Audi’s Chris Reinke believes the FIA GT World Cup should remain in Macau, despite controversial and carnage-filled events in the last two editions.
A massive pileup last year’s Qualifying Race eliminated nearly half of the field, giving clear sailing to Mercedes-AMG’s Eduardo Mortara to sweep the weekend and claim the 2017 title.
It came just 12 months after Laurens Vanthoor was crowned World Cup champion, despite finishing the event on his roof, following an airborne accident that ultimately ended the race after just five laps completed in a 90-minute period.
Reinke, the Head of Audi Sport customer racing, said manufacturers and teams should understand the risks involved with the event, which serves as a one-off race in the global GT3 racing scene.
“I’m quite clear on that for us,” Reinke told Sportscar365. “It has a unique welcome on its own, not being part of a championship and therefore being the ultimate GT3 racing event.
“For us, Macau is the matching track for that. It’s an extraordinary event.
“To be part of a championship it might be too much of a gamble but if you go to Macau, you’re ready to gamble or you’re not. We have no problem with it staying in Macau.
“When you go to Macau, you know what you’re in for. You know before and you know when you come home.”
The event, established in 2015 from the popular Pro-Am Macau GT Cup, has evolved into an all-professional race, with the FIA prohibiting Bronze and some Silver-rated drivers last year in an effort to improve the quality of the grid.
A total of 20 cars took part in the 2017 edition, represented by a record seven different GT3 manufacturers.
At least one GT3 manufacturer representative has suggested the idea of moving the event to another established venue, such as Yas Marina Circuit on the Abu Dhabi Formula One weekend.
However, it remains unclear whether a change of venue could be realistically in the cards for 2018.
“There is a great risk to it, and we are fully aware of it when we sign up. Everybody should be aware,” Reinke said.
“That’s what it’s known for and if you’re ready for the challenge, there is an opportunity to take it or leave it.”