At the qualifying race, Porsche has secured a spot on the third grid row for the main race of the FIA GT World Cup in Macau (China). Earl Bamber (New Zealand) finished in fifth position in a hotly contested qualifying race amongst the frontrunners. His works driver colleague Laurens Vanthoor did not reach the finish. Shortly at the start, the Belgian was shunted into the barrier by another contestant. Vanthoor did not sustain injuries in the accident. Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France) qualified his Porsche on ninth, with his teammate Darryl O’Young from Hong Kong on 13th.
“What happened to Laurens at the start was definitely not okay,” commented Bamber. “We were both fighting with the Mercedes, which nudged me first and then crashed into the side of Laurens’ car – totally unnecessary from my perspective. I had a good race. As expected, our speed was great over the distance. I could match the pace of the frontrunners but I couldn’t get past them. We have a good car for this racetrack, there’s no doubt about that. We’ll attack again in the main race.”
Immediately after the start of the 12-lap qualifying race, the two 500 hp Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Manthey Racing chased down the leading vehicles. While Bamber managed to avoid a collision, Vanthoor was suddenly shunted into the barriers by an astray Mercedes. The Belgian was unable to gain control of his No. 911 car and hit the guardrail sideways. After the safety car phase, Bamber resumed his pursuit of the frontrunners. The pace of the two-time Le Mans winner was strong, however, with parts of the Guia Circuit only seven metres wide, there was no room for him to attempt a safe overtaking manoeuvre.
Jaminet concluded his maiden race on the 6.115-kilometre street circuit in the gambling paradise of Macau on ninth. During the qualifying race, the Frenchman continued to improve in the Porsche 911 GT3 R run by the Craft Bamboo Racing customer team and explored the limits of the racetrack. His teammate Darryl O’Young secured his position in the race and takes up the 2018 GT World Cup from 13th on the grid in front of home crowds.
The main race of the 18-lap 2018 FIA GT World Cup begins on Sunday, 18 November, at 12.25 hrs local time (05.25 hrs CET).
Result qualifying race
1. Augusto Farfus (BR), BMW M6 GT3, 12 laps
2. Raffaele Marciello (I), Mercedes AMG GT3, 12 laps
3. Maro Engel (D), Mercedes AMG GT3, 12 laps
4. Edoardo Mortara (CH), Mercedes AMG GT3, 12 laps
5. Earl Bamber (NZL), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 12 laps
6. Robin Frijns (NL), Audi R8 LMS, 12 laps
7. Christopher Haase (D), Audi R8 LMS, 12 laps
8. Dries Vanthoor (B), Audi R8 LMS, 12 laps
9. Mathieu Jaminet (F), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 12 laps
10. Alexandre Imperatori (HKG), NISMO GT-R GT3, 12 laps
11. Adderly Fong (HKG), Audi R8 LMS, 12 laps
12. Oliver Jarvis (GB), NISMO GT-R GT3, 12 laps
13. Darryl O’Young (HKG), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 12 laps
14. Laurens Vanthoor (B), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 0 laps
15. Tsugio Matsuda (J), NISMO GT-R GT3, 0 laps