11/18/2018

Porsche scores fourth at Macau

Porsche has finished the 2018 FIA GT World Cup in Macau (China) on fourth place. In a fiercely contested race on the Guia Circuit, works driver Earl Bamber narrowly missed out on claiming a podium spot.

Race

Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France) concluded his maiden outing in the Asian gambling paradise on position seven, while his Craft Bamboo teammate Darryl O’Young crossed the finish line in 14th. After being shunted out of contention by another competitor, works driver Laurens Vanthoor was unable to take part in the race. His Porsche 911 GT3 R had been too badly damaged by a crash into the barriers.

Shortly after the start, Bamber (New Zealand) launched a pursuit of the leaders, but found insufficient space to overtake. Instead, the New Zealander safeguarded his tyres in preparation for the final stage of the ca. 110-kilometre race over 18 laps. This strategy paid off. In the closing phase, Bamber was the fastest driver on the 6.115-kilometre racetrack. However, the narrow street circuit left no room for a successful attack on the leading vehicles. At the flag, the two-time Le Mans winner was just 1.460 seconds of claiming a podium place with the No. 912 Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Jaminet concluded his Macau debut with a flawless drive

Jaminet concluded his Macau debut with a strong and flawless drive in the main race. The Frenchman made up two positions in the vehicle fielded by the Porsche customer team Craft Bamboo Racing – a feat no other driver managed to achieve. His teammate Darryl O’Young (Hong Kong) crossed the finish line in 14th in front of home crowds.

Comments on the race

Sebastian Golz (Project Manager Porsche 911 GT3 R): “We had a strong weekend. In the practice sessions and the race we managed to maintain a pace that was in no way inferior to our competition. Unfortunately we didn’t quite secure the qualifying positions we needed to achieve a better result. Earl drove a first-class race and was particularly strong in the last laps. And Mathieu Jaminet did very well, too. He managed to pass two rivals, but more wasn’t possible.”

Earl Bamber (Porsche 911 GT3 R #912): “It was a really tough race. I managed to defend my position at the start, then the gaps varied occasionally. Towards the end, when the car became lighter with less fuel on board, we were really fast. The qualities of the Porsche 911 GT3 R came into their own, which allowed a consistently fast speed even on used tyres. We’ve underlined that our car is without doubt one of the strongest GT3 vehicles. If we’d started further up the grid we could’ve done much better, but that’s just the way it is in Macau.”

Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 911 GT3 R #991): “I started from ninth on the grid and finished on seventh – that’s not bad. I simply tried to bring the car home without any damage. It’s great fun to drive so close to the barriers. The circuit is a little like a shortened version of the Nordschleife with the guardrails right next to the track edges. I’m very pleased that Porsche gave me the chance to race in Macau. I hope to return to this special racetrack next year.”

Darryl O’Young (Porsche 911 GT3 R #55): “I’m not happy with my result and the pace in the race. We never really managed to get into the swing of things over the entire race weekend – it’s a great shame. We tried a whole raft of things, but nothing helped. That’s how it is in Macau sometimes. I’ll try to come back to my home race next year.”

Race result

1. Augusto Farfus (BR), BMW M6 GT3, 18 laps
2. Maro Engel (D), Mercedes AMG GT3, 18 laps
3. Edoardo Mortara (CH), Mercedes AMG GT3, 18 laps
4. Earl Bamber (NZL), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 18 laps
5. Robin Frijns (NL), Audi R8 LMS, 18 laps
6. Christopher Haase (D), Audi R8 LMS, 18 laps
7. Mathieu Jaminet (F), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 18 laps
8. Dries Vanthoor (B), Audi R8 LMS, 18 laps
9. Raffaele Marciello (I), Mercedes AMG GT3, 18 laps
10. Alexandre Imperatori (HKG), NISMO GT-R GT3, 18 laps
11. Adderly Fong (HKG), Audi R8 LMS, 18 laps
12. Oliver Jarvis (GB), NISMO GT-R GT3, 18 laps
13. Tsugio Matsuda (J), NISMO GT-R GT3, 18 laps
14. Darryl O’Young (HKG), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 18 laps

Qualifying race

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.

