F3/GT: Hauger looks to FIA WRC2 champion Mikkelsen for Macau boost, Aron tops FP2


Dennis Hauger is making his FIA Formula 3 World Cup debut boosted by the success his fellow Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen is achieving in the FIA WRC2 Championship

Hauger and Mikkelsen train together several times a year as part of the FIA Member Club Norges Motorsportforbund’s National Team activities. And it will be a busy weekend for the pair with Mikkelsen contesting Forum8 Rally Japan (pictured below) and Hauger (above) in action at the Macau Grand Prix street racing event.

“He’s one of the guys you looked at when you were a kid,”  20-year-old Hauger said. “In Norway the WRC is quite popular after Petter Solberg won [the title in 2003]. Winning the WRC2 title again was a good achievement for sure, in fact he’s smashed it in the last two or three years with quite a few titles. It’s really good to see him doing well.”

Mikkelsen, 34, secured the provisional FIA WRC2 title on the Central European Rally last month. He said: “It will be difficult to follow him this weekend because I will be driving myself, but I will watch the replays. He’s a great guy and a winning driver. It’s a different car compared to what he has been used to during the last couple of seasons but, overall, he works hard and is a great driver.”

Aron takes his turn in the FIA Formula 3 World Cup spotlight with FP2 best
Paul Aron maintained SJM Theodore Prema Racing Team’s strong start to the 2023 FIA Formula 3 World Cup by setting the fastest time during Free Practice 2 in Macau this morning

After team-mate Gabriele Minì went quickest in Free Practice 1 and Qualifying 1 on Thursday, Estonian Aron took his turn in the spotlight with a late run to displace Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Luke Browning at the top of the timesheets.

He posted a best effort of 2m06.327s as he completed his last flying lap on the 6.12-kilometre Guia Circuit, a mere 0.029s quicker than Browning.

“It was a very good session after a very tricky day yesterday,”  said Aron, 19 (below). “I was struggling with the confidence and didn’t have a good feeling from the car. Today we changed some stuff on the car and I had much better confidence, so I could build from that and put together a good session. There is still quite a lot of margin, but I am very happy so far and have a clear picture where I can find the time.”

Mari Boya was third quickest for MP Motorsport at the end of a 40-minute session punctuated by red flags and Virtual Safety Car periods.

The first Virtual Safety Car was required after multiple cars blocked the track at the first-gear Melco Hairpin. With a clean-up then required, the session was temporarily red-flagged before it resumed with 27 minutes remaining.

VSC intervention was needed for a second time after Luke Browning momentarily ended up stranded in the escape road at Lisboa Corner. The same procedure was needed after Boya and Tommy Smith also ran into difficulties negotiating the tight right-turn at the end of the long charge from Mandarin Oriental Bend.

There was another red flag stoppage after Nikola Tsolov crashed at Turn 17 and damaged his ART Grand Prix-run car.

Dennis Hauger’s FP2 ended early due to his MP Motorsport team having to repair suspension damage. Noel León and Pepe Martí were delayed after being forced to take the escape road at Lisboa.

FIA GT World Cup Qualifying is up next from 14:05 local time (GMT +8) followed by FIA Formula 3 World Cup Qualifying 2 from 15:05. Both qualifying sessions will be streamed live on the FIA’s YouTube channel. Click HERE for live timing.