If in soccer the World Cup occurs every four years, in motorsport the World Cup is a yearly event since 2015, as the FIA GT World Cup will return to Macau with 24 entries confirmed at the moment and the return of some of the aces of the Guia Circuit.
Although numbers are good and we will see eight different manufacturers in the field, the number of representatives that will fight for the Manufacturer’s Cup is really small, as Mercedes with its Driving Academy team, Lamborghini with FFF Racing, Audi with the powerful Team WRT and Porsche with Manthey Racing will be the ones in the game.
Mercedes’ bet is to replicate the success achieved last year, with current champion Maro Engel returning with Renger van der Zande in the pair of AMG GT3 models. Audi kept Edoardo Mortara in the lineup but brought Blancpain GT ace Laurens Vanthoor to drive the second R8 LMS, putting them as Mercedes’ main opposition.
FFF Racing switched manufacturers compared to 2015, leaving McLaren to come with Lamborghini, and with the change their lineup also suffered a change, as factory driver Mirko Bortolotti will be the new team mate of André Couto in the streets of Macau.
Instead of the three teams nominated last year, Porsche concentrated everything in Manthey Racing, the main representative of the German manufacturer, coming with a pair of 997 GT3R models for former McLaren GT driver Kévin Estre and for the return of Earl Bamber to Macau after average results last year with LKM Racing.
Nissan, BMW, Bentley and Ferrari will have their entries in the FIA GT World Cup, but they will not be nominated to compete for the Manufacturer’s Cup, although we can see some interesting things in the teams that compete with these brands.
The Ferrari 488 GT3 will make its Macau debut with two strong Asian representatives, as Spirit of Race will have a machine for Pasin Lathouras while HubAuto Racing and Hiroki Yoshimoto come from the Japanese Super Taikyuu championship to the FIA GT World Cup. Bentley and BMW will feature single car teams of Absolute Racing with Adderly Fong and ROWE Racing with multitask driver Nicky Catsburg.
The other entries feature known names in Asia like CRAFT-Bamboo Racing, GruppeM Racing, Audi Hong Kong and Phoenix Racing, not nominated by their manufacturers despite close relationship in the Asian region, and also local teams looking for an opportunity to shine.
The FIA GT World Cup will occur on November 17th to 20th, with a 12-lap qualifying race and an 18-lap main race to determine the champion. The current entry list can be seen below.
PHOTOS: FIA GT World Cup, FIA