Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing completes a challenging but rewarding weekend which saw Mercedes-AMG factory driver Edoardo Mortara in the #77 entry sponsored by Tsingtao fight through the field from 14th on the grid to finish 6th. An incredible feat considering that the car was hit from behind and damaged heavily in the Qualification Race on Saturday.
In the sister Evisu-sponsored #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Macau debutant and Belgian young talent Alessio Picariello demonstrated exceptional abilities on this demanding street circuit, improving with every session and ran as high as P6 in the main race. However whilst defending against a BMW behind, he outbraked himself and had contact with the wall, forcing him to retire.
#77 Mercedes-AMG GT3 supported by Tsingtao | Edoardo Mortara Started P14, Finished P6 Despite being taken out in the Qualification Race on Saturday, Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing managed to fix the heavy damage overnight and Edoardo Mortara started the main event of the 2019 FIA GT World Cup from P14. Mortara got an excellent start, placing his car perfectly and gained 5 positions on the opening lap. Continuing his momentum forward, he managed to pass yet another car on the next lap, and was up to P7 before the safety car was called due to a crash up ahead.
When the race resumed with 10 laps to go, Mortara kept his head down and continued to push to make progress up the order. He ducked and dived and applied pressure for the remainder of his stint, but on the narrow street circuit, passing opportunities are scarce. Mortara eventually crossed the line in 6th position after an exceptional drive through the field.
#88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 supported by Evisu| Alessio Picariello Started P12, Did Not Finish
Starting P12, Alessio Picariello knew he had work to do, and at the start got his elbows out, seizing several opportunities and moved up 4 positions on the opening lap. On the following lap, great reactions from the young Belgian meant he avoided a crash when a car went off in front, and gained another position. Two laps later, Picariello gained yet another position when there was a heavy crash at the fast Mandarin bend.
A safety car period followed, and Picariello was in the hunt to move up the field. The race resumed with 10 laps to go, but at the restart, Picariello braked slightly too late going into the turn 3 and nosed into the tyre wall. Picariello managed to recover and resumed in P13, but the damage meant that he was unable to recover the pace and retired from the race.
Darryl O’Young | Director of Craft-Bamboo Racing “What an amazing start by both drivers, from 12th and 14th and by the first few laps they were up in the top ten positions. Edoardo did a great job all race and crossed the line in 6th, an exceptional drive from 14th on the grid. It was a shame about Alessio’s result and I’m sure he’ll be kicking himself about it after running as high as P6. But he did a great job this weekend and his performance was on par with some of the best drivers in the world so he definitely deserved to be here. I’d also like to mention the all-nighter that the team did to fix the #77 car after the big crash on Saturday’s race, the team did an incredible job all weekend with every aspect, and we will come back stronger next year.”
Edoardo Mortara | Driver #77 Mercedes-AMG GT3 “The race was positive for sure, we started from 14th and to finish 6th was great. Ultimately we didn’t have the pace and were lacking a bit of straight-line speed so that made it tough. Unfortunately the result was below expectations but It is how it is. I’d like to thank the team for the great effort to rebuild the car overnight to make it possible for me to race today. It was also great to work with Tsingtao, to receive this level of support here feels incredible and it is always special to race in Macau.”
Alessio Picariello | Driver #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 “I had a great start and it was really fun working with Edoardo fighting through the field. I had good pace in the beginning but midway through the race I experienced a drop off in performance from the tyres. I suddenly found myself on the limit everywhere and was struggling. After the safety car ended I was not able to stop the car for turn 3, and went into the wall. I was able to continue but the damage meant that I couldn’t make any progress forward and retired. I’d like to thank Craft-Bamboo Racing and Evisu for making this happen, it was always a dream and hopefully I can be back next year for another shot.”