Maro Engel Roars To Superb Macua Pole

A record braking lap gave Engel pole for the 12-lap race (Credit: GCS)

A stunning lap in the second qualifying session has given Maro Engel pole position for the City of Dreams Macau GT Cup race, the Mercedes driver beating defending champion Edoardo Mortara who held the provisional pole after the first session.

Every driver in the field improved upon their time in the second of the 20 minute sessions used to set the grid for Sunday’s race, with V8 Supercars regular Maro Engel taking the provisional pole early on in the session having been second fastest in the opening session. However, the Erebus Motorsport driver had still more pace in his Mercedes SLS GT3, which he deployed after a red flag period after Jorg Muller crashed his BMW through the Maternity Esses.

Engel roared around the Guia Circuit in 2:18.651, setting a new qualifying record in the process. Despite his formidable record in Macau there was nothing Mortara could do to match Engel, pointing to his Audi’s straight line speed disadvantage through the first sector of the 6km track that includes the long straights and the Mandarin sweeper.

Mortara kept a front row grid spot, taking three tenths off his first session time, but his 2:19.492 was still more than eight tenths off Engel’s flyer.

2012 race runner-up Alexandre Imperatori was third fastest, with Renger van der Zander fourth in the second of the burbling Mercs. The Aston Martin of Stefan Mucke and the Porsche of Carrera Cup Asia champion Earl Bamber will share the third row. Jorg Muller, despite the early end to his session was seventh fastest, Danny Watt’s United Autosports McLaren eighth, but more than three seconds off the pole position time.

John Gaw, running under the same Craft Racing AMR banner as Mucke was twelfth fastest. Richard Meins will start 20th on his United Autosports MP4-12C.