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Mortara/Mercedes win hectic FIA GT World Cup at Macau

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Edoardo Mortara has claimed victory in the FIA GT World Cup at Macau for Mercedes-AMG.

The Swiss driver started from pole in tricky, damp conditions and was never headed all race, as he beat the Audi of Robin Frijns to victory while fellow Mercedes pilot Maro Engel rounded out the podium.

“It was so stressful this race, [we had] mixed conditions, it was so easy to make a mistake,” said Mortara.

“I did basically crash the car in the first corner because I wanted to escape from my competitors.

“It was very very difficult today but I’m very glad that we did it – it’s an amazing job from Mercedes, from the team.”

After starting under Safety Car, the race eventually got underway on Lap 2 in greasy conditions as Mortara lead the field away, despite a touch on the wall going through Turn 1.

Third placed Raffaele Marciello had a wild slide going through the high speed Turn 2, and struggled to pull his Mercedes-AMG up for the following corner, making contact with the back of Augusto Farfus’ BMW, who subsequently lost second place to the former.

The contact left significant damage to the rear of Farfus’ BMW, as bodywork flailed from the Brazilian’s car.

Further back in the field, Engel was making rapid progress early on, after starting eighth in his Mercedes, with a move on the Porsche of Darryl O’Young at Fishermen’s bend on Lap 4, promoting him to fifth.

Morata was also going strong up front, opening up a 6-second lead before the Safety Car was deployed on Lap 6 when the Audi of Lucas Di Grassi crashed out after losing control in the slippery conditions.

At the same time, Marciello pitted to retire his AMG, while Farfus received a black and orange flag for the loose bodywork on his BMW as he made a trip through pit lane to remove it.

The race restarted on Lap 10, with Engel pouncing on the Chaz Mostert at Turn 3 to move up into fourth ahead of the BMW, before another Safety Car intervention only moments later with O’Young in the wall.

On the next restart, Marco Wittmann lost a place to Farfus going up the hill, who somehow got himself back to fifth after his trip through pit lane, moving up to fourth as Wittmann conceded the position after running wide.

Mortara crossed the line a mere 0.6s ahead of Frijns to claim his fourth FIA GT World Cup victory, while Engel settled for third after pressuring the latter during the closing stages.

Farfus came home fourth in the first of the BMWs, with Mostert fifth after surviving a clout with the barrier on Lap 10 to finish ahead of team mate Wittmann.

Romain Dumas came across the line seventh ahead of Daniel Juncadella and Hiroki Yoshimoto, who was the last of the finishers in his Porsche in ninth.

 

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