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FIA GT World Cup

Macau Post-Race Notebook

René de Boer’s post-race notebook after Sunday’s FIA GT World Cup at Macau…

Photo: Rebocar/René de Boer

***Raffaele Marciello’s maiden FIA GT World Cup win was the fourth victory for Mercedes-AMG in the GT race at Macau and the third since the World Cup era started in 2015. With four GT wins around the Guia street circuit, Mercedes-AMG is now level with Audi.

***As per motorsport historian Janos Wimpffen’s research, Marciello’s winning car, chassis number 16.088, finished on the podium for the third consecutive year at Macau.

***Previously driven by Maro Engel, the car finished third in 2017 and second last year at Macau. This year, the chassis was used for GruppeM’s full-season Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli campaign, with third place for Buhk/Goetz/Marciello at Bathurst and second place for the same line-up at Laguna Seca, followed by tenth for Goetz/Buhk/Auer at Spa and another second place for Buhk/Engel/Marciello at Suzuka.

***Damage resulting from the collision between Mercedes-AMG drivers Maro Engel and Edoardo Mortara in Saturday’s Qualifying Race resulted into many hours of repair work for Engel’s GruppeM crew and Mortara’s Craft-Bamboo outfit. In both pit boxes, the lights remained on until after midnight.

***Defending FIA GT World Cup winner Augusto Farfus relinquished his seat with the Hyundai factory-backed BRC-squad in the FIA WTCR rounds at Macau to focus on his duties with BMW. The Brazilian’s touring car seat was taken by German youngster Luca Engstler, a two-time TCR Asia Series champion and also the winner of this year’s TCR Malaysia series.

***Four accredited photographers had lenses stolen from their cameras in the crowd on the access road to the paddock entrance in what appeared to be an organized crime on Saturday. While plenty of safety measures were in place in the paddock and pit building, the dense crowd around the sales booths outside the paddock provided a good opportunity for thieves to steal the equipment. One distracted the photographers by bumping into them while another detached the lenses from their cameras.

***Porsche spent two days of testing at Oschersleben in preparation for Macau with both its works-supported teams Absolute Racing and ROWE Racing as well as technicians from the factory on-site. Absolute’s Kevin Estre and ROWE’s Laurens Vanthoor drove the 911 GT3 Rs on the two days.

***As in previous years, Audi’s WRT team was on double duty at Macau. Next to running the R8 LMS GT3 Evos in the FIA GT World Cup for Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts, it also ran two Audi RS 3 LMS TCR cars in the FIA WTCR touring car races for Jean-Karl Vernay and Gordon Shedden under the Audi Sport Team Lukoil banner.

***Next week, the Belgian outfit will be present at two different venues: it runs the factory-backed Audi GT3 entry for Kelvin van der Linde, Frederic Vervisch and Dries Vanthoor in the 9-hour IGTC race at Kyalami while it also operates the Audi RS 5 DTM under the WRT Hitotsuyama Team Audi Sport entry for former Japanese Super GT champion Benoit Treluyer in the Super GT x DTM Dream Race at Fuji.

***In spite of its presence in DTM, meanwhile, WRT is showing no real interest in the recently announced DTM Trophy sprint race series for GT4-spec cars which will feature on the DTM support package next year. “I think our program is packed enough,” said WRT team principal Vincent Vosse when asked about possible interest in the series.

***German Audi customer team Phoenix Racing, meanwhile, does have an interest in the series. “We have some requests from drivers and we are looking into it,” team manager Dirk Theimann admitted.

***Exactly 20 years ago, Phoenix Racing won the touring car race at Macau with Michael Bartels behind the wheel of the Audi A4 quattro in the final year of the two-liter Super Touring cars in the Macau event.

***The Greater Bay Area GT Cup, a one-off race for GT4 machinery, resulted into a 1-2 for Mercedes-AMG GT4 drivers.

***Macanese driver Kevin Tse drove his Team TCR-entered car to victory in the 12-lap race, followed home by teammate Philip Kadoorie from Hong Kong. The two had already locked out the front row of the grid. Third place went to Wei Chung Chang from Taiwan with a BSEM Aston Martin Vantage.

***In the Greater Bay Area GT Cup, Lumirank LED position displays were used for the first time in history of the Macau Grand Prix.

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

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