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FIA GT World Cup

Mortara Endures “Very Intense” Race to Second for Audi

Edoardo Mortara on runner-up finish; holdup with Maro Engel that cost time on restart…

Photo: Audi

Edoardo Mortara characterized his run in Sunday’s FIA GT World Cup as “very intense” with the Swiss Audi driver holding off faster competition from behind while overcoming an issue for Maro Engel to finish second on the streets of Macau.

The seven-time Macau winner, who finished third in Saturday’s Qualification Race, trailed both Raffaele Marciello and Maro Engel at the start of the 16-lap feature race but quickly came under attack from fourth-placed Sheldon van der Linde in the Team WRT BMW M4 GT3.

“My race was an intense one from the start to the end trying to defend the cars I had behind,” Mortara explained. “I could not really attack the cars that were in front.

“For some reason we were missing even more acceleration/top speed compared to yesterday.

“It was making my life very, very difficult today and I had to push like crazy in the mountain part, sliding all over the place, touching walls left and right.

“I don’t even know how we managed to finish where we finished. It was definitely a very intense race for me.”

Mortara ended up second after Engel suffered an apparent shifting issue in his Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo on the race’s only restart with seven laps to go.

Engel’s slow Mercedes-AMG bunched up the field behind Marciello, who cruised to a 2.5-second win.

“I guess Maro had a problem,” Mortara said. “I think when you have a problem you pull into into the pit lane. I don’t know. You [have] to ask him what he was trying to do.

“In the end, we still managed to stay ahead of Sheldon. That was the most important thing.

“Obviously there was a gap with Raffaele after that. But in full honesty, I don’t think I could have challenged him today. It wouldn’t have been possible.

“I would have been able to follow him but not pass him.”

He added: “[Maro] was braking on the restart. The timing was extremely difficult because he was trying to get me overtaking before the line.

“I found that pretty dirty. Raffaele didn’t need that; he was going to win anyways.

“It is what it is. We still managed to finish P2 and that’s the most important thing.”

Head of Mercedes-AMG customer racing Stefan Wendl indicated post-race that Engel’s issue was not deliberate.

“He wasn’t able to shift up and there was something that wasn’t allowing it to do it,” Wendl explained.

“In this case, just to Edo, he didn’t do it on purpose to brake him down.

“There’s an execution routine in case of anything happens electronically in the car that he can try to make different kind of resets, try to make it working again and that’s probably what he tried.

“But I haven’t spoken to Maro so far.”

Mortara, meanwhile, said the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II’s strengths were not balanced out with the long straights that tended to suit the Mercedes-AMGs and BMWs.

“It was pretty obvious; we were lacking acceleration and top speed,” he said. “But that’s the way it kind of is with the BoP, you all have different kind of cars.

“Ours is a very complete car and it’s very good handling-wise, especially in the mountain part, probably too good there. It’s too good of a race car.

“But in order to compensate and to make it fair for everyone, they need to reduce us a little bit of power. Unfortunately that meant that the race was challenging for me, especially in the first sector and last sector.

“Still in the end we managed to finish in P2, which I think is a fantastic result considering that it’s the only GT race I did this year. I’m pretty happy with that.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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