Tales from the paddock – Maro Engel: “It’s an incredible event with a special atmosphere”

21.
November 2018
Stuttgart

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport make it onto the FIA GT World Cup podium in Macau for the fifth year in succession. Maro Engel looks back on the race and the famously tight street circuit where it takes place.

  • This is what happened: Results and facts
  • News from the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams
  • Three questions for Maro Engel
  • Social media news: What’s new online?

This is what happened: Results and facts

  • FIA GT World Cup: Double podium for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in Macau – Maro Engel and Edoardo Mortara take second and third place
  • 24H Series: The BLACK FALCON driver quartet of Bret Curtis, Scott Heckert, Mike Skeen and Yelmer Buurman win the race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Three Mercedes-AMG GT3s in the Top Four

News snippets

Abu Dhabi, here we come: The Yas Marina Circuit is calling! Next weekend, the grand finale to the Formula One season will once again be hosted by the United Arab Emirates. It is the tenth running of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In each of the past four years, a Silver Arrows driver has stood on the top spot of the podium: Lewis Hamilton (2014, 2016), Nico Rosberg (2015) and Valtteri Bottas (2017). The last four pole positions also went to one or other member of the squad: twice to Nico (2014, 2015) and once each to Lewis (2016) and Valtteri (2017). With ten victories so far this season, Lewis has won more races than any other driver. In Abu Dhabi, he is looking for win number eleven at the wheel of the W09. His team-mate, Valtteri, will be equally determined to claim his first victory of the season in Abu Dhabi. But neither will have an easy time of it, given the strength of the opposition.

Double podium at the FIA GT World Cup in Macau: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport enjoyed yet another successful end to the GT season in the 65th Macau Grand Prix. Maro Engel (GER), winner in 2014 and 2015, was race runner-up on Sunday, his fifth successive Top Three finish in the urban canyons of Macau. Last year’s winner, Edoardo Mortara (SUI), joined him on the podium in third place. After securing pole position and P2 in the qualifying race, Raffaele Marciello in the number 999 Mercedes-AMG GT3 had to settle for ninth place. All three of the Affalterbach-built cars were fielded by Mercedes-AMG team GruppeM Racing. Since 2015, when the road race was staged for the first time as the FIA GT World Cup, Mercedes-AMG drivers have featured in the Top Three every year. This year’s double podium follows victories in 2015 and 2017 and a P3 in 2016. When added together, they make Mercedes-AMG the most successful brand in the prestigious FIA GT World Cup.

Victory and championship in the 24H Series: The final weekend of the 2018 24H Series also had a happy ending for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport: overall victory, a one-two finish in the A6-Am class and yet another championship success. At the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Bret Curtis, Scott Heckert, Mike Skeen (all USA) and Yelmer Buurman (NED) steered the number 3 BLACK FALCON Mercedes-AMG GT3 to first place at the end of the two-leg 24-hour race. Taking third place overall and victory in the A6-Am classification were PROsport Performance drivers Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub, Joe Foster (all USA) and Adam Christodoulou (GBR). This was enough for them to clinch the runner-up spot in the drivers’ classification of the Championship of the Continents, at the same time claiming the team championships in both the general and the A6-Am classifications. Contributing to an excellent all-round result for the brand in Austin were Alexandre Coigny, Richard Feller (both SUI) and Antonin Borga (FRA) of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing team SPS automotive-performance in fourth place and second in the A6-Am class. In the GT4 classification, there was another second place for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 of RENNtech Motorsports driven by Chapman Ducote, David Ducote, Wayne Ducote (all USA) and Kyle Marcelli (CAN). The 24H Series returns for its 2019 season with the 24 Hours of Dubai on the weekend of 10th ‑  12th January.

Victory for Mercedes-AMG GT3 in Brazil: There was yet another win to celebrate in the Campeonato Brasileiro de Endurance. Starting from fifth on the grid at Taruma, Xandy and Xandinho Negrao (both BRA) in the number 9 Mercedes-AMG GT3 battled their way through to eventually leave the rest of the field trailing at the end of the three-hour race. The father-son duo finish the season as runners-up with a record of four class victories, a P2 and a P3.

Three questions for Maro Engel

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport celebrated a double podium in the FIA GT World Cup which took place within the framework of the Macau Grand Prix weekend. The number 888 Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Maro Engel (GER) finished second ahead of last year’s winner Edoardo Mortara (SUI) in P3 in a hotly contested GT3 race. Mercedes-AMG Motorsport drivers have now featured on the podium of the prestigious race in Macau for the fifth year in succession.

Maro, the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport success story in Macau is closely intertwined with your own. Since 2014, you have made it onto the podium in Macau five times as a driver for the Affalterbach-based marque, twice as the winner. So, what is the secret of this success?

Maro Engel: Being in contention for the win in Macau over such a span of years is a major achievement for Mercedes-AMG as a brand and for me too – one that we can be proud of. It’s down to a combination of factors – a competitive car, a well-organised crew with the right engineers and having the team behind the team. Also, the scope you have with the right setup to drive the car at the absolute limit. We have done very well in recent years, including this one.

Ultimately, you weren’t able to make it a third victory for yourself and a fourth for Mercedes-AMG. How satisfied are you with the runner-up trophy?

Maro Engel: First of all, congratulations to Augusto Farfus, to Team Schnitzer and Charly Lamm and to BMW on their win. They did a great job and were just that tiny bit faster. We had the better pace in the main race, especially in the second half, and I managed to put Augusto under pressure. But in those few parts of the Macau track where you can actually overtake, it wasn’t quite possible to get close enough for a controlled passing manoeuvre. We set out to win the race and I tried my very best. But anyway, this double podium for second and third place, the pole position booked by Raffaele in qualifying and the fastest lap in the main race is yet another great achievement for Mercedes-AMG and is confirmation of a strong team performance. We can be very happy with the result.

It was your sixth GT start in Macau. Is there anything new for you to discover about this race?

Maro Engel: Yes, definitely. It’s an incredible event with a special atmosphere. Every year, the best teams, manufacturers and drivers come to Macau to compete. The performance level was again extremely high this year, even though there were fewer cars at the start. And then, of course, with it being a street circuit, there are changes every year that you have to adjust to. For example, in Turn Three – the Lisboa – the kerb has been modified. That has changed the radius of the curve and so you were able to drive on the kerb, unlike in previous years. There are so many little things that make the race a challenge every year and which you have to adapt to in minimum time. I’m already looking forward to next year when we will once again be in full attack mode!

Social Media News

#HiFive: Winning five world championship doubles in a row is far from easy. But it’s something the entire team can feel proud of – and celebrate...

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKAMI7dyxO0

#PurePitWall: How was the title won at Interlagos? James Vowles answers fan questions about the Brazilian Grand Prix, including why we brought Lewis in earlier than our opponents and how it feels to have sealed the constructors’ title with the win in Sao Paulo...

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_t8Ir1VBbk

#GTWorldCup: We look back on a thrilling FIA GT World Cup last weekend in Macau. Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing came away from an eventful race with a double podium for Maro Engel and Edoardo Mortara. Raffaele Marciello also finished in the Top Ten.

Watch video: www.facebook.com/MercedesAMGCustomerRacing/videos/2162267670707279/

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    Tales from the paddock – Maro Engel
    Tales from the paddock – Maro Engel
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