Earl Bamber got his SJM Macau GT Cup – FIA GT World Cup campaign off to a strong start today after clocking the fastest lap in the opening practice session on Macao’s 6.2km Guia street circuit. Bamber set a lap of 2:19.362 in his Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3R (991) as the chequered flag fell on the 30-minute session, knocking triple race winner Edoardo Mortara off the top of the time sheets.
As the session got underway, it was two-time race winner Maro Engel who was quickest in the new Mercedes-AMG GT3, but first Bamber and then Mortara, in the Audi Sport Team WRT R8 LMS, went quicker. Behind the trio, Mortara’s team mate Laurens Vanthoor, Frenchman Kévin Estre in the second Manthey Racing Porsche, and Engel’s teammate Renger Van Der Zande battled it out.
Mortara was the first to lap under 2 minutes 20 seconds, but this was to be bettered by Bamber who put together the perfect lap just minutes before the flag. The pair of FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3s of Mirko Bortolotti, making his debut in Macau this week, and local hero André Couto ended the session further down the order.
Of the non-manufacturer entries, Craft Bamboo Racing’s Richard Lyons was quickest in a Porsche, fifth fastest overall, with teammate Darryl O’Young seventh, ahead of Nico Müller in a Phoenix Racing Audi.
Hong Kong’s Adderly Fong had been running well, moving up to fifth just before a mistake at Police saw him clip the barriers and come to a halt. His car was craned off the circuit and Fong eventually finished the session tenth.