Erebus Motorsport and AMG China played host to a rare gathering of motorsport icons at the 60th Macau Grand Prix which doubled as the City of Dreams Macau GT Cup.
Double Formula 1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen was joined by five times DTM Champion, FIA GT Champion and winner of the 2013 FIA GT3 ‘Grand Slam’ Bernd Schneider and winner of the 1989 Macau Grand Prix, David Brabham.
All three have driven for Australian AMG Customer Sports team Erebus Motorsport this year either in its pair of SLS AMG GT3s or in the case of Brabham, the team’s E63 AMG V8 Supercar on the Gold Coast.
Ironically, the year following Brabham’s victory – the last Australian to have won the time honoured Formula 3 event – one of the most endearing incidents in the history of the Macau Grand Prix took place involving Hakkinen.
He and Michael Schumacher were running nose to tail on the final lap when Hakkinen went to pass, the pair colliding and Hakkinen crashing out of contention, leaving Schumacher to take victory.
Thus began one of the most enduring rivalries in world motorsport history.
German Touring Car icon, Schneider, competed on the amazing Guia street circuit in the early 1990s as part of a DTM (German Touring Car Championship) event in support to the Formula 3 race.
He was in Macau in 2013 to play a guiding hand to Erebus Motorsport’s young drivers in the City of Dreams Macau GT Cup, Maro Engel and Renger van der Zande in his role as ambassador to AMG and AMG Customer Sports.
Schneider – who in 2013 has won the Dubai 24 Hour, Bathurst 12 Hour, Nurburgring 24 Hour and Spa 24 Hour in an SLS AMG GT3 - will also take part in a special event later this week on the Chinese mainland.
Le Mans 24 Hour Champion, Brabham was competing in a special Masters event at Macau which included many of the past Masters of the Macau Grand Prix Circuit.
Schneider began Erebus Motorsport’s string of 10 consecutive victories for the AMG Customer Sports program in December last year in the Sydney round of the Australian GT Championships, before continuing that at the Bathurst 12 Hour when he teamed up with Thomas Jager and Alexander Roloff for a memorable win.
Hakkinen teamed up with young Chinese driver, Matthew Solomon to win the ninth round of the 2013 GT Asia Series in Zhuhai in October. It was his first win since 2007 and his first in the SLS AMG GT3.More recently, Brabham was drafted into Erebus Motorsport’s E63 AMG V8 Supercar program to team up with Tim Slade at the Gold Coast 600.
27-year-old German ace Engel started the 12-lap City of Dreams Macau GT Cup on pole position after setting a blistering lap record during Saturday’s qualifying. He was unable to finish though, when after establishing a two second lead, his tyre deflated from collecting debris from the myriad of incidents during the race.
28-year-old livewire Dutchman van der Zande was pushing for much of the second part of the race to make it a win for Erebus Motorsport and AMG Customer Sports, until an exciting period of the race took place and he was sent into the barriers by another driver.
The Australian Erebus Motorsport team, owned by Sydney businesswoman, Betty Klimenko continues to set new records and new goals for the AMG Customer Sports program.
Erebus Motorsport has been the first team outside Europe to own an SLS AMG GT3, the first to secure a team one-two finish for the AMG Customer Sports program, has led the charge of the Gullwing into the vitally important Chinese market and now not only the first Australian team to compete in the GT Cup race in Macau, but also walks away with the lap record for the category around the Guia Circuit.