Mortara Sweeps to Macao Pole

Edoardo Mortara grabbed pole position for the SJM Macau GT Cup – FIA GT World Cup on Friday, as Mercedes locked out the first two rows of the grid.


The Italian, who has won in Macao in both Formula 3 and GT cars, showed his speed throughout the session as he topped the times almost all the way through, before a run of swift laps late on guaranteed him the top spot.


His best lap in his Mercedes-AMG Team Driving Academy GT3 of 2m17.565 was just less than three tenths of a second faster than fellow Mercedes driver Daniel Juncadella, who produced his best effort in the final minute of the session.


Although this was Mortara’s second successive pole in the SJM Macau GT Cup - FIA GT World Cup, he admitted that the effort to deliver this year had been greater after his switch from Audi.


“I was hoping I would have a good session, but I knew it would be a challenge after moving from Audi to Mercedes,” he said. “I put a lot of effort in to deliver that lap – and probably a bit too much because I was sliding around and hitting the wall a few times.”


Juncadella’s late effort to secure a place on the front row dropped two-time race winner Maro Engel down to third place, with another Mercedes driver, Raffaele Marciello, taking fourth place.


The quickest Audi driver was fifth fastest Nico Müller, who missed out on a slot on the second row by just 0.008 seconds in his Audi Sport Team WRT R8 LMS. Augusto Farfus, driving the BMW art car, ended up sixth.


Macau rookie Robin Frijns, who had impressed so much in practice, ended up in a frustrating 17th place after brushing the wall at Fishermen’s Bend early on. Although able to get back to the pits for repairs and to resume running, his speed was compromised and things were not helped on his final lap when Laurens Vanthoor brought out the yellow flags with a crash at the same corner.