Raffaele Marciello has claimed pole for Saturday’s FIA GT World Cup Qualifying Race in a dramatic down-to-to-wire fashion in Macau.
Marciello took his No. 999 GruppeM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 to a 2:16.800 on his final flying lap of the Guia Circuit, bumping the No. 42 Team Schnizer BMW M6 GT3 of Augusto Farfus from the top spot.
The Italian, who was the only driver to break the 2:17 barrier, ended up 0.557 seconds ahead of Farfus in second.
Marciello’s pole came after limited track time this weekend, with a steering issue on Thursday and a delaminated splitter remarkably resulting in less than five flying laps prior to qualifying.
Maro Engel qualified the No. 888 GruppeM Mercedes in third, with reigning race winner Edoardo Mortara making it three Mercedes in the top-four overall.
Earl Bamber, who topped the time charts in FP2, completed the top-five in the No. 912 Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The No. 911 Porsche of Laurens Vanthoor was sixth, followed by the Audi R8 LMS cars of Robin Frijns, Christopher Haase and Dries Vanthoor.
All three factory backed Audis have found the barriers so far this weekend, the latest coming from Frijns, who went straight into Lisboa in qualifying.
The Dutchman’s Audi was extracted and resulted only in a local yellow, with less than three minutes on the clock in the session.
The Qualifying Race is set for Saturday at 1:05 p.m. local time (6 a.m. CET/12 a.m. ET).