|Audi R8 LMS with Mortara in pole, GT Asia Championship leader Mok to start fifth|
The Audi R8 LMS driven by Edoardo Mortara had the best pace once again today during the Qualifying 2 for the Star River Windsor Arch Macau GT Cup. The Audi proved to be too fast even for two time Macau GT Cup winner, Keita Sawa in the Lamborghini LP-560 GT3 to challenge, clocking 2:21.254 to take pole.
Sawa was 3.239 seconds behind in a qualifying session that had to be stopped in the first few minutes after the Ford GT GT3 of Samson Chan hit the barrier and pieces of his bumper were on the track and had to be cleared. Chan’s car was badly damaged in the incident and he will be unable to join the race tomorrow.
Only six drivers managed to set a time during the first part of the session, with three drivers, Sawa, Rodolfo Avila in the Porsche 911 GT3 R and Mok Weng Sun in the Ferrari F458, improving their time from yesterday.
The session resumed after a slight delay while the track officials did a safety check of the circuit. From there, Mortara managed to improve his time, getting two clear laps in to claim pole for tomorrow.
“Quite happy, we lead the first time in Free Practice one, Qualifying one and Qualifying two. I think today my lap was pretty okay. I had the chance and I had no traffic so I could push two laps in a row and that was enough to stay on pole. So we will see for the race” said the Italian after the session.
Despite clocking the best time of the day, he says the competition will stiff with many good drivers on the grid. “It’s quite tough with the Porsche of Avila and the McLaren of Watts and the Lamborghini of Sawa, these are really fast cars and we are going to see for the race tomorrow. I am going to push as hard as I can and we will see where we end up” said Mortara after the Qualifying 2.
The current GT Asia Series Championship leader, Mok set a fastest time of 2:32.213 to place him amongst the professional race drivers in fifth. He is the fastest of the GT Asia Series drivers with Frank Yu the closest in ninth.
“Its turned out fantastic, P4 yesterday and P5 today. Improved a little bit compared to yesterday and I am happy with where I am but I honestly expected to just be in the top ten and didn’t expect to achieve top five.
I was telling myself that I just have to really drive smart tomorrow and now that I am mixing up with some of the professional drivers but I am going to let them have their own race. I will focus on the Championship” said an always positive Mok.
His closest Championship rivals, Dilantha Malagamuwa and Eddie Yau will start from tenth and eleventh respectively.
For GT Masters Class driver Christian Chia, lining up twentieth on the grid will mean that he will have to take measures to stay out of trouble at the start. “From my experience here in Macau, a little bit of caution here in the first lap and push hard beyond that”.
Chia is in the lead for the GTM Class Championship win and his closest rival, Wayne Shen had a difficult outing so far, hitting the barriers on Friday, resulting in his Modena Motorsports team having to fix his car overnight. Shen finally set a time today and will start further up the field from Chia in sixteenth.
“I’m very lucky to be able to set a time. The car was badly damaged yesterday and my boys did a fantastic job getting it together, kudos to them. I am very happy I get to participate at all. We will see what happens tomorrow” said Shen.
Chia is also positive of a good outing, saying “I’m hoping to clinch the GT Masters Championship” and mentioned that there are parts of the circuit he has to be cautious with. “For me Lisboa is always a challenge and once I get out of there I’m good. The top of the hill at Maternity is also a bit tricky for me” said Chia in good spirits.
GT4 Asia Cup Championship winner, Mark Williamson, was impressed with the performance of the Aston Martin Vantage N24 in the second session. “It’s a nice feeling, its been a great Championship. I’m very happy with the way the year has gone with Concord Absolute Racing, Fabien Fior and his team have done an ‘Absolute’ly fantastic job.
“Our cars probably should not be going this quick in Macau and the Aston is very nice GT4 car. The car is fantastic for tomorrow’s race and we have two pole positions one in GT3 with Edoardo and myself in GT4 so we are very happy with that” ended Williamson.
He will start just one row ahead of fellow GT4 Asia Cup driver, Nigel Farmer in the Ginetta G50.
The Star River Windsor Arch Macau GT Cup is scheduled to be held at 9am on Sunday, 20th November 2011.