GUIA SUNDAY (21/11) RACE Weather: Sunny
BARTELS TAKES VICTORY IN MACAU
German Michael Bartels claimed victory in the Macau Guia race on Sunday despite failing to take the win in both heats of the event. The Audi driver led from the start in the first race, but was then beaten to the chequered flag by Australian Paul Morris in the second.
"The first race was much easier, but even when you are leading you still have to concentrate all the time," said Bartels. "I had a few problems with traffic but other than that it was quite straightforward. In the second race I couldn't beat Morris away and after that it was too difficult to get past him cleanly. It was great for the spectators though."
Behind the dominant winner in the first heat, matters were less clear cut. Italian Max Angelelli in the Audi made a good start but was out-dragged on the run to Lisboa by Hong Kong's Charles Kwan in the BMW.
Kwan looked like challenging Bartels for a while but those hopes evaporated when the German leader started to extend his advantage at the front with a series of fastest laps. By lap four Kwan was soon falling into the clutches of a recovering Angelelli, who in turn was being pushed hard by Paul Morris.
On lap seven Morris managed to find a way past Angelelli and started pushing Kwan hard for second place. That position was guaranteed on the final lap when Kwan made a mistake at Maternity Bend and hit the barriers, badly damaging his car. Morris duly finished second, with Angelelli third and the recovering Kwan fourth.
Kwan was unable to start the second race, with damage from his accident in the first heat sidelining him, and it was left to Morris to charge into the lead on the run down to the first corner. He then withstood immense pressure from Bartels to claim the heat win.
"I knew Michael would be very strong, because I had driven his car at Bathurst last year, but at least I knew where on the track he would be quicker and where I would be," said Morris. "I'm just really happy to have got this result today."
Behind the winning pair, Angelelli lost out on any chance of a podium finish when a broken driveshaft pitched him into the barriers two laps from the finish. That left the way open for German Oliver Mayer to finish third in another Audi.