Mercedes-AMG GT3 customer teams hoping to regain FIA GT World Cup in Macau

by Vince Pettit

The 64th Macau Grand Prix will be graced by four Mercedes-AMG GT3‘s as Maro Engel, Daniel Juncadella, Raffaele Marciello, and Edoardo Mortara do their best to claim the 2017 FIA GT World Cup for Mercedes after the German marque could only manage third place in 2016 after taking victory in the previous year with Engel.

Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing and Mercedes-AMG Team Driving Academy will each run two cars and will also receive comprehensive support from HWA AG.

Chinese team GruppeM Racing will be running 2015 winner Maro Engel, whose car will feature a special Linkin Park livery. Raffaele Marciello will drive the sister car as he rounds out a stellar season which saw him impress many at the 2017 24 Hours of Spa.

“I am really looking forward to racing in Macau again, and to be driving the Mercedes-AMG GT3 at this unique street circuit” said Engel “This is one of the absolute highlights on my racing calendar. It is the FIA GT3 World Cup – that is all you need to know. The opposition is top-class and everyone is really motivated. However, we also have a very strong team and a car that has what it takes to win. We will do our utmost to bring the title back to Affalterbach.”

The Mercedes-AMG Team Driving Academy will field Mercedes-AMG DTM driver Edoardo Mortara and Mercedes-AMG DTM test driver Daniel Juncadella. Mortara has impressive form at the Macau Grand Prix with two victories in Formula 3 and three victories in GT3.

“It is a world championship in GT3 racing.” said Mortara. “That alone makes it a very important and prestigious race. I feel very comfortable in Macau and have been very successful there in the past. I have claimed a number of pole positions and victories in both Formula 3 and GT3 racing. My major goal is now to win for Mercedes-AMG.”

Juncadella is no stranger to the podium in Macau, having taken victory in the Formula 3 Grand Prix in 2011.

Head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing, Stefan Wendl, knows the task that lay ahead of the team is not an easy one, but is confident of a good result with the strong line up.

“It will definitely be difficult to bring the GT3 World Cup title back to Affalterbach.” said Wendl. “The manufacturers send their best GT3 teams and drivers to Macau.

“Furthermore, the format of the event and the tricky circuit, which offers few overtaking opportunities, allow no room for mistakes. You have to be perfectly set-up in qualifying, in order to come away with a win in the end.

“We will once again line up with a very strong overall package, with Maro, Edoardo, Daniel and Raffaele, as well as the GruppeM Racing team and the Driving Academy team. I am looking forward to this final highlight of the international GT3 season.”

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