Raffaele Marciello took a commanding victory in Sunday's FIA GT World Cup decider on the streets of Macau to give Mercedes-AMG a third win from five runnings of the showpiece event.
Driving for GruppeM Racing, the 2018 Blancpain GT Series champion swept all of the sessions that mattered by securing pole position and then taking victory in both the qualification and main races.
He was shadowed throughout by the Porsche 911 GT3 R entries of ROWE Racing. Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber were Marciello's biggest challengers in each race, the Belgian ultimately finishing as runner-up in the decider after both had launched attacks on the Mercedes-AMG.
Vanthoor finished 3.8 seconds behind Marciello, with Bamber taking the final spot on the podium. 2018 FIA GT World Cup winner Augusto Farfus was fourth, capping a strong comeback after qualifying 12th
Marciello said afterwards: “I would like to thank GruppeM Racing for the amazing car and also Mercedes-AMG. Porsche have been really close the whole weekend so I am really happy that we finally won!
"I have always been really close to winning this race from Formula 3 when I was on pole and last year in GT, but Macau is always Macau and it’s really special to make it all perfect and finally I did. It is just an amazing feeling – to win this it also means I can be regarded as one of the best!”
Blancpain GT Seires veteran Christopher Haase also ran well, taking fifth in his Pheonix Racing Audi, while Dries Vanthoor (WRT Audi), Maro Engel (GruppeM Mercedes-AMG) and Kelvin van der Linde (Rutronik Audi) also finished among the top-10.
The majority of the FIA GT World Cup field will now travel to South Africa for the season-ending Intercontinental GT Challenge event at Kyalami.
Main image courtesy of www.FIA.com