Top-10 finish for Absolute Racing Porsches at Macau
After posting the quickest time in the free practice session on Friday, Macau debutant Matteo Cairolli placed the Tsingtao-liveried No. 120 Porsche 911 GT3 R in 11th place in the grid for Saturday, sharing the sixth row with teammate Alessio Picariello.
Saturday’s Qualification Race highlighted the marque’s top speed difficulties, and Matteo Cairolli was eliminated in the opening lap at the São Francisco corner. The Luanzhou International Circuit-sponsored car of Alessio Picariello crossed the finish line in 11th.
In a street circuit where overtaking is extremely difficult, Alessio Picariello impressively gained three positions to finish eighth in his Absolute Racing-run #15 car, while Matteo Cairolli drove from the last row of the grid to 11th place at the flag.
Fabien Fior (Absolute Racing): "Our team and our drivers did their best this weekend, but things didn't always go our way. An eighth and an eleventh place are still a good result, considering that this is the most challenging GT3 sprint race in the world and Matteo had to start from the back of the grid today."
Matteo Cairoli (#120 Tsingtao Absolute Racing): “I’m happy to have finished the race today, just outside the top-10, which is great considering where we started. Of course I wanted more, the car was tricky to drive in some scenarios but I managed to stay out of trouble. The team did a great job adjusting the set-up so a huge thanks to them. Unfortunately you need to start at the front to get a result here, but I’m pleased to have experienced Macau for the first time, and to have driven this incredible track in such a competitive field.”
Alessio Picariello (#15 Luanzhou International Circuit): “Macau is over, the car is in one piece so that’s the first positive thing. It’s such an intense weekend, with a short amount of practice time. Setbacks are difficult to recover from and we had a few issues in FP1, so we were playing catch up from then on. Qualifying didn’t go as planned and we made a few mistakes, but the race went well, I felt good in the car and had solid pace. However, once you start further back in a race like this with so many top drivers, it’s very difficult to overtake. I’m happy with the way the weekend went for me, I think we maximised our performance with what we had and I’m looking forward to coming back and fighting closer to the front.”