Macau GT World Cup: Marciello's Mercedes resists Bamber's Porsche

Andrew van Leeuwen
Marciello beats Bamber in fraught GT qualifying race
Marciello beats Bamber in fraught GT qualifying race

Mercedes driver Raffaele Marciello held off Earl Bamber's Porsche to win the qualification race for the 2019 FIA GT World Cup in Macau.

The 12-lap race got off to a wild start with Dries Vanthoor firing his Audi into the wall at Mandarin as he tried to get a run on the polesitting Mercedes.

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The Audi driver's race was effectively done on the spot, and Maro Engel was lucky to avoid a similar fate as he brushed the same wall while squabbling over fourth with Edoardo Mortara.

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With Vanthoor out of the picture, Marciello spent the first lap with the two Rowe Porsches, Bamber leading Laurens Vanthoor, breathing down his neck.

But a reprieve quickly arrived, when the safety car was called to clear the stricken Audi from Lisboa.

The race went green again three laps later, but only briefly.

As the field filed into the Lisboa braking area Engel couldn't pull up his Mercedes, clipping Kelvin van der Linde's Audi before clattering into the back of an unsuspecting Mortara.

The clean-up lasted until lap eight, setting up a four-lap battle between Marciello and Bamber.

But while the Kiwi was able to shadow the GruppeM Mercedes there was no way past and Bamber was forced to settle for second with Vanthoor in third.

Marciello beats Bamber in fraught GT qualifying race
Marciello beats Bamber in fraught GT qualifying race

Defending GT World Cup winner Augusto Farfus finished a fine fourth, coming all the way from 12th on the grid.

The BMW driver was shuffled up the order as Vanthoor, Mortara, Engel and van der Linde had their issues, ending up fifth for the second restart.

Farfus then executed a textbook move on Christopher Haase into Lisboa as the race went green.

Haase finished sixth ahead of Alexandre Imperatori, with Charles Weerts seventh, Kevin Estre eighth, Joel Eriksson ninth and Adderly Fong 10th.

Van der Linde was classified 13th, with repairs after the Engel incident having put him seven laps down.

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