Battle for the FIA F3 Intercontinental Cup in Macau
The 60th Macau Grand Prix is the not-to-be-missed event at the end of the season. The best F3 drivers are all determined to add this much sought-after Trophy to their collection!
Tue 12.11.13, 2:02PM
Starting on Thursday 14th November the streets of Macau will beat to the rhythm of the 60th Macau Grand Prix held in the Chinese gambling paradise. On Sunday 17th November, the name of the winner of the FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup will be known after the finish of this unique race on an awesome layout on which all the drivers will be gunning for the same result – victory!
Antonio Felix da Costa (Carlin), winner of the 2012 Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix and third in this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 series, is back to try and score his second victory in the event at the wheel of a car entered by Carlin. He knows better than anybody that this race has to be tackled with caution, as the streets of Macau are full of pitfalls. “I am really happy to be racing in Macau again, particularly with Carlin after our success there last year”, said da Costa. “Obviously the aim is to win again, although in Macau you can see your weekend turned around in an instant! But when the opportunity came up to race there again this year, I couldn’t say no.”
Proof of the importance of this race is that the first four in 2012 will all be back on the grid. Felix Rosenqvist (GR Asia with Mücke), second in 2012 and runner-up in the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship, has high hopes: "The Macau Grand Prix is a very special event - the most prestigious and challenging race on the calendar. The Guia street circuit is simply amazing. It requires immense concentration, precision and confidence, and I'm really looking forward to getting back there. Macau is very much about being in the right place at the right time - and you're partially in the hands of luck - but considering our performances in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship this season, I think we've got every reason to be optimistic about our chances."
Alex Lynn (Theodore Racing by Prema), who set pole in 2012 and finished third, will be another victory contender like Carlos Sainz Jr (Carlin) fourth last year in the streets of Macau. However, the driver they all fear is Raffaele Marciello (D88.com Prema Powerteam), the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Champion and Ferrari Driver Academy protégé, who would like to finish the year on the topmost step of the podium after very convincing tests in the Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2 Series. “Macau is a wild event,” explains the Italian. “You have to be quick and able to cope with the red flags and all the other traps. We’re going there to win. It all hinges on one race and finishing second is no use. So I want to come first at all costs.”
Among the 28 entries, several other drivers have got what it takes to come out on top like the British Formula 3 Champion Jordan King (Carlin), Red Bull Junior Team driver Tom Blomqvist (Fortec Motorsports), Stefano Coletti (Eurointernational) and Kevin Korjus (Galaxy Double R Racing) among others. The first outings in Macau of Frenchman Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam), third in the 2012 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, and feisty Italian Antonio Giovinazzi (Double R Racing), runner-up in the British F3 Championship, who put on a brilliant performance in the latter stages of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, are ones to watch.
Japanese drivers too will be well represented. Yushi Nakaya (Tom’s) Japanese Formula 3 Champion will try to become the first driver from the Land of the Rising Sun to win the Macau Grand Prix since Keisuke Kunimoto in 2008. Katsumasa Chiyo (B-Max Engineering) is also a potential winner like his fellow-countryman Yuhi Sekiguchi (KFZ-Teile24 Mücke Motorsport).
Finally, Sun Zheng (Galaxy Double R Racing), winner of the British Formula 3 National Class this season, will be the only Chinese driver at the start. “It’s great to have a local driver in the team for Macau, it’s important for the event to attract talent from the region – we’re looking forward to working with Sun Zheng”, said Anthony Hieatt, Galaxy Double R Racing team manager, “It’s important for his career to try and showcase his skills to the local community; it’ll be a major challenge for him but fantastic experience at the same time.”
The winner of the Macau Grand Prix will also win the FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup, and the winning engine manufacturer will be awarded the FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers.
FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup - Macau Grand Prix (local times: UTC+8)