Engel Takes Third Career Macau Victory
Maro Engel claimed his third career Macau GT Cup victory after fellow Mercedes-AMG factory driver Raffaele Marciello retired from the lead of Sunday’s main race.
Engel started the shortened eight-lap contest from pole after winning Saturday’s grid-setting opener, but was shuffled back to second after a thrilling side-by-side battle with Marciello through the first two corners.
Marciello looked in control of proceedings for the next lap or so, only for his TORO Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to develop a front suspension failure at the Melco hairpin.
That returned Engel’s Craft-Bamboo Racing machine to the lead, while a safety car period was called due to a simultaneous stoppage for another car, leaving a two-lap dash to the checkered flag.
Engel managed to hold off Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute driver Edoardo Mortara to win by 0.7 seconds, adding to his prior Macau street race successes in 2014 and 2015.
Third place went to Alexandre Imperatori in a TORO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, while Kang Ling took fourth aboard Phantom Pro Racing’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.
Weian Chen made it five different manufacturers in the top five for Ferrari squad Harmony Racing.
“Standing on the podium again as the winner of the feature race at Macau after 2014 and 2015 is a fantastic feeling,” said Engel.
“I am happy for Craft-Bamboo Racing from Hong Kong. The team has done a terrific job throughout the weekend.
“I also have to thank Mercedes-AMG’s engineering and strategy team that unfortunately couldn’t be here but supported us from Affalterbach in a great way.”
Engel won the first race after inheriting the best starting position when pole-sitter Mortara mistakenly set off on the formation lap before the field had been released.
Mortara followed the safety car around for a lap before rejoining the static grid. He was then held by race officials and forced to start from the back, although he recovered to finish fourth in a dramatic race that included a multi-car accident at the first corner.
News & Notes
***Last year’s DTM Trophy champion FK Performance is stepping up to ADAC GT Masters next year with a BMW M4 GT3. The Bremen-based squad has achieved success in the GT4 ranks but will add a GT3 program to its stable, with drivers to be announced at a later date. FK is also running two new BMW M4 GT4s in ADAC GT4 Germany.
***After previously announcing its move to GT Masters, Walkenhorst Motorsport has confirmed that it will field a single BMW M4 GT3 in the Asian Le Mans Series. The German squad entered the ACO-run championship this year with two BMWs, the best of which finished 10th in the GT3 standings.
***Porsche Centri Ticino has revealed its driver lineup and a special livery for its entry into the Gulf 12 Hours next month. Alex Fontana, Ivan Jacoma and American driver ‘Hash’ will share the team’s desert-themed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
***The first commitments for the Iberia-based GT Winter Series have come in. The six-round season takes place from December to March. Olimp Racing has committed to the rounds at Portimao, Estoril, Jerez and Barcelona with a Ferrari 488 GT3 for Stanislaw Jedlinski and Krystian Korzeniowski, as well as an Audi R8 LMS GT3 for Marcin Jedlinski and Karol Basz. ANS Motorsport plans to bring a Ligier JS P320 Nissan to three events.
***The Macau Grand Prix bill also included the Greater Bay Area GT Cup for other types of sports car racing machinery outside of GT3. Jia Tong Liang swept the competition in a Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO2. Results