Macau GT Cup: Engel wins dramatic opener

Mercedes driver Maro Engel triumphed in a dramatic opening race for the Macau GT Cup.

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There was confusion before the race even got going, with polesitter Edoardo Mortara misjudging the start of the formation lap.

The Audi driver took off behind the safety car, however the field was yet to be given the green light.

After completing a lonely lap of the Guia circuit he returned to the front row of the grid, only to be told he would need to start from pitlane.

When the race finally got going there was more drama in the form of a nasty first-corner crash.

The initial contact was between Min Heng (Porsche), Adderly Fong (Audi) and Darryl O'Young (Mercedes), with Cheng Cong Fu (Audi) ultimately caught up as well.

All four cars were badly damaged while race control was forced to red flag the race.

After a lengthy delay the race was restarted behind the safety car, Engel and fellow Mercedes driver Raffaele Marciello sprinting away once released.

Their cause was somewhat helped by Ling Kang (Lamborghini), who started third and proved difficult for the likes of Alex Imperatori (Porsche) and a recovering Mortara to get past.

While there was nothing between the two lead Mercedes on pace across the race distance, track position proved critical as Engel banked Race 1 honours and pole for tomorrow's Macau GT Cup.

The heated battle for third went down to the chequered flag, Ling coming under attack from Imperatori, Mortara and Chen Wei An (Audi).

Three laps from home Imperatori tried to squeeze past a R Bend, only to run slightly wide.

That opened the door for Mortara to slip into fourth and take over the charge to get past Ling.

However even Mr Macau couldn't find a way past the Lamborghini, Ling holding on for an impressive third place.

Behind Mortara, Imperatori and Chen it was Chang Chien Shang (Mercedes), Liu Qi Ren (Lamborghini), Andy Zheng (Mercedes) and Leong Ian Veng.

The main race for the Galaxy Entertainment Macau GT Cup starts at 1:05pm local time tomorrow.

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