Porsche has finished the 2018 FIA GT World Cup in Macau (China) on fourth place. In a fiercely contested race on the Guia Circuit, works driver Earl Bamber (New Zealand) narrowly missed out on claiming a podium spot. Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France) concluded his maiden outing in the Asian gambling paradise on position seven, while his Craft Bamboo teammate Darryl O’Young crossed the finish line in 14th. After being shunted out of contention by another competitor, works driver Laurens Vanthoor was unable to take part in the race. His 500 hp Porsche 911 GT3 R had been too badly damaged by a crash into the barriers.
Shortly after the start, Bamber launched a pursuit of the leaders, but found insufficient space to overtake. Instead, the New Zealander safeguarded his tyres in preparation for the final stage of the ca. 110-kilometre race over 18 laps. This strategy paid off. In the closing phase, Bamber was the fastest driver on the 6.115-kilometre racetrack. However, the narrow street circuit left no room for a successful attack on the leading vehicles. At the flag, the two-time Le Mans winner was just 1.460 seconds of claiming a podium place with the No. 912 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Jaminet concluded his Macau debut with a strong and flawless drive in the main race. The Frenchman made up two positions in the vehicle fielded by the Porsche customer team Craft Bamboo Racing – a feat no other driver managed to achieve. His teammate Darryl O’Young (Hong Kong) crossed the finish line in 14th in front of home crowds.
Comments on the race
Sebastian Golz (Project Manager Porsche 911 GT3 R): “We had a strong weekend. In the practice sessions and the race we managed to maintain a pace that was in no way inferior to our competition. Unfortunately we didn’t quite secure the qualifying positions we needed to achieve a better result. Earl drove a first-class race and was particularly strong in the last laps. And Mathieu Jaminet did very well, too. He managed to pass two rivals, but more wasn’t possible.”
Earl Bamber (Porsche 911 GT3 R #912): “It was a really tough race. I managed to defend my position at the start, then the gaps varied occasionally. Towards the end, when the car became lighter with less fuel on board, we were really fast. The qualities of the Porsche 911 GT3 R came into their own, which allowed a consistently fast speed even on used tyres. We’ve underlined that our car is without doubt one of the strongest GT3 vehicles. If we’d started further up the grid we could’ve done much better, but that’s just the way it is in Macau.”
Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 911 GT3 R #991): “I started from ninth on the grid and finished on seventh – that’s not bad. I simply tried to bring the car home without any damage. It’s great fun to drive so close to the barriers. The circuit is a little like a shortened version of the Nordschleife with the guardrails right next to the track edges. I’m very pleased that Porsche gave me the chance to race in Macau. I hope to return to this special racetrack next year.”
Darryl O’Young (Porsche 911 GT3 R #55): “I’m not happy with my result and the pace in the race. We never really managed to get into the swing of things over the entire race weekend – it’s a great shame. We tried a whole raft of things, but nothing helped. That’s how it is in Macau sometimes. I’ll try to come back to my home race next year.”
1. Augusto Farfus (BR), BMW M6 GT3, 18 laps
2. Maro Engel (D), Mercedes AMG GT3, 18 laps
3. Edoardo Mortara (CH), Mercedes AMG GT3, 18 laps
4. Earl Bamber (NZL), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 18 laps
5. Robin Frijns (NL), Audi R8 LMS, 18 laps
6. Christopher Haase (D), Audi R8 LMS, 18 laps
7. Mathieu Jaminet (F), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 18 laps
8. Dries Vanthoor (B), Audi R8 LMS, 18 laps
9. Raffaele Marciello (I), Mercedes AMG GT3, 18 laps
10. Alexandre Imperatori (HKG), NISMO GT-R GT3, 18 laps
11. Adderly Fong (HKG), Audi R8 LMS, 18 laps
12. Oliver Jarvis (GB), NISMO GT-R GT3, 18 laps
13. Tsugio Matsuda (J), NISMO GT-R GT3, 18 laps
14. Darryl O’Young (HKG), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 18 laps