|A win for Audi in Macau with Mortara while Mok takes GT Asia Championship|
Audi claimed another win, this time in Macau during the Star River Windsor Arch Macau GT Cup with Edoardo Mortara at the wheel. The Italian set a stunning pace and kept his closest competitor more than three seconds behind throughout the race.
Mok Weng Sun was declared the winner of the GT Asia Series entries and was named the 2011 GT Asia Series Champion. He crossed the line in fifth overall, behind the Lamborghini LP-560 of Keita Sawa, the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 of Daniel Watts, Porsche 911 GT3 R of Rodolfo Avila and the Aston Martin DBRS9 of Tomonobu Fujii.
The 12 lap race was marred by a spectacular high speed crash at the infamous high speed Mandarin Bend of the Guia Circuit, forcing six drivers to retire.
Just three laps into the race, the Audi of Akhiro Tsuzuki suffered an engine failure laying oil all the way from the turn 1 Resevoir Bend up to Mandarin corner. The first car to come across this was Frank Yu, who lost control of his Ford GT GT3 at the apex of Mandarin and spun into the wall on the inside before coming back across the track to rest on the outside. Immediately after this, the Porsche 997 GT3 R of Eddie Yau lost control on the oil under braking, making contact with the barrier on the right before the apex of Mandarin before spearing straight across into the opposite barrier, eventually coming to rest in the middle of the circuit on the exit.
The Lamborghini LP-560 of Dilantha Malagamuwa, was right behind and somehow miraculously avoided any contact, as did a trio of cars. Keith Vong in the Porsche 997 GT Cup 3.8, Wayne Shen and Eric Lo, who at this point were battling in their Ferrari F430’s, just managed to squeeze through with minimal contact.
Behind them, John Shen also in the F430 was not so fortunate, he was unable to prevent the car from sliding sideways into the wall on the outside of Madarin at high speed. The resulting impact bounced him off the wall and straight into Yau’s stationary car. The resulting heavy impact ripped the whole front from the Porsche. The flying debris was luckily retained by the fencing but was left strewn all over the track.
Immediately after, Siu Yuk Lung in the Lambourghini Gallardo GT3 could not avoid the oil either and also went straight into the wall.
The race was immediately suspended, with Yu, Yau and Siu climbing out of their cars on their own while Shen had to be assisted. All drivers were amazingly reported to be fine, however Shen was admitted to the hospital for overnight observation as a precaution.
Malagamuwa who was behind Yau rehashed what happened saying he was lucky to be able to avoid a collision with Yau. He saw Yau hit the barriers before the turn causing the bonnet to fly open before hitting the barriers at Mandarin and spinning.
The grid was lined up on the track and the race was resumed after a forty-minute delay, completing the remaining 7 laps. Right from the restart, Mortara took off, leaving behind him Sawa in second to defend from the fast charging Watts.
Behind them was local race hero, Avila, with Mok behind him maintaining a steady pace. Fujii saw an opportunity and passed Mok to take forth. Mok was driving smart and had his sights fixed firmly on the Championship win, so he was not prepared to take any chances.
Mok finished the race ahead of his closest rivals, Malagamuwa and Eric Lo. The trio were elated to be on the podium at Macau and mentioned that it was something they all dreamed about. “Its absolutely brilliant. I am still soaking it in” said Mok after the race.
“Its like a dream come true. Its my fifth or sixth straight year racing here in Macau and I’m always in the five, six or seven range, I couldn’t get up there. It’s absolutely brilliant to have this as the final round of the Championship. It also gave us a chance to fight with the big boys” said the 2011 GT Asia Series Champion.
Thanking lady luck for the podium finish, keeping him safe in the race and gaining the Championship Runner up status, Malagamuwa said “On Friday we thought we were done, no more race but there is always someone up there watching over us”.
“I am very happy, it is a very unexpected finish for me” said Lo before the podium ceremony.
The 2011 GT Asia Series Championship was won by Mok Weng Sun while his team, Team Clearwater Racing took the 2011 GT Asia Series Team Champion.
Dilantha Malagamuwa of Dilango Racing claimed second, ahead of Eddie Yau of Asia Racing Team.
2011 GT4 Asia Cup Class Champion was Mark Williamson even though he was not classified in the Macau GT race after finishing two laps down. Absentee Simon Waters finished second overall in the GT4 Asia Cup Championship while Nigel Farmer took the Ginetta to third.