Edoardo Mortara swept up both GT World Cup race victories in Macau for Mercedes-AMG Team Driving Academy, with less than half the field classified in both races.
Living up to the ‘Mr Macau’ nickname, Mortara qualified in pole position with Mercedes taking up the front two rows with Daniel Juncadella in second place, and both Maro Engel and Raffaele Marciello on the second row of the grid.
Mortara lost his position at the start of the qualifying race, but was fortunate to get it back when the race restarted after Engel had battery issues in the pit lane. From then on he led every other lap in both races to take home two more victories in Macau.
The weekend will be remembered however for an incident on the first lap of the qualifying race that took out twelve of the twenty competitors. Juncadella hit the tyre barrier at Police Bend which caused a domino effect of collisions which ended the full weekend for six drivers, including Tom Blomqvist and Felix Rosenqvist.
Robin Frijns was one of the four drivers who weren’t affected by the accident, and in his first ever weekend racing in Macau with Audi Sport Team WRT was fighting at the front. After finishing fourth in the qualifying race was able to keep ahead of the fast Engel to finish within a second of Mortara in second for the main race.
While Engel took the last step of the podium, he went a lap down after the restart of the qualifying race after his car picked up a battery issue while in the pit lane. He was last out of the eight remaining drivers, but was up to fourth by lap six of eighteen before the first safety car of the main race came out.
His team-mate Marciello had a less fortunate weekend. While the Italian was able to finish third in the qualifying race, on Sunday he sustained damage and had to retire after just a few laps.
Augusto Farfus had a successful weekend with BMW Team Schnitzer, although it wasn’t trouble-free for the 34-year-old. After finishing second to Mortara on Saturday, he was given the black and orange flag during the main race after the first safety car was deployed with a large part of bodywork hanging off the rear of his car.
After his pit crew were very quickly able to pull off the offending part without losing too much time, Farfus was able to make it back up to fourth place ahead of Supercars Championship driver Chaz Mostert, who finished fifth in both GT World Cup races.
Marco Wittmann, Romain Dumas and Juncadella were able to finish sixth, seventh and eighth respectively after having to retire from the first lap incident in the qualifying race.
Hiroki Yoshimoto was one of just six drivers who finished both GT World Cup races, but was rather off the pace of the rest of the field in the Hub Auto Racing Porsche. The Japanese driver finished seventh in the qualifying race, last out of the drivers on the lead lap, and was ninth and last out of the classified cars in the main race.
2016/17 Formula E drivers’ champion Lucas di Grassi was one of the major names caught up in the qualifying race crash, with his car partly in the air after all the cars came to a standstill. HCB-Hutronik-Racing were able to get his car repaired in time for the main race on Sunday, but the Brazilian crashed on lap six of eighteen.