Audi retains Macau GT Cup crown
Macau, November 18, 2012 – Audi DTM ace Edoardo Mortara took his fourth straight victory at the 59th Macau Grand Prix, defending his Macau GT Cup crown with a masterful manoeuvre to stand atop the podium. Known as ‘Mr Macau’ for his successful dominance of the 6.2km Guia street circuit, Mortara competed with team Audi R8 LMS Cup in an Audi R8 LMS ultra, along with newly crowned Audi R8 LMS Cup Amateur Cup champion Jeffrey Lee.
Mortara, the only driver to have twice won the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix and the current lap record holder, arrived in the city as the man to beat. In the first of two qualifying sessions, Mortara found himself caught in traffic and could not do better than second in Friday’s session. A day later, however, Mortara found a completely clear lap, recording the fastest time of the two sessions with a 2:20.617.
Starting from pole position, Mortara dropped a place as the cars thundered off the grid. While Lucas di Grassi in a Ferrari 458 GT3 would later be penalized for jumping the start, at the time Mortara was solely focused on finding a way past his rival. The opportunity came on Lap 4, with Mortara getting by at the notorious Lisboa Bend to grab the lead.
Mortara held the lead as he stormed relentlessly towards the flag, even after the restart which followed a Safety Car period, ultimately winning his second straight Macau GT Cup, ahead of Alexandre Imperatori in a Porsche 911 GT3 R and Danny Watts in the McLaren MP4-12C GT3.
Meanwhile Lee continued to fly the flag for Audi in the regional GT Asia Series, for which the Macau GT Cup served as its final round. Lee put in a strong performance in the second qualifying session to find himself lining up on the fifth row of the grid. While Lee did not finish as high as he had hoped, the Chinese Taipei driver finished fourth overall in the GT Asia Series points standings, while the team finished fifth.
Commented Director of Audi Sport customer racing in China, Rene Koneberg: “We are thrilled to celebrate Edoardo’s second win with Audi in the Macau GT Cup at the Macau Grand Prix and bring the curtain down on a fantastic season of Audi customer racing China. I would also like to congratulate Jeffrey on a strong Audi season this year, first with his Amateur Cup title in the Audi R8 LMS Cup and a strong result in this year’s GT Asia Series.”
The two entries in the Macau GT Cup are part of the expanding reach of the Audi China motorsport programme. The Audi R8 LMS Cup, the region’s newest international sportscar series and the first ever by the brand the Four Rings, was launched earlier this year. Hong Kong’s Marchy Lee was crowned the 2012 champion, with Jeffrey Lee taking the Amateur Cup honours.
With an official Audi R8 LMS Cup entry in the GT Asia Series, Audi China had an ideal platform to promote the series and Audi lightweight technology to audiences across Malaysia, Japan and Macau. Audi China also offers sportscar experience and race experience programmes, as well as race licensing courses for motorsport enthusiasts.
Rounding out the Audi R8 LMS ultra trio was Hong Kong’s Philip Ma with Team Hong Kong Racing, who finished 13th in the race.