On Saturday at the 68th Macau Grand Prix saw major drama in the Macau GT Cup warm-up session, Ya Qi Zhang’s Audi R8 LMS had a huge impact with the barriers, the Chinese rider suffering from several broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
Ya Qi Zhang survived this horrific accident in the Warm Up of the Sands China Macau GT Cup with three broken ribs, a collapsed lung and other chest injuries. It’s amazing that Zhang didn’t suffer any leg or back injuries and it shows the safety of the Audi R8 LMS.#MacaoGP pic.twitter.com/HVOfJ8C259
– Vincent Bruins (@VincentJBruins) 20 November 2021
Saturday – Race 1
Ye Hong Li won a shortened first race for the Sands China Macau GT Cup, which started near sunset after the barriers were repaired after the previous incident for Ya Qi Zhang, however the race ended with another spectacular accident, this time for frontman Darryl O ‘Jeune.
Ye, the reigning Macau GT Cup winner, was undisturbed during the five laps in his Porsche TORO Racing. He got off to a good start from pole position and was able to keep Craft Bamboo Racing Mercedes driver O’Young at arm’s length as he appeared to be heading for victory.
The victory came sooner than expected when O’Young ran into oil en route to Lisbon.
After 4 laps a Lamborghini had an engine failure and with smoke billowing from the rear of the car there was a significant amount of oil on the tarmac. O’Young approached the site of the stuck car, but was unaware of the slippery track. He braked as he approached Lisboa Bend and the Mercedes-AMG GT3 got out of hand. Losing the rear, O’Young went straight into the barrier, narrowly missing the affected Lamborghini and stopping, immediately raising a red flag.
With daylight failing, authorities quickly determined it would not be restarted.
This sealed Ye’s victory, while O’Young was placed second due to a tally to the previous round.
That means he’ll share the front row with Ye tomorrow if his Mercedes can be fixed overnight.
“My goal is always to finish the race,” said Ye. “I really like this circuit. This is my third year and I still enjoy it very much.
“Tomorrow I hope we can do all the laps and enjoy the race.”
O’Young, meanwhile, explained his fall, “I didn’t expect the slippery surface there. I saw that the car was stopped there. I guess there was oil coming out.
“It’s obviously not a good way to end the race. In the qualifying race, we always try to keep it clean. It’s quite disappointing, I hope the team can fix the car. I’m sure they will do their best, we’ll just have to see what the damage is.
Alex Imperatori was third at the start of the race, but the Meidong Racing Porsche driver stopped unexpectedly at the end of the second lap.
Luo Kai Luo (TORO Racing Mercedes) then took third place, a position he held until the call to the race.
Fourth place goes to Chen Wei An (Harmony Racing Audi) ahead of Marchy Lee Ying Kin and David Pun Kwan Lum, duo Uno Racing Team Aston Martin.
Min Heng (TORO Racing Mercedes) finished seventh, followed by Billy Lo Kai Fung (ZUVER Audi), Lu Zhi Wei (TKR Audi) and Lin Nan (TORO Racing Mercedes).
Imperatori returned to the track a lap behind and would start Sunday’s main race from 14th place.
Macao GT Cup Race 1
Darryl O’Young made a remarkable turnaround after his fall on Saturday to win this year’s Sands China Macau GT Cup crown.
The Craft-Bamboo Racing rider appeared to have seen his hopes for a second Macao GT triumph dashed yesterday with a spectacular finish to the opening race. In second position, he slipped on the oil left by a wrecked car on his way to Lisbon and smashed his Mercedes heavily against the wall.
The ensuing red flag meant he was placed second in Race 1, but getting to the grid in Race 2 required a huge overnight repair effort from the Craft-Bamboo crew.
O’Young paid them off in style with a win in today’s 12-round final.
He secured the win by jumping over polesiteur Ye Hong Li (TORO Racing Porsche) at the start, with the track position proving critical as he kept the defending Macau GT Cup winner behind.
O’Young was given a temporary reprieve when the safety car was called up on lap 8, although he then faced his toughest test of the race when he went green on a lap of the arrival.
He lived up to this test, however, O’Young pushed Ye away to add to his 2008 Macau GT Cup crown.
He becomes only the fourth multiple winner of the Macao GT Cup (with Keita Sawa, Edoardo Mortara and Maro Engel) and just the second, with Mortara, to win it in different car brands.
“I’m at a loss for words, to be honest,” O’Young said. “We arrived on the grid with 10 seconds to go. If they opened the door and I didn’t, I walked out [of the race]. Literally 10 seconds before you reassemble the car. The guys worked all night. This victory is for them.
“The car is still quite damaged, the chassis is twisted. I’m sure the guys behind could see I was in a lot of trouble. I just tried to control the race. On the hills I didn’t push very hard to try to save my tires and at the bottom I tried to push harder where they could attack me.
“That’s how I ran my race. Maybe the safety car saved me a bit today.
Ye agreed that O’Young suffered damage during the race, complaining about the oil coming from the damaged Mercedes.
“Kudos to Darryl he did a decent job,” Ye said. “The point is, the whole race his oil kept spraying on my screen. I didn’t see anything towards the end of the race. And also my tires were covered with oil.
“But I enjoyed the fight with Darryl. He was defending very hard and it’s also very difficult to overtake here, there is no space at all.
Luo Kai Luo was a constant threat throughout the race in his Mercedes TORO Racing, passing the race under the rear wing of his teammate as he claimed a well-deserved third place.
Chen Wei An (Harmony Racing Audi) was also in the lead for the first eight laps before falling back with a puncture. This elevated the Uno Racing Team Aston Martin pair of Marchy Lee Ying Kin and David Pun Kwan Lum to fourth and fifth places.
Lin Nan (TORO Racing Mercedes) finished sixth ahead of Liu Qi Ren (Parkview Motor Lamborghini), Lu Zhi Wei (TKR Audi), Wong Kwai Wah (SON VENG Racing Team BMW) and Brian Lai Chun Kit (Parkview Motor Lamborghini).
Alexandre Imperatori, meanwhile, made decent progress shortly after his problem in yesterday’s race, but apparently was once again hit by technical issues in his Porsche Meidong Racing and had to make an unexpected stop. . He placed 12th.
Macau GT Cup Course 2