Photo: Macau GP

Néstor Girolami ”so proud” of Macau podium as MacPro Racing upset the stage

Néstor Girolami was full of praise for the minimalist MacPro Racing operation after finishing a surprise second in the opening race of the TCR World Tour finale at Macau.

Girolami managed to upset the frontrunning multi-car teams with a valiant solo effort in his Honda Civic Type R FL5 TCR, putting eventual race winner Norbert Michelisz under pressure throughout the race as he impressed onlookers on his way to second.

The performance was clearly emotional for the Argentinian, whose deal to even race at Macau was strung together at the final minute with support from JAS Motorsport and the ultra-small MacPro Racing squad.

After the race, Girolami moved quickly to praise the efforts of the team, which is based in Macau and normally competes in TCR China.

“MacPro Racing made a big effort to put the car here in the last minute,” Girolami said to TouringCarTimes.

“The top drivers here have a solid structure behind them, they go to every race with a data engineer, a second engineer, four mechanics, full support from everyone.

“We are just one engineer and one mechanic, and that’s it. So we have to learn all the procedures of working together in two days, which is almost impossible. We are going through a lot of stress even to be racing here, to make everything happen. It’s extremely difficult and to then get a result like this here in Macau makes me so proud, and so happy.”

Girolami explained that the car he is driving this weekend is also brand new, having been flown in straight from the factory in Europe without time to complete any shakedown testing. It is set to be used by MacPro Racing as the team expands its TCR China activities.

“We just did the roll-out in first free practice yesterday,” said Girolami, who has jumped between various local teams this year to somehow string together a full World Tour campaign.

“It’s not ideal to come to a race with a car that you’ve never tested, but it’s been the same more or less all season for me. It’s part of what we do with Honda and JAS to support customers buying new cars. It was the same in Argentina, the same in Australia, the same here. Always driving for different teams and meeting new people, you have to get used to things very quickly in practice.

“It’s not easy, but we’re showing that we’ve got great potential.”