The most successful Macau competitor in modern history Edoardo Mortara (Mercedes-AMG Driving Academy) has claimed a dominant flag-to-flag victory in the third FIA GT World Cup.
Mortara qualified fastest, won the crash-shortened qualifying race and converted both into his most satisfying ever victory at the 3.8-mile Guia track.
He outpaced Macau debutant Robin Frijns (Audi WRT R8LMS) and inaugural FIA GT World Cup winner Maro Engel (Gruppe-M AMG) with just 1.4s separating the top three.
Frijns came from fourth grid position and Engel delivered the fighting performance of the event charging from eight place.
The three drivers swapped fastest laps in the closing stages on a track with low grip levels made slippery by earlier rain.
Mortara added the FIA GT World Cup to three previous GT victories and two F3 Grand Prix wins to stake his claim to the title ” Mr Macau.”
“When I get in front my strategy is to go faster to ensure I maintain a gap, especially on a circuit like Macau when so much can go wrong,” Mortara said.
“I have tried for three years to win this World Cup and it means so much to me to deliver it to my new team.”
Fourteen cars of an entry of 20 from seven makes faced the starter after the Qualifying Race first-lap incident which blocked the track and damaged three quarters of the field.
— LUCAS DI GRASSI (@LucasdiGrassi) November 18, 2017
In the unusual circumstance officials allowed 10 minutes of reconnaissance time before the World Cup to test cars after all-night repairs and started the race under safety car as an additional precaution.
Mortara held the lead with masterful restarts through two subsequent safety car periods as cars which had been handicapped by low grid positions after the qualifying melee forced forward.
The high intensity of the World Cup created extraordinary personal efforts.
Augusto Farfus (BMW Schnitzer) who started alongside Mortaro on the front row hit the fence, pitted under the safety car for his trunk lid to be torn free, dropped to last and raced back to fourth, 10 seconds behind Engel.
Darryl O’Young (Craft Namboo Porsche 911 GT3R) was hit by the Mercedes-Benz of both Engel and Daniel Juncadella as they moved up through the field.
O’Young was eliminated in the second collision with Juncadella, who pitted for repairs to finish eighth.
Lucas di Grassi (HCB Rutronik Audi) retired in a separate high-speed crash into the fence in the top of the hill esses.