Joel Eriksson has arrived in the Asian gambling metropolis of Macau for the 2019 edition of the FIA GT World Cup, staged on November 14-17 on the city’s iconic Guia street circuit.
While not a newcomer to the Macau Grand Prix itself, having contested the event’s prestigious Formula 3 race three times and finishing runner-up in 2018, Eriksson is braced for a new challenge within the tight confines of the former Portuguese colony this weekend as he prepares for his first taste of the track in GT machinery.
“I’m extremely keen to get out there and experience this new challenge first hand in the FIA GT World Cup,” says Joel Eriksson. “I just love Macau and have had a successful history here in F3, putting it on pole in 2017 and finishing second last year, so I really enjoy pushing the limits around these streets. It’s the most difficult and rewarding track in the world and I can’t wait to take it on in this new capacity with a roof over my head!”
Following his Macau success in Formula 3, 21-year-old Eriksson was drafted into regular DTM employer BMW’s FIA GT World Cup assault for the Chinese street event this year. Eriksson is set to drive one of two BMW M6 GT3s entered in the race, competing for FIST-Team AAI, with the second car being driven by 2018 winner Augusto Farfus and fielded by BMW Team Schnitzer.
Close friends off the track, the BMW duo will be up against stiff competition in the quest for Macau glory. The entry list boasts no fewer than four previous FIA GT World Cup winners where, apart from Farfus, Mercedes racers Edoardo Mortara and Maro Engel, as well as Porsche’s Laurens Vanthoor, have each previously triumphed in the prestigious GT world finale.
The pre-event favourites also include the likes of 2018 pole-setter Raffaele Marciello (Mercedes) and Porsche factory stars Kevin Estré and Earl Bamber.
All in all, 17 cars from four manufacturers – BMW, Audi, Porsche and Mercedes – are set to battle it out in the FIA GT World Cup this week.
Joel Eriksson’s BMW M6 GT3 carries start number 91.
“The competition will be fierce,” Joel Eriksson continues. “I’m one of the few who haven’t driven a GT car in Macau before, and I will obviously need some laps to adapt. It will be crucial to rack up the laps in practice and stay out of trouble. It’s better to take it step by step, building the confidence in time for qualifying and then take it from there in the races. It will be a massive challenge, but I’m ready and will give it my all.”
The 2019 FIA GT World Cup gets underway with 30 minutes of free practice on Thursday. Friday’s schedule contains a second practice session, followed by timed qualifying in which the grid for Saturday’s 12-lap Qualification Race will be set.
The winner of the Qualification Race then lines up on pole for Sunday’s all-important 18-lap finale, in which the 2019 FIA GT World Cup is ultimately disputed.
Live streaming from the Macau Grand Prix FIA GT World Cup will be made available at www.joelerikssonracing.com throughout the weekend.
FIA GT World Cup | Macau Grand Prix
Guia Circuit (Macau)
All times local (GMT+08:00)
Thursday 14 November
Free Practice 1: 12.35-13.05
Friday 15 November
Free Practice 2: 12.30-13.00
Saturday 16 November
Qualification Race (12 laps): 13.05
Sunday 17 November
Race – finale (18 laps): 12.25