GT giants Audi, BMW, AMG Mercedes, NISMO and Porsche will all be represented at the Macau GP next month (15-18 November) as a high-class entry list has been confirmed for the FIA GT World Cup.
A host of professional drivers from 11 different countries will take on the iconic Guia Circuit, headlined by the three previous winners of this prestigious event.
Reigning champion and unofficial ‘GT King of Macau’ Edoardo Mortara will again be behind the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG GT3 for his title defence – also his weapon of choice for last year’s successful showcase – as the Swiss driver looks to take back-to-back victories.
Mortara also won the event consecutively in its previous Macau GT Cup guise between 2011-2013. Such is the 31-year-old’s prowess around the 6.2km street track that he also won the renowned Formula 3 race there in both 2009 and 2010.
2016 FIA GT World Cup winner Laurens Vanthoor will pilot a Manthey-Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, hoping for better fortunes than he experienced last season, when he was one of several drivers caught up in a multi-car accident during the Qualification Race.
Inaugural victor Maro Engel has a phenomenal record at the event, having followed up his 2015 win with a further two podium finishes in recent years. Engel joins Mortara and highly rated Italian Raffaele Marciello at the Asia-based Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing for this year’s contest, making the squad one of the most formidable on the grid.
Other Platinum drivers gunning for a first victory at Macau include Audi Sport Team WRT Speedstar driver Robin Frijns, who narrowly missed out last year – finishing second in the Main Race behind Mortara.
New Zealander Earl Bamber grabbed a podium at the event two years ago and he will be hoping that his Manthey-Racing Porsche can help fire him to victory this time around.
Augusto Farfus is no stranger to the streets of Macau, having won there previously in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, but the experienced Brazilian is now looking to add a FIA GT World Cup success to his portfolio as he enters for BMW Team Schnitzer.
Briton Oliver Jarvis is another entrant that boasts a rich motor sport pedigree, with no fewer than three outright podiums at the world famous Le Mans 24 Hours to his name. He will be one to keep an eye on in Macau as he races a KCMG NISMO GT-R GT3.
Audi Sport Team Rutronik’s Christopher Haase and KCMG’s Tsugio Matsuda complete the list of Platinum drivers who will line up on the grid this year.
Local talents are also well represented, with no fewer than three Hong Kong racers set to compete.
Alexandre Imperatori, Adderly Fong and Darryl O’Young will all be looking to impress in front of their home fans, with the latter somewhat of a Macau hero having previously won there back in 2008.
Dries Vanthoor – brother of previous winner Laurens – is another Audi-backed star gunning for glory this year, whilst Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet in a Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche, who was recently crowned 2018 ADAC GT Masters Champion, completes the impressive line-up.
As in recent seasons the competition will be run over two race distances – a 12 lap Qualification Race followed by an 18 lap Main Event that will determine this year’s FIA GT World Cup Champion.
ENTRY LIST: FIA GT World Cup