Maro Engel thundered to pole position today for the City of Dreams Macau GT Cup in his Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 in an impressive GT debut on the Guia Circuit. The German’s pole-setting lap of 2:18.651 seconds was more than eight tenths of a second quicker than Edoardo Mortara in the Audi R8 LMS, who had taken provisional pole after Friday’s first qualifying session.
The top 20 drivers all went quicker in the second, 20 minute session, with Engel quickly charging to the top of the time sheets. He was on another fast lap when the session was red flagged after Jorg Muller, in the BMW Z4 GT3, hit the barrier at Maternity.
As the red flag came out, the order was Engel, Mortara, Stefan Mucke (Aston Martin Vantage GT3), van der Zande and Imperatori. Once the track was cleared and qualifying resumed, Engel went below the two minute 19 mark and set a new qualifying lap record to which his rivals had no answer.
While Engel will have the advantage in the rolling start of Sunday’s 12-lap race, ‘Mr. Macau’ Mortara was frustrated by traffic out on track: “I couldn’t get a proper full lap. I’m not superman. Congratulations to Engel – the car is really fast. We’re losing four tenths on the first sector and I’m going flat through the first two corners, so don’t know where to find the extra time.”
The City of Dreams Macau GT Cup will be held at 9:20 on Sunday, November 17th.
Macau Grand Prix