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Mortara Dominates Chaotic FIA GT World Cup at Macau

Edoardo Mortara takes sixth Macau victory in chaotic FIA GT World Cup weekend…

Photo: FIA

Edoardo Mortara has taken a lights-to-flag victory in the main race on Sunday to cap off a chaotic FIA GT World Cup weekend at the Macau Grand Prix.

The Italian driver secured his sixth win at the event and first since 2013 while also giving Mercedes-AMG its third win in the last four years.

He has won the GT race three times before between 2011 and 2013 with Audi while also racking up two Formula 3 wins in 2009 and 2010.

Mortara finished just 0.618 seconds clear of Robin Frijns who denied Maro Engel from making it a Mercedes-AMG 1-2 and had to settle for third position.

“We were competitive when we needed, but we didn’t push too much when we didn’t need to,” Mortara said. “It is my first very big win with Mercedes and it means a lot to me.

“In the closing stages, I made some mistakes which made it a good show at the end, but I am really glad to have scored this victory.”

The No. 48 Mercedes-AMG GT3 started from pole position after winning Saturday’s qualifying race which had just eight participants after a multi-car pile-up suspended the action and marred the weekend.

He also set pole for the qualifying race in Friday’s qualifying session, with his Mercedes-AMG Team Driving Academy-entered car the quickest over the course of the weekend.

The top three drivers were separated by little over one second at the checkered flag with both Frijns and Engel mounting an attack on Mortara in the final few laps and all three drivers’ lap times plummeting as the track dried out.

Frijns finished second in his debut at the event despite a crash in qualifying forcing him far down the grid for the start of Saturday’s qualifying race.

He finished the main race fourth, however, after surviving the crash in the qualifying race and making his way up the field as a result.

Raffaelle Marciello and Augusto Farfus were the other drivers who looked set to challenge for the victory but the Mercedes-AMG driver retired early on with smoke pouring out of his car while damage prevented Farfus from a strong finish.

The BMW Team Schnitzer driver hit the barrier on the third lap after being pressured by Marciello, sustaining damage to the back of his BMW M6 GT3.

Over the next few laps, his tailgate become loose, resulting in a black-and-orange flag being shown to get him to come into the pits to remove the bodywork piece.

He finished fourth, 12 seconds behind the leader, while the FIST Team AAI BMWs of Chaz Mostert and Marco Wittmann were fifth and sixth.

The race started behind the safety car for two laps in damp conditions although all drivers elected to use slick tires.

The safety car came back out on track twice for a total of six laps after separate incidents which required the cars of Lucas di Grassi and Darryl O’Young to be retrieved.

Fourteen cars made it to the start of the race after repairs had been made overnight but there were only nine finishers in the incident-filled race.

RESULTS: FIA GT World Cup

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist focusing on European series for Sportscar365. Kilshaw was the founder of WorldSportsCar.co.uk and is a member of the Autosport Academy. Contact Jake

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Bob

    November 19, 2017 at 12:39 am

    Farfus didn’t hit barriers because of the pressure, he hit them because the Mercedes hit him forcing him wide and that’s how he picked up the damage on the rear.

  2. N8

    November 19, 2017 at 8:26 am

    A lights to flag victory at Macau. Wow, who could have predicted that?

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