Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor put ROWE Racing’s two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs at the top of the timesheets in Thursday’s opening Free Practice session for the FIA GT World Cup at Macau.
Bamber posted a best time of 2:17.058 to go 0.362 seconds clear of teammate Vanthoor in the first opportunity for track action for GT3 cars at the Macau Grand Prix.
The Kiwi set a session-topping lap time early on before improving and increasing his gap a couple of times, allowing him to stay on top despite Vanthoor’s late showing of pace.
A trio of Mercedes-AMG GT3s completed the top five, with the GruppeM cars of Maro Engel and Raffaele Marciello third and fourth, followed by Edoardo Mortara for Craft-Bamboo Racing.
Six-time Macau winner Mortara overshot his line through Lisboa late in the session, making light contact with the barrier, while Engel also had a brief off-track moment.
Kevin Estre and Alexandre Imperatori placed sixth and seventh in their Absolute Racing Porsches, meaning just two brands were represented in the top seven positions.
The best of the rest were Christopher Haase putting his Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo in eighth, ahead of BMW Team Schnitzer’s Augusto Farfus.
Free Practice 2 is set for Friday at 12:30 p.m. (11:30 p.m. Thu EST / 4:30 a.m. GMT) local time ahead of qualifying at 4:10 p.m. (3:10 a.m. EST / 8:10 a.m. GMT).
RESULTS: Free Practice 1