The inaugural FIA GT World Cup has 24 cars on the official entry list for the event, made up of a Qualification race around Macau’s Guia street circuit of 12 laps or 45 minutes (whichever comes first) on Saturday, November 21, and the main event lasting 18 laps or 60 minutes on Sunday, November 22.
2015 Le Mans winner, Earl Bamber heads the list of entries in LKM Racing’s Porsche 911 997 GT3R with fellow Kiwi Chris van de Drift in a similar Porche for Arrow Racing, Van de Drift is the current points leader in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.
Ex ELMS Audi racer Dylan Derdaele completes the Porsche line-up in the 911 of Gulf Racing JP.
Amongst no fewer than five former Macau champions on the entry is current lap record holder, three time Macau GT Cup winner and two-time Grand Prix Champion Edoardo Mortara in a Phoenix Audi R8 LMS.
The entry currently shows Laurens Vanthoor in a Team WRT car but that will surely now depend on how quickly the quick Belgian heals from his leg and hip fractures suffered at Misano last weekend.
The Audi entry is completed by a third R8 LMS for Macau regular Marchy Lee who competes with the Audi Hong Kong squad.
André Couto, a regular at Macau in F3, touring cars and GT machinery over the past 20 years leads McLaren’s roster. The Macau driver will pilot a McLaren 650S GT3 for the FFF Racing Team; the GT Asia Series squad will field a further two cars for factory driver Alvaro Parente and Japanese Super Formula driver William Buller.
Darryl O’Young, winner of the first Macau GT Cup in 2008, leads the Aston Martin roster. He will drive one of the three Aston Martin V12 Vantages entered by Craft Bamboo Racing – his Aston Martin team mates will be named at a later date.
Mercedes-Benz has entered two cars; 30-year-old Maro Engel, who raced in the German DTM touring car series in 2008-11, drives a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG bearing car Number 1, the number held as a result of his victory in last year’s Macau GT Cup. The German will be paired at the Mercedes AMG Driving Academy team with another former DTM driver, Renger van der Zande.
Keita Sawa, winner of the Macau GT Cup in 2009 and 10, will race one of three cars entered by Bentley Absolute Racing; he will be joined by two Hong Kong drivers in Adderly Fong, who has been part of the Lotus F1 team’s development programme this season, and Jacky Yeung.
Absolute Racing is fielding a further two cars that will not be eligible to score manufacturers’ points. They are both Audi R8s for Macau regulars Philip Ma and Jeffrey Lee from Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei respectively.
Three Ferrari 458 Italias are entered, two from AF Corse, the Italian manufacturers’ representative in the FIA World Endurance Championship; and one from Asian Clearwater Racing. Thai driver Pasin Lathouras, a regular in GT3 competition in Europe, races one of the AF cars and China’s Xu Liu the other. Clearwater’s entry is to be raced by Sun Weng Mok from Singapore.
Five manufacturers have entered the inaugural FIA GT World Cup, with Aston Martin, Audi, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, all bidding to become the first champion over the Macau Grand Prix weekend next month.
The field boasts seven different marques (including privateers, who will not be eligible for manufacturer points).
The top two cars from each registered manufacturer will accrue points and the marque with the most points will win the first FIA GT World Cup crown.