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Marciello grabs last gasp pole Macau

Written by  Nov 16, 2018

Raffaele Marciello pulled off a brilliant last-gasp lap in qualifying on Friday to take pole position for the SJM Macau GT Cup – FIA GT World Cup Qualification Race.

The Italian had endured a frustrating time in practice with limited running, but managed to pull off a near-perfect final lap in qualifying to deny BMW rival Augusto Farfus Jr. the top spot in the final seconds of the session.

“It has been a difficult weekend for us until now,” said Mercedes driver Marciello. “I did only three laps in FP2 so qualifying was more or less my first time out on track. But I felt immediately the car was really good.”

Farfus had been locked in an incredibly close fight for the top spot throughout the 30-minute qualifying session. His best lap, delivered with less than three minutes remaining, had put him briefly at the top of the standings – just 0.065 seconds clear of Mercedes rival Maro Engel.

The Brazilian admitted that it had been disappointing to then find out that Marciello had bettered him right at the end.

“We managed to improve the car and I did the best I could: there was nothing left,” he said. “The lap was an extremely clean one and an extremely fast one, but P2 is still good. I am excited for the race tomorrow.”

Engel ended up third after an ultra-close battle with Mercedes teammate Edoardo Mortara. Although Mortara completed a run of several quick laps at the end of the session, he found himself still 0.009 seconds adrift of Engel. Behind the Swiss driver were Porsche duo Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor.

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