Maro Engel and Edoardo Mortara will lead Mercedes-AMG’s four-car factory effort for next month’s FIA GT World Cup in Macau, in an increased commitment for the German manufacturer in the end-of-year race.
The two DTM aces will line up alongside Raffaele Marciello and Daniel Juncadella for the Nov. 16-19 event, with cars fielded by Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing and Mercedes-AMG Team Driving Academy.
All four cars will have “comprehensive support” from HWA.
Inaugural FIA GT World Cup champion Engel and 22-year-old rising star Marciello have been confirmed in the pair of GruppeM entries, with the Chinese squad coming off a championship-winning season in the Blancpain GT Series Asia Cup.
“This is one of the absolute highlights on my racing calendar,” Engel said. “The opposition is top-class and everyone is really motivated. However, we also have a very strong team and a car that has what it takes to win.”
Engel’s No. 999 Mercedes will sport a special livery designed by Linkin Park, which has a promotional partnership with the brand.
Two-time Macau Grand Prix winner Mortara, who has also claimed three wins in the Macau GT Cup, will spearhead the Driving Academy lineup with 2011 Macau GP winner Juncadella.
“I feel very comfortable in Macau and have been very successful there in the past,” Mortara said. “I have claimed a number of pole positions and victories in both Formula 3 and GT3 racing. My major goal is now to win for Mercedes-AMG.”
Mortara, who makes his Mercedes-AMG debut in Macau, qualified on pole in last year’s race in a Belgian Audi Club Team WRT-entered Audi R8 LMS, with his teammate Laurens Vanthoor having been declared the winner, despite finishing the race on his roof.
A number of changes have been made to the event’s sporting regulations for this year.
“It will definitely be difficult to bring the GT3 World Cup title back to Affalterbach,” said Head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Stefan Wendl. “The manufacturers send their best GT3 teams and drivers to Macau.
“Furthermore, the format of the event and the tricky circuit, which offers few overtaking opportunities, allow no room for mistakes. You have to be perfectly set-up in qualifying, in order to come away with a win in the end.”