Edoardo Mortara, better known by the nickname “Mr Macau,” raised his streak of Macau wins to seven yesterday, with a victory in the FIA GT World Cup, the first of the Swiss to claim this trophy.
Mortara had dominated both the qualifying session on Friday and the very troubled qualification race on Saturday, which left severe damage to most of the 14 field cars and left six out of the final race, among them the Ferrari of Felix Rosenqvist and the Porsche of reining champion Laurens Vanthoor.
In a completely dominant race, Mortara took the Mercedes-AMG GT3 from AMG Driving Academy Team to a light-to-flag win.
More interesting was the fight for the other positions at the podium, as the Brazilian Augusto Farfus, in a BMW M6, was rammed by the GruppeM Racing Mercedes of Raffaele Marciello at the Lisboa Bend while in second position. In consequence of the damage sustained by the Farfus’s car – considered by the organizers to put other drivers at risk – the Brazilian was forced to a pit stop losing several positions. Marciello was also forced to a stop due to a problem with the radiator in consequence of that clash, leaving the Audi R8 LMS of Robin Frijns to claim the second position, followed by the BMW M6 of Chaz Mostert.
Meanwhile, the battle was intense for the fifth position, with Maro Engel (Mercedes-AMG GT3) and Darryl O’Young (Porsche 911 GT3R) side-by-side vying for the position until O’Young ended up turned the wrong way around at S. Francisco Hill.
With O’Young out of the way Engel started battling his way up and passed Mostert on the 11th lap, forming a front trio that remained unchanged to the end.
A few steps back was Farfus, the BMW Team Schnitzer driver, who made an incredible recovery to end up forth right behind Engel and leaving the feeling that if it were not for that clash with Marciello, he might have had made Mortara’s life harder.
Still, a great result for BMW in its first participation of the event, leaving a great impression.
At the post-race press conference Mortara said, “It was not easy. For sure, I needed a great partner throughout the weekend and also a little luck yesterday” during the pile up that occurred from which Mortara escaped without damage. The driver added that he had to manage his race and “not push too hard when it was not needed” as, “today was very easy to [make] mistakes, so I was just controlling the pace.”
Mortara also said he was very happy with his first “big win” with Mercedes, noting that it was a very meaningful one.
With Mortara’s victory, Mercedes-AMG was crowned World Champion, regaining the title lost to Audi last year. It was a deserved title for the manufacturer that had dominated the entire weekend. Mercedes also scored the fastest lap on the circuit by Maro Engel, clocking 2:20.196s.