In Asia’s gambling paradise Absolute Racing got a double dose of bad luck at the FIA GT World Cup. The two Porsche 911 GT3 R sponsored by Spark and driven by Kévin Estre (France) and Alexandre Imperatori (Switzerland) retired early at Circuito da Guia in Macau.
It all begun on Friday. The reigning World Sports Car Champion Estre experienced a difficult qualifying session on the fast street circuit in the former Portuguese colony. The Frenchman, whose Porsche 911 GT3 R sustained damages in an accident during the second free practice, could only rejoin the action at a later stage after extensive repairs. He posted the 14th fastest lap. His teammate, Imperatori, a former Macau GT Cup podium finisher, secured a respectable starting spot with ninth place.
The Qualifying Race was punctuated by accidents and safety car phases, took place on Saturday. Estre put in a spirited charge in the No. 912 car. After an accident during practice which required the engine to be swapped out, the Frenchman had to start from the last grid position and made up nine positions over the course of the race. His teammate Imperatori put in a flawless drive to finish on sixth.
Bad luck plagued the Absolute Racing team on Sunday’s FIA GT World Cup main race. During a spirited chase through the field, Estre crashed into the barrier in the fast Mandarin corner in the fourth lap and had to retire.
At the same time, his teammate Imperatori was also forced to retire as a result of damage after the two made contact with their 911 GT3 R at Lisboa Bend. Until their early retirement, the pair had put in a strong drive with thrilling duels.
Fabien Fior (Team Manager): “That was not the end to the weekend we wanted. The pace was there and we had a strong package here, but it just wasn’t our day. That is Macau. We will be back stronger.”
Alexandre Imperatori (#911Porsche 911 GT3 R): “Unfortunately our race was over early. Kévin touched the rear of my car while overtaking in the Lisboa turn and I hit the barriers on the left. The rear of the car was damaged. I tried for another two laps but I lost a lot of time in the fast corners. It simply didn’t make sense to continue so I had to park the car. It’s a shame, but that’s how it is in Macau: all or nothing. This time it was nothing.”
Kévin Estre (#912 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “My start was good and I managed to make up one position. I was then behind my teammate Alex. Unfortunately there was a misunderstanding and our cars made contact while overtaking. My car was fast and I wanted to get ahead. I took a big risk and I overdid it slightly in the Mandarin corner: I hit the inside of the kerb, veered too wide and landed in the barrier – and that was the end.”
#911 Absolute Racing
Qualifying Race: P6
Main Race: DNF
#912 Absolute Racing
Race 1: P8
Race 2: DNF
Pictures courtesy of Porsche AG
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