driver.

***The operation, run under the “Leopard Racing Team” banner, is run by the WRT team. The team principal is Italian Claudio Berro, who previously held various key positions at Ferrari, Lotus, and also as director of operations for the NASCAR-style Speedcar series in the United Arab Emirates.

***Vanthoor’s win marks the first time that Audi has won the event since it was awarded World Cup status, and the first race win for the German marque since Edoardo Mortara’s three consecutive triumphs from 2011 to 2013.

***Mortara, as Vanthoor’s teammate, suffered from a nightmare weekend, and only managed 13th after damaging his car on the first lap of the qualifying race before receiving a grid penalty for contact later in Saturday’s race.

***Audi Hong Kong used the Macau Grand Prix for the launch of its road-going RS 3 Sedan model and the competition version RS 3 LMS, a touring car built to TCR regulations, for the Asian market. Some 500 invited guests attended the stylish event at the JW Marriott hotel in Macau, with the Audi drivers from the FIA GT World Cup also on stage.

***Mercedes-AMG also had its traditional customer event at the Venetian hotel and casino complex, with works drivers Maro Engel and Renger van der Zande plus brand ambassador Mika Hakkinen among the guests.

***Hermann Tomczyk, sports president of German automobile club ADAC, and former head of ADAC Motorsport Lars Soutschka, who was recently appointed as a member of the ADAC management board, were present in Macau this weekend as well.

***Tomczyk’s son, BMW works driver Martin Tomczyk, who recently put an end to his career in the German DTM touring car championship after 16 years in the series, is expected to embark on a full-season campaign with BMW in the GT Le Mans class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2017. At least two of the drivers who raced for BMW in this year’s IMSA series are expected not to be kept on board for next season.

***As usual, BMW will outline full details of its 2017 motorsport activities during its end-of-season Sports Trophy prize-giving ceremony, that will be taking place in the brand’s heritage center near the corporate headquarters in Munich on Dec. 9.

***ADAC is to announce the 2017 calendar for its German ADAC GT Masters Series at the Essen Motor Show in Germany next Friday. No major changes are expected compared to this year’s calendar, which included seven double-header rounds; five in Germany and one each in the Netherlands and Austria.

***Ex-Formula 1 driver and endurance racer Vitantonio Liuzzi is in Macau to support the FFF Lamborghini team in the FIA GT World Cup. The outfit is running two cars for Italian Mirko Bortolotti and Portuguese driver Andre Couto.

***SRO Chairman Stephane Ratel, who is co-promoter of the FIA GT World Cup together with the local organizers in Macau, is also on site. From here, he will continue his journey to Malaysia, where the entry list for the Sepang 12 Hours will be announced on Monday.

***The works Porsches and Phoenix Audis racing in Macau this weekend will be shipped to Malaysia after the event to compete in the Sepang 12 Hours, Dec. 8-11, the final round of the inaugural Intercontinental GT Challenge.

***Vanthoor, who is to race one of the Phoenix Audis, is leading the standings after Bathurst and Spa. The Porsche drivers for Sepang are Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber, and Patrick Pilet in the No. 911 car and Richard Lietz, Michael Christensen, and Fred Makowiecki in the No. 912 entry.

*** Porsche’s corporate film crew at Macau includes a five-time competitor in the Macau Guia touring car race: ex-racer Simon Harisson, who was a works-driver for Peugeot in the British Touring Car Championship and raced Honda production cars in Macau in the early 2000s. He now is the managing director of UK-based company Kingdom Creative that produces the popular Porsche Motorsport video news footage.

Jake Kilshaw contributed to this report

René de Boer (@renedeboer) is a German-based motorsports journalist, contributing to a variety of publications worldwide, including Autosport.nl, Autosport Japan and Motorsport aktuell.

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