Mok Weng Sun and the Ferrari 458 GT3 of Team Clearwater Racing retained their Championship title for the second year running. Despite crossing the line in seventh, behind his closest rival, Mok had enough points to claim the Championship.
“It feels great. That was the goal from the beginning of the year – to defend the Championship and I feel delighted to complete this mission, especially in Macau, one of my favourite circuits. It was tough. Good race today, good pace. Peter was really really quick, he got by me on the first lap and I tried to hunt him down the whole race but I couldn’t get by. But in the end, the key was to finish and get the points to seal the Championship again,” said Mok.
He then continued, “it’s fantastic, I’ve had a lot of friends come up from Singapore and Hong Kong, a big group of supporters here so I am glad to be able to deliver the results. Its been a great season, I can’t do it without the team and the support from everyone and I am absolutely delighted to have this good result for them.”
When asked what kind of a party he will have to celebrate the Championship win, Mok said, “it is going to be a big one, trust me!”
Li took Mok at the Mandarin Oriental Bend on the second lap for the lead, one that he kept all the way to the chequered flag. The 19-year old was really happy and was all smiles after the race, saying “I am very happy. It is my first GT race in Macau making it a very tough weekend for me. My first day here, my lap times were very bad so the team and I changed some setup and my driving lines. Then lap by lap I started to improve and today I managed to make a good laptime and overtake Mok. I am very happy and would like to thank Asia Racing Team for a job well done.”
“I think Mok made a mistake and I took him at Mandarin and he was a gentleman, he didn’t block me. After that I just kept the car on the track and followed the front runners. This race went well and after the mistake that I made in the last race in Autopolis, losing 10 points so I cant win the Championship but maybe next year,” ended Li.
Frank Yu was a very busy man throughout the race, making his way up the grid in his Ford GT3 from the start, taking Jeffrey Lee in the Audi R8 LMS Cup and then making his way to challenge the Porsche 911 GT3 R duo of Direction Racing. He diced with them and changed positions a few times and after the safety car period, he took Hisamori Hayashi and then Hisao Shigeta for third, taking the outside of Lisboa right on the last lap for the podium.
“It feels great, it was a really good race for me. I am really happy because I did a good job,” said Yu with a grin.
“I was blocked in every single lap in Qualifying 2 and lost about five positions, dropping down to P13. I knew that the Porsches has good straightline speed so I knew it was going to be a hard fight today. But I managed to pick them off one by one. I was a little bit worried when the safety car came out and when the team told me that there were three laps after the safety car, I really pushed hard. But on the first lap my car was stuck in gear twice and it wasn’t until the last lap that I overtook Shigeta for P3 at Lisboa. I’m very happy, I say it to myself, I deserved it,” before proceeding to thank his team Craft Eurasia Racing for all their great work in 2012.
Having a puncture three laps from the end of the race left Jacky Yeung disappointed but the GT Master Class Champion was still smiling after the race knowing that he can celebrate a good year. “It was bad luck, just three more laps to go but it was a good race. Anyway, I will still be taking a trophy home,” laughed Yeung.
It was a good clean start to the City of Dream Macau GT Cup where the GT Asia Series drivers are taking part as their Round 11 finale at the 59th Macau Grand Prix. Edoardo Mortara in the Audi R8 LMS lost his pole to Lucas Di Grassi in the Ferrari 458 GT3 at the start but reclaimed it in an impressive overtaking manoeuvre at Lisboa Bend on the third lap.
The race was marred by one yellow flag incident when Keita Sawa misjudged a turn and ended in a wall, he managed to bring his car back to the pit but with a leak in his radiator, ending his race. On lap 5, Shim Ching also misjudged a turn ending up in the barrier at Mandarin Bend causing a 3-lap Safety Car period. The race resumed on lap 9.
After the Safety Car period, the positions at the head of the pack did not change much with the battle mostly provided by Yu, Shigeta and Hayashi, who were then fighting for eighth.
In the end, the day was much celebrated by Mortara who claimed his second consecutive Macau GT Cup win. Di Grassi who would have taken second was later reported to have jumpstart the race, being given a 60-second time added penalty, relegating him down to 17th.
This propelled Alexandre Imperatori, who had a shunt during the qualifying yesterday but his Team Starchase fixed the damaged 911 GT3 R in time for the morning race. Macau’s favourite Daniel Watts completed the podium taking his McLaren MP4-12C to third.
The GT Asia Series ends the Season with a 2012 GT Asia Series Prize Presentation party held at the Grand Hyatt, City of Dreams Macau.
words & pix: Motorsport Asia