ROWE RACING celebrates end of season with debut at the FIA GT World Cup on the streets of Macau
Team, driver Nick Catsburg and BMW M6 GT3 in action on the legendary street circuit for the first time / Fierce competition in the Chinese gambler’s paradise
ROWE RACING will celebrate the end of a successful 2016 and their first season in partnership with BMW Motorsport with a captivating first. Contesting the FIA GT World Cup in the former Portuguese colony of Macau in southern China (17th – 20th November) is both a highlight and a challenge for the team from St. Ingbert. This will also be the first ever start on the notorious street circuit in the Chinese gambler’s paradise for Dutchman Nick Catsburg, who will take the wheel of the BMW M6 GT3 with #9.
The Circuito da Guia, which is a 6.120-kilometre asphalt strip between crash barriers, just seven metres wide at the narrowest point of the track, with a total of 22 turns and countless bumps. There are hardly any opportunities to overtake, and the heat and high humidity make life difficult for the drivers and mechanics alike.
And the competition is top-class. A total of 23 drivers from 16 nations will line up at the iconic race, which was awarded the World Cup status last year by the international automobile association, the FIA. Cars of seven different brands will compete. ROWE RACING and Nick Catsburg will have to face defending champion Maro Engel, this year’s winner of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, DTM runner-up Edoardo Mortara of Italy, and New Zealand’s Earl Bamber, 2015 winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Qualifying will be held on Friday (18th November) from 7:55 a.m. to 8:25 a.m. CET. Then on Saturday (19th November) there will be a 12-lap qualifying race at 5:10 a.m. (CET). The 18-lap race (110.160 km) will be held on Sunday (20th November) starting at 5:55 a.m. (CET). You can follow all of the action in Macau online via the live streams on the FIA home page (http://www.fia.com/macau-grand-prix-live-stream) or the organizer’s home page (http://www.macau.grandprix.gov.mo/gp/63/live/index.php?lang=en).
In addition to the GT race, the 63rd edition of the famous Macau GP for Formula 3 cars will also be held in Macau. BMW works driver Alexander Sims of Great Britain, who was in action as a regular driver for ROWE RACING this season and played a large part in the victory at the 24 Hours of Spa, will compete once again after finishing in third place last year. The list of winners of the Formula 3 race includes famous names such as Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.
Nick Catsburg: “Macau is going to be a big challenge for me. It will be my first time on the track, which is obviously a quite unique track. Also, the team and car will be here for the first time so we really are starting from zero. I did some preparation on the simulator to at least learn where the track goes left and right. I expect it to be quite hard for us, the competition is strong and has experience. The heat will also play a factor; with high humidity it gets quite hot for us drivers in the car. But I am very much looking forward to this race and would like to thank Rowe Racing and BMW Motorsport for giving me this opportunity.”
ROWE RACING team principal Hans-Peter Naundorf: “Our final event of the year is another absolute highlight, and we are really looking forward to our debut in the FIA GT World Cup. Road races are always something very special in today’s motorsport circus since they are actually relics of an earlier time, like in Monaco or here in Macau. The set-up for a track like this is very different from for standard racetracks, experience is also important, which we still need to gain. But to be successful you have to make it to the finish line, which on a track this narrow that punishes even the smallest of errors is a real challenge. In the end, it might not be the best driver, best car or best set-up that wins, rather the best overall package.”