The Swiss racer, Raffaele Marciello (Mercedes AMG GT3), bid a triumphant farewell to GT car racing, winning the final race of the FIA GT World Cup on Sunday.
Marciello, who also won the Qualification Race on Saturday, has added significantly to his tally of wins in Macau.
This marked Marciello’s last race as a Mercedes AMG factory racer.
Next season, he is preparing to take on the 2024 Le Mans Daytona h (LMDh), a sports prototype race car that competes alongside Le Mans Hypercar entries in the Grand Touring Prototype class of the IMSA SportsCar Championship and also competes in the Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
This weekend in Macau was picture-perfect for Marciello, with back-to-back wins after the competition’s interruptions over the past three years.
This year, he returned to repeat the success of 2019 where, as now, he also won both the Qualification and Final Races.
In a race with fewer interruptions than usual, Marciello seemed always to be in control, with little to no overtaking for the top positions.
The opening lap was the exception, with door-to-door battles between second-place finisher Edoardo Mortara (Audi R8 LMS Evo 2) and Sheldon van der Linde (BMW M4 GT3) at the time for the third position but with Mortara keeping the place.
The main change at the top occurred after the interruption due to Chen Weian crashing his Ferrari 488 GT3 into the Lisboa Bend barriers, which brought the safety car onto the track.
At the restart, and with 7 laps to go, a disaster occurred for Maro Engel (Mercedes AMG GT3), who was in second place at the time, when a mechanical issue forced him to retire to the pits.
With five laps to go, van der Linde, in third place, was forced into the pits with a puncture. He rejoined the race but lost all his efforts at the front.
In the end, Marciello took the checkered flag with a 2.5 second advantage over Mortara with another former Macau winner, the Brazillian, Augusto Farfus (BMW M4 GT3), completing a podium with representation of three different manufacturers.
Debuting in Macau, Daniel Serra and the Ferrari 296 GT3 left some great impressions in the last part of the race with Serra being the fastest on track at one point.
His great efforts eventually took him to fourth position overall with Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes AMG GT3) finishing fifth and Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 GT3R) finishing sixth.
At the end of the race, Marciello expressed his feelings about the race, saying, “In Macau, it is never easy because mistakes are always around the corner, but it was a great race and I’m happy to finish my AMG life this way.”
The winner noted that while Engel could have posed a significant threat to his lead at the final stage of the race, his retirement gave him enough time to easily manage the end of the race.
Engel finished the Qualification Race in second place on Saturday, followed by Mortara, whose final result scored another two podiums for Audi.