Published on November 15th, 2015 | by Subhash Nair0
GT Asia Series Regulars Dominate Macau GT Entry
Although it may not be included in the 2015 GT Asia Series calendar for the first time in five years, the entry list for the inaugural FIA GT World Cup includes a big selection of the top teams and drivers from the region’s leading GT series. Typically the Macau event has been the closing round on the GT Asia Series program, but for 2015 the decision was made to conclude the championship prior to the single driver event, providing teams the first opportunity to contest the title battle with team-mates in contention for the crown.
Just three weeks ago, local hero Darryl O’Young was crowned the 2015 GT Asia Series champion after defeating Bentley’s Keita Sawa and Adderly Fong by just four points, the Hong Kong veteran will return to Macau this weekend to lead the Craft-Bamboo Racing assault as one of three Aston Martin Vantage entries with team-mates Richard Lyons and Stefan Mucke. Also providing three entries for the GT World Cup will be 2015 GT Asia Series debutantes FFF Racing Team by ACM, with McLaren’s Alvaro Parente and Kevin Estre joined by former Macau F3 Grand Prix winner and local hero, Andre Couto. Both Couto and Parente made cameos for the team during the 2015 GT Asia Series season, Parente instrumental in the team claiming second place in Thailand, to add to their round win in Japan earlier in the season.
The three McLarens will be well supported by the FFF Racing team and their high-profile team principal, Andrea Caldarelli who will come to the Macanese event the week after concluding his SuperGT season in GT500, a series which crowned Couto the 2015 GT300 champion.
Bentley will again be present at Macau, with GT Asia Series runners-up Adderly Fong and Keita Sawa sharing a pair of Bentley Team Absolute Continental GT3s with 2015 Bentley recruit – and two-time GT Asia GTM class champion – Jacky Yeung making it a trio of Bentleys in the field. Three-time GT Asia Series champion Mok Weng Sun will return to Macau for his fifth GT event, the former series pole-sitter and race winner at the event will be representing Ferrari for Clearwater Racing, alongside former series round winner and newly crowned International GT Open runner-up Pasin Lathouras who will be looking to make amends for an early exit in 2014.
Former winners Audi will be well represented by factory stars Edoardo Mortara and René Rast, who will be joined by a trio of experienced GT Asia Series veterans, former round winners Jeffrey Lee and Marchy Lee in their new Audi R8 LMS GT3s, and experienced Macau competitor Philip Ma in his current Audi R8 LMS ultra entry. Porsche will again feature strongly, represented by a trio of drivers with GT Asia Series credentials, including reigning Le Mans 24 Hour LMP1 champion Earl Bamber, back in the LKM Racing GT3-R, the New Zealander will be joined by 2015 GT Asia GTM Class Teams Champions Gulf Racing JP, who have entered reigning Belgian GT champion Dylan Derdaele in their GT3-R. Thailand’s Vuttikhorn Inthraphuvasak will drive a third GT3-R with GT Asia veteran John Shen campaigning a fourth Porsche under the banner of long-time campaigners Modena Motorsport.
For the GT Asia Series regulars on the Guia Circuit, 2015 will present a different challenge to past years, with a second – longer – feature race added on Sunday, giving teams two opportunities to compete on the challenging 6.12-kilometre 22-turn street circuit, whilst they will also be faced with a new tyre this year, with Blancpain Series provider Pirelli making their debut as control tyre supplier for the event.