Felix Rosenqvist had to sit out Sunday’s main race at Macau’s FIA GT World Cup event, after his Ferrari 488 GT3 was found to have sustained too extensive damage following a remarkable multi-car pile-up in Saturday’s Qualification Race.
Rosenqvist – a two-time winner of the esteemed Macau Formula 3 classic – made his first GT appearance on the Far East street track this weekend, but only managed to complete half a lap of racing before being caught up in a massive 12-car crash.
The accident occurred on the opening tour of Saturday’s Qualification Race when Spain’s Daniel Juncadella crashed at Police, one of the tightest sections of the infamous track, triggering a chain reaction that would go on to involve more than half of the 20-strong field.
Out of the 12 cars involved, six were damaged beyond repair for the finale, with Rosenqvist joined on the Sunday sidelines by Mirko Bortolotti, Tom Blomqvist, Fabian Plentz, Markus Pommer and 2016 FIA GT World Cup winner Laurens Vanthoor.
With Rosenqvist the sole Ferrari entry on the grid, a lack of spare parts ultimately meant his team Scuderia Corsa were forced to surrender hopes of on-site repairs, despite their best efforts.
“It’s a shame it would end like this, but that’s motorsport – and particularly Macau – sometimes,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “The corner where it happened is completely blind, so you can’t see if someone has crashed on the exit until it’s too late. If someone goes off there on the first lap at that, when the cars are still tightly packed, it can have devastating effects. Obviously not what I’d hoped for in my first GT race in Macau, but it was still a valuable and enjoyable experience. Hopefully I’ll be back again next year and give it another go.”
Rosenqvist had enjoyed a promising start to the weekend, setting the fourth fastest time in opening practice, just behind a trio of Mercedes cars. The Swede was running in the midfield when the accident struck in the Qualification Race.
The 2017 FIA GT World Cup title eventually landed in the hands of Mercedes GT and DTM star Edoardo Mortara.
Felix Rosenqvist now travels back to Europe to intensify preparations for the imminent 2017-18 Formula E opener in Hong Kong – not far from Macau – on December 2-3.
FIA GT World Cup
Guia Circuit, Macau (China)
1: Edoardo Mortara (CHE), Mercedes, 18 laps
2: Robin Frijns (NED), Audi, +0.618s
3: Maro Engel (GER), Mercedes, +1.357s
4: Augusto Farfus (BRA), BMW, +12.312s
5: Chaz Mostert (AUS), BMW, +13.041s
DNS: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), Ferrari