The first FIA GT World Cup experience ended with an eleventh place finish for Matteo Cairoli, as he took on the challenge of one of the most prestigious Gran Turismo racing events, which went underway on the Guia Circuit in Macau between November 17th-19th. The driver from Como immediately showed a great pace on a very challenging track at the wheel of Absolute Racing’s Porsche 992; Cairoli was in fact the fastest in the second free practice session with a lap of 2:15.532, the quickest of the day. During the qualifying round he placed himself eleventh, after a strategy decision – of opting for new tires before his rivals – didn’t pay off as it was supposed to due to a red flag which stopped the whole session. Then, the qualifying race wasn’t really nice to him: Cairoli had a great start, but was caught in a crash with Thomas Preining’s Porsche at the Lisboa turn, and was forced to retire early as he was pushed into Turn 4’s barriers by Hongli Ye. Therefore, the driver from Como had to make up a lot of positions in the 16-lap race, starting from the last row of the grid; thanks to a pretty good start and an amazing race pace he was able to gain more and more time to finish 11th at his first FIA GT World Cup race, right outside of the top 10.
“Despite the result wasn’t the best, it was an incredible experience. We were really unlucky in the qualifying race and it’s a shame that we had to retire after a contact with another Porsche. On the other hand, during the main race everything went well, and we managed to make up a lot of positions, which proves how great our pace was. I want tho thank Absolute Racing and Porsche for giving me this opportunity: it also was Tsingtao’s 120th anniversary and to be able to defend its colors in such a prestigious race was an honor. Racing here in Macau was really special and I hope I can come back in the future.”