FIA GT World Cup: Six of the Best | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

FIA GT World Cup: Six of the Best

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25.10.19

BMW star Augusto Farfus Jnr headlines stellar Macau GP entry

Reigning champion Augusto Farfus Jnr might top the bill on this year’s FIA GT World Cup entry list, but the Brazilian faces stiff competition as Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche do battle for Macau Grand Prix honours.

The BMW M6 GT3 bossed the mean streets of Macau last year as Farfus Jnr romped to a lights-to-flag victory, and the BMW Team Schnitzer driver will be back to defend his title when the action gets underway next month (14-17 November).

The 36-year-old is one of a number of Platinum level drivers on the grid for the 2019 edition, as we take a look a look at half a dozen of the main contenders.

Mercedes-Benz may arguably be the biggest challenger to BMW’s command as it boasts a trio of standout talents with every chance of success.

Two former winners of the event in the shape of Edoardo Mortara and Maro Engel spearhead its line-up, with the latter having won no fewer than six times (four in GT and two in F3) around the famed 6.2km Guia Circuit.

Raffaele Marciello is the youngest of Mercedes’ leading protagonists, but the Italian is every bit as quick as his more experienced stablemates.

The 24-year-old was one of the fastest drivers in Macau last year, although he is still searching for the consistency to mount a serious overall challenge – that opportunity may come next month.

Porsche is yet to win the FIA GT World Cup in its current guise, with the marque having not triumphed on the streets of Macau since Darryl O’Young claimed victory back in 2007, when the race was run as the Macau GT Cup.

ROWE Racing could be about to change all that, however, as its Platinum duo of Porsche pilots – Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor – heads up its assault on the world’s most challenging GT sprint contest.

Vanthoor claimed victory at the 2016 FIA GT World Cup whilst competing for Audi, but now the Belgian driver will be looking to break Porsche’s duck.

Bamber holds a long-standing relationship with the Stuttgart GT giant, having claimed the Porsche Supercup title before winning the Le Mans 24 Hours and FIA World Endurance Championship in the all-conquering Porsche 919 Hybrid.

The New Zealander finished just outside the podium places in Macau in 2018, but the 911 GT3 R driver will be looking to go even better this time around.

Aside from this dynamic half a dozen, there are several more who will consider themselves as contenders to claim overall honours.

Audi’s Platinum entry Christopher Hasse will be looking to return the R8 LMS to the winner’s circle, whilst DTM racer Joel Eriksson gives BMW a second hope of success in the race.

Frenchman Kevin Estre has enjoyed GTE Pro victories in both the Le Mans 24 Hours and World Endurance Championship in recent years, so there would be little surprise to see him add the Macau Grand Prix title to his glowing CV.

In summary, such is the high calibre of drivers on this year’s grid that the overall victor could be any one from a number of contenders, so strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride as the 2019 FIA GT World Cup edges ever-closer.

The 2019 FIA F3 World Cup and FIA GT World Cup take place as part of the 66th running of the Macau Grand Prix on 14-17 November.