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 911 GT3 R at the qualifying race in Macau

Qualifying race quotes

Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser (Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars): “The scenario immediately after the start, where Laurens was pushed into the wall through no fault of his own, has to be looked at closely. It’s incredibly annoying, because now I’m afraid we can’t contest the main race with this car. Earl defended his position and put up a great fight. Unfortunately, he couldn’t completely close the gap to the front. On Sunday we have to see what we can achieve from fifth on the grid.”

Sebastian Golz (Project Manager 911 GT3 R): “Our start was good. Earl and Laurens positioned themselves cleverly. Unfortunately, the No. 911 car was hit from the side by a Mercedes – very bad luck in my view. The crash into the barriers threw the car out of the race. Earl then held his position well. He managed to keep up with the cars in front. We’ll analyse the qualifying race and go all-out again on Sunday.”

Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911): “It’s such a shame that my race was over so quickly. We were both on the straight fighting against the Mercedes, one on each side. Then Edoardo (Mortara) and Earl touched. After that, “Edo” crashed into the side of my car. I couldn’t control the car. I hit the barrier hard, but I’m okay. Unfortunately the car isn’t. I’d be amazed if the team managed to repair my badly damaged Porsche by tomorrow.”

Earl Bamber (Porsche 911 GT3 R #912): “What happened to Laurens at the start was definitely not okay. 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.”

Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 911 GT3 R #991): “When I saw the accident in the first lap my only thought was that hopefully Laurens is okay. I’m relieved that nothing happened to him. I managed to get past the accident site without problems. Afterwards it was difficult to find a rhythm. I’ve been struggling with something in my car the whole time. We need to keep looking for a better setup, particularly with the brakes. Still, I finished the race without incident. Things can only get better for me in the main race.”

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

Qualifying

Porsche takes up the qualifying race for the FIA GT World Cup in Macau (China) from positions five and six. In total, there will be four Porsche 911 GT3 R at the starting line in Macau from 15 to 18 November. In the hotly contested qualifying on the 6.115- kilometre Guia Circuit, the Porsche works drivers Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) narrowly missed out on a better grid position. Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France), who contests the race in Macau for the customer team Craft Bamboo Racing, achieved tenth place. His teammate Darryl O’Young from Hong Kong qualified on P13.

Bamber made his intentions clear with a top time in free practice. In the qualifying session, the two-time Le Mans winner pulled out all stops in the first lap in cooler conditions and made sure he got a free run in his attempt to claim P1. At times, the New Zealander topped the time sheets in the ca. 500 hp No. 912 Porsche 911 GT3 R, but was eventually knocked off the top spot. His works driver teammate Vanthoor followed in the No. 911 sister car just 0.131-seconds behind.

Jaminet, who races for the first time on the legendary Guia Circuit in Macau, took things cautiously after an encounter with the barriers. With his personal best time in the last minute, the Frenchman secured tenth place. Just 65 kilometres from his home in Hong Kong, local hero O’Young also touched the guardrails and was also hampered by a puncture.

Qualifying quotes

Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser (Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars): “After the qualifying we’re not quite where we thought we would be. Ultimately we were only two or three tenths of a second off the second grid row, and not much more off second place. You have to take your hat off to the polesitter – a strong lap. To start such a city race from the third grid row is definitely not ideal. Based on this, it’ll be a difficult qualifying race for us.”

Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911): “We’re all very close. This shows that we made the most out of what we had. But we’re not happy. The car’s balance wasn’t great. At midday, when the temperature in free practice got considerably warmer, everything went better, but then that changed in the cooler conditions of the qualifying. We didn’t get the front tyres to the right temperature, which led to understeer – and personally I don’t like that at all.”

Earl Bamber (Porsche 911 GT3 R #912): “In free practice the car was a dream to drive, which we underlined by setting the top time. It was cooler in the qualifying. Perhaps we didn’t opt for the right tyres. We hadn’t changed the car since midday, but the balance just wasn’t as good. This coupled with traffic during some laps made it difficult. Our car runs well over the distance, our top speed is good, so I’m feeling optimistic about the qualifying race.”

Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 911 GT3 R #991): “I had bad luck on the first qualifying lap. The brakes didn’t respond as I’d imagined and I touched the guardrail. Such things are not great for the self-confidence that you definitely need on such a racetrack. I hope we can improve by the qualifying race. My starting position isn’t the best, let’s see what’s still possible.”

Darryl O’Young (Porsche 911 GT3 R #55): “The car felt better than ever before. But I experienced an incident typical of Macau: I brushed the barrier and sustained tyre damage after I drove over parts left by other cars. It’s a pity because I certainly feel that I could have done much more. I can only look ahead now. The decision will be made in the main race on Sunday. A lot can happen. Perhaps it’ll rain – then the cards will be reshuffled.”

Qualifying result

1. Raffaele Marciello (I), Mercedes AMG GT3, 2:16.800 minutes
2. Augusto Farfus (BR), BMW M6 GT3, + 0.557 seconds
3. Maro Engel (D), Mercedes AMG GT3, + 0.622 seconds
4. Edoardo Mortara (CH), Mercedes AMG GT3, + 0.631 seconds
5. Earl Bamber (NZL), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.917 seconds
6. Laurens Vanthoor (B), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 1.048 seconds
7. Robin Frijns (NL), Audi R8 LMS, + 1.242 seconds
8. Christopher Haase (D), Audi R8 LMS, + 1.779 seconds
9. Dries Vanthoor (B), Audi R8 LMS, + 1.894 seconds
10. Mathieu Jaminet (F), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 2.449 seconds
11. Alexandre Imperatori (HKG), NISMO GT-R GT3, X+ 2.521 seconds
12. Adderly Fong (HKG), Audi R8 LMS, + 3.200 seconds
13. Darryl O’Young (HKG), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 3.573 seconds
14. Oliver Jarvis (GB), NISMO GT-R GT3, + 3.611 seconds
15. Tsugio Matsuda (J), NISMO GT-R GT3, + 4.910 seconds

The Porsche 911 GT3 R

The 911 GT3 R has been designed by Porsche for the global GT3 series. This customer sports racer which has over 368 kW (500 hp) of power celebrated its racing première at 24 Hours of Daytona in January 2016, showcasing the cutting-edge four-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine with direct fuel injection. It’s won many international racing series since then, including the IMSA SportsCar Championship, World Challenge, ADAC GT Masters, and the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring.

Preview

There will be four Porsche 911 GT3 R at the starting line of the FIA GT World Cup in Macau (China) from 15 to 18 November. The Manthey-Racing team will be using two of the vehicles – each with around 500 hp – driven by Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium). Two-time Le Mans winner Bamber will be joining the race in a car that has been given a particularly special look: an eye-catching red and gold design that’s inspired by the Chinese year of the dog. Two more cars will be prepared by customer team Craft Bamboo Racing, for Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France) and Chinese local hero Darryl O’Young.

The Guia Circuit, 6,115 km long and located in the former Portuguese colony of Macau, is considered one of the most difficult street circuits in the world. Located in Asia’s gambling paradise, this track’s long straights, fast bends, and spectacular sections such as the Lisboa Bend are renowned far beyond China’s borders. And the course has another extraordinary feature too: in all training sessions and races, there’s a strict ban on overtaking in the “Melco Hairpin”. Car and motorbike races have been held on the streets of Macau – some of which are just seven metres wide – since 1954, and the FIA GT World Cup has been a fixed item on the agenda of the Macau Grand Prix weekend since 2015.

The Porsche drivers at the FIA GT World Cup

Factory driver Laurens Vanthoor is aiming for his second victory at the GT World Cup in the car with starting number 911. The Belgian won the 2016 race in spectacular fashion. Shortly before the finish line, Vanthoor slid into the crash barrier as he battled Earl Bamber – now his colleague – flipped the car, and then crossed the line on its roof, taking first place. These two Macau specialists were the key players during that weekend of racing two years ago. Bamber will drive the car with starting number 912 in 2018, with Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet taking to the start line for the first time. The Frenchman will be driving in the Porsche 911 GT3 R with starting number 991. In the sister car (number 55), Hong Kong Chinese driver Darryl O’Young is celebrating a home game, just 65 km from where he lives.

Laurens Vanthoor is aiming for his second victory at the GT World Cup

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