The Erebus Motorsport SLS AMG GT3 Gullwings are provisionally second and third after a thrilling 30 minute first qualifying session in Macau this afternoon.

Both Maro Engel and Renger van der Zande traded the fastest lap times throughout the session, before defending City of Dreams Macau GT Cup winner, Edoardo Mortara put his quick time in right before a red flag cut the session 90 seconds short.

Maro Engel, Erebus Motorsport
Maro Engel, Erebus Motorsport

Photo by: Edge Photographics

This hampered van der Zande’s run, as he was just out on a brand new set of Yokohama’s in an attempt to wrestle back the provisional pole position.

Earlier, a red flag after nine minutes saw both Erebus Motorsport drivers place new rubber on their cars. The pair set sights on spreading the wings of the 6.3 Litre SLS AMG GT3 around this most magnificent of street circuits.

The European duo went straight to the top of the timesheets with some margin, before each of them had an exciting moment. Engel was the first to bring a gasp from the team, getting opposite lock on at 250kph through Mandarin before van der Zande struck a displaced curb exiting Mandarin, getting his SLS AMG GT3 well sideways.

Both showed all of their experience on the 6.1 kilometre Guia circuit to gather up without incident what the Australian Erebus Motorsport team would refer to as a classic “tank slapper”!

With heart rates settling, Engel struck back and pushed his electrifying Dutch team-mate down the order a place.

Tomorrow, the duo will head back out for a second qualifying session to set the grid for Sunday’s race.

Keeping a watching eye over the pair throughout the weekend has been German DTM legend, Bernd Schneider – who will be joined by Mika Hakkinen for Sunday’s event.

Team owner, Betty Klimenko surmised the session in the following way:

“It was a sensational first qualifying for both our guys, they did a wonderful job, even if I did have to hold my breath, close my eyes and hang onto the person closest to me on a couple of occasions!

"Erebus Motorsport loves a challenge, this is a fantastic event which our team is putting their absolute best foot forward. We cannot wait for qualifying two and the race on Sunday.”