Laurens Vanthoor, and his Audi R8 LMS, were leading the FIA GT World Cup race at Macau after starting from pole position when a crash at Fisherman’s Bend, by BMW driver Ricky Capo, brought out a safety car and a red flag while workers repaired damage to the safety fence caused by that crash. As the race restarted, with very little time remaining (just 18 minutes), Porsche’s Earl Bamber managed to draft past Vanthoor on the way toward Mandarin Bend. Not wanting to give up the lead, Vanthoor chased Bamber into the corner, clipping the curb on his way, ultimately causing his Audi to flip onto its roof in a massive crash. This brought out the red flags yet again. Now, with only four minutes of the time remaining, race officials decided not to restart the race. It appeared as if Bamber was the winner and Porsche’s Kevin Estre would finish in second place.
Here’s Where Things Get Real Strange
Had things gone as planned, the race would have run 18 scheduled laps. As it was, due to the first lengthy red flag less than two competitive laps were completed in total. With the 2nd and final red flag cutting both the last lap, and the race, short, officials decided to declare the winner based on the previous lap. This decision put Vanthoor on top of the podium and gave Audi the Manufacturer’s title for the series. Adding insult to injury, Bamber was assessed a 5-second penalty for what officials said was a bad pass at the start of the race. In the end this put Bamber in 4th place. Needless to say, neither Porsche or Bamber were happy with the decisions or the results. Porsche had this to say in their after race-report.
When the race for the FIA GT World Cup in Macau was stopped and not restarted, the New Zealander Earl Bamber was in the lead at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 R. However, the stewards of the meeting awarded the prestigious win on the legendary city circuit in the former Portuguese colony to Belgium’s Laurens Vanthoor – the very driver who had just been overtaken by the Porsche in a sensational maneuver, and had caused the race to be called off after his serious accident. Second place went to Kévin Estre (France) in the second 911 GT3 R. Earl Bamber, who was handed a five-second penalty after the start, was classified fourth.
Speaking about the accident to Motorsport.com, Vanthoor openly admitted the accident was his fault.
“I was very surprised because we did some restarts before and I was able to keep the gap to Mandarin,” he said. “I was surprised by the speed he [Bamber] was flying by all the sudden, and he could turn in before Mandarin.”
Official Race Results FIA GT World Cup
1. Laurens Vanthoor (B), Audi R8, 12:21.870 minutes
2. Kévin Estre (F), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 3,500 second
3. Maro Engel (D), Mercedes GT3, + 5.605
4. Earl Bamber (NZ), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 6.878
5. Adderly Fong (HK), Bentley, + 7.365
6. Renger van der Zande (NL), Mercedes GT3, + 10.492
7. Nicky Catsburg (NL), BMW M6, + 12.508
8. Fabian Plentz (D), Audi R8, + 14.486