Friday, November 15, 2013

Macau GT Cup: Mortara on provisional pole position after the first qualifying session

By Johan Laubscher

Edoardo Mortara has continued his dominance during the first Macau GT Cup qualifying session this morning. Mr Macau has taken the provisional pole position.

The Macau GT Cup is being held alongside the GT Asia season finale, running together on track this weekend. A number of GT Asia entrants are in the field. Four of the six Audi entries are also entered for the GT Asia finale. The six Audi R8 LMS / ultra entries are listed below:

The big news this weekend is the return of the reigning two-time Macau GT Cup champion, Edoardo Mortara, in his his #1 Audi R8 LMS Cup backed Audi R8 LMS ultra. He is joined by his teammate, Marchy Lee, in the #38 Audi Hong Kong Audi R8 LMS ultra. Absolute Racing is also present with their regular three-car GT Asia team, along with another private Audi entry from IMS. Absolute Racing, competing with the team name of "Team R8 LMS Ultra," is currently leading the GT Asia teams' championship points standings and they will be aiming to clinch the title this weekend.

Two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars made it into the top ten during practice yesterday, in a session dominated by Mortara. He blitzed the entire field by over two and a half seconds.

The first qualifying session got underway at 13:55 on Friday. It was a case of getting a clear lap in traffic during the red flag affected session. Mortara was stuck in traffic during the bulk of the session and was relegated to being outside of the top ten. Up front three of the competitors dropped into the 2 minute 20 second lap time bracket, with the two Erebus Mercedes-Benz SLS GT3 cars leading the way. Mortara was the only driver to drop into this time bracket during practice yesterday.

In the closing minutes Mr Macau managed to put in a flyer and dropped the fastest lap into the 2 minute 19 second bracket, setting a 2:19.774 and taking provisional pole position by over half a second.

Mortara was the only Audi runner to provisionally qualifying within the top ten. His teammate Marchy Lee was in twelfth, followed by Jeffrey Lee in fourteenth, Philip Ma in eighteenth, Francis Hideki Onda in twenty-sixth and Shim Ching in thirtieth. 

The first qualifying session results can be seen HERE.

The second and final qualifying session will be held on Saturday, followed by a warm up session and the race on Sunday morning. We wish the best of luck to all of the Audi drivers and teams.

Photo credit: RacerLink [Sean Henshelwood]