Danny Watts, McLaren Lead British Charge In Macau GT Contest

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Danny Watts (Photo Credit: CGPM)

Danny Watts (Photo Credit: CGPM)

British representatives in the Macau GT Cup Danny Watts and Richard Meins finished third and seventh respectively at the end of a race cut to ten laps after a red flag.

Watts, giving the McLaren MP4-12C its Macau debut started from third but was unable to find a way past Keita Sawa's Lamborghini for second. Watts pressured the form Macua GT race winner in the opening corners of the race but was forced back into third before the pack snaked onto the twisting bends of the Guia Circuit.

The same was true after the race restarted – after a red flag following a multi-car crash at Mandarin. Eventual race winner Edoardo Mortara accelerated into the distance, Watts, in his GR-Asia sponsored car, unable to find his way past Sawa, though the Briton was still happy despite braking issues the United Autosports team had investigated during the hour long stoppage.

“At any normal circuit braking issues wouldn't be so much of a problem because you've got plenty of run off,” said Watts, “but in Macau, you want to have confidence in your brake pedal because the track's lined by barriers and if you out-brake yourself by two metres you hit the wall. So unfortunately I had to bring my braking point back a little bit, which meant we lost a little bit of time, but apart from that the car's handling was excellent, really responsive, good traction, great rear end, and overall the car was really strong.”

Behind, Meins was embroiled a nose-to-tail battle for the second half of the race chasing Tomonobu Fujii and Weng Sun Mok around the narrow barrier flanked Macau track. He finished seventh, just three tenths back from Mok's Ferrari 458.

Meins had survived the earlier crash at Mandarin, with cars going off in front and behind the Hong Kong-based driver.

He described; “The Ford GT went off just in front of me and the other Audi – with the Japanese driver – the back caught fire, there was loads of oil coming out and that was just before Mandarin. I was behind so I could see it and backed right off. Frank Yu was slightly in front of me and when I got round Mandarin there was Frank facing the other way and hurtling towards the right hand side barrier. My next concern was which way is he going to go? Anyway, I missed him as he shot in front of me. I guess everybody else was so far behind they hadn't seen it happen and then it was complete carnage. It's Macau; you don't have small accidents here.”

The race marked the end of United Autosports' second year in GT competition, with attention already turning to the winter endurance races of Dubai, Bathurst and Abu Dhabi.

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