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Category: Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix

Felipe Nasr took a stunning second place for Carlin in today’s Qualification race ahead of the 58th Macau Grand Prix, despite race long pressure from third placed man Roberto Merhi. Carlos Huertas made it two Carlin cars in the top five, while Jazeman Jaafar finished 17th, with Kevin Magnussen 19th from the back row of the grid.

Following rain earlier on in the week, conditions remained dry for the start of today’s Qualification Race, for the ten lap sprint around the challenging Macau circuit. Nasr made the perfect start from fifth on the grid and benefitted from the stalled car of front row man Antonio Felix da Costa to catapult into second place. Huertas also made a good start and briefly climbed to fourth, before settling for fifth at the end of lap one.

Jaafar lost out in the chaotic mid field at the start and dropped to 24th, while Magnussen had already made up several places in 22nd having started 29th.

At the front Nasr was chasing down race leader Marco Wittmann, but had the charging Roberto Merhi right behind him by the end of lap two. Nasr held station though and coped well with the pressure to keep the F3 Euro Series champion behind him.

Huertas was also enjoying some close racing and had closed in on GP3 champion Valtteri Bottas for fourth, and by lap five was close enough to put the Finn under intense pressure. Nasr meanwhile had responded well to the pace from behind and set the fastest lap of the race so far on lap five.

Facing a completely different battle was Magnussen, who had demonstrated pace good enough to qualify seventh, but was fighting his way through the field following a grid penalty. The British F3 vice champion was 20th, just ahead of Jaafar in 21st.

After managing to pull out a small gap, Nasr was under pressure again from Merhi, who set the fastest lap of the race on lap eight, while behind them the pack continued to shuffle with Jaafar moving up to 18th ahead of Magnussen in 19th.

Attention remained firmly focused on the leaders though, as the British and F3 Euro champions Nasr and Merhi fought closely for second. Merhi made a move up the inside at Lisboa on lap eight, but Nasr defended well and maintained position.

A big accident for Jimmy Eriksson brought racing action to a halt on lap nine. The driver climbed from the car unhurt but the incident brought out the safety car. With debris strewn across the track, the race finished under those conditions, with Nasr taking second in his Volkswagen powered car, with Huertas fifth. Jaafar crossed the line in 17th, with Magnussen 19th, the positions the Carlin quartet will take on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Reflecting on a tense afternoon, Nasr said, “From the start I got two places straight away, after Sims crashed and da Costa stalled. I was third into the first corner and managed to get a good tow from Bottas and we were three wide into Lisboa. I was in the middle so I didn’t have the right line to come out first and I was cautious not to make contact. I managed to come out in second though and then I just focused on keeping the car out of the walls so we could have a good position for tomorrow.

“Both Wittmann and Merhi were very quick; Wittmann had a strong car in the middle sector, but I was fast in the final sector and was able to close on him there and pull away from Merhi a little. I think we need to look at the data to see how we can improve further so we are even strong tomorrow, but second place is a great position to start from in Macau.”

Fifth placed man Huertas was also pleased with his race, “I was distracted at the start by da Costa stalling, which is how Merhi got past me, but my pace was really good, especially in the early stages. I nearly got past Bottas, but I didn’t want to do anything stupid. I think the pace between the front runners was very close today. We improved the car a lot from qualifying and we will try and do the same before tomorrow. Anything can happen around here and I’m in a good position to take a top result tomorrow.”

Trevor Carlin added, “Felipe did a fantastic job today. He made a great start; striking the balance between being aggressive and not risking too much. He withstood the pressure from Merhi extremely well and deserved to be on the podium today. To have two cars in the top five today is a great result for the team, following an impressive race by Carlos. It was a difficult task for Jazeman and Kevin today, but they both brought the cars home in one piece. Obviously tomorrow the drivers will have a completely different approach, and I’m sure we’ll see considerably less caution and more incidents! Nevertheless Felipe and Carlos have shown that we have a good car here, so we’re feeling confident.”

Tomorrow’s race will take place at 15.30 local time (07.30 GMT).

Felix Rosenqvist returns to MacauFelix Rosenqvist will take part in the season-ending Macau Grand Prix – the most prestigious event on the international Formula 3 calendar – for the second successive year. The Swede, who finished ninth on his debut in the Asian street classic after an eye-catching drive in 2010, will represent his regular Formula 3 Euro Series team Mücke Motorsport with full support from engine manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. Rosenqvist’s team-mate over the weekend will be Macanese veteran Michael Ho. The Macau Grand Prix is widely regarded as the Formula 3 world finals, with 30 of the most promising young single-seater talents taking part in the race in November of each year.

“I will never forget the feeling I had when I drove out of the pitlane in Macau for the first time last year, and it will be absolutely great to be back there again for a second time,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “I learned so much there last year, but I’m well aware of the fact that many of my rivals have still been to Macau on more occasions than I have and I know how tough the Macau Grand Prix really is. The team will go there for the very first time, but I still believe we will have the chance to challenge close to the front – not least following our victory in the Masters of Formula 3 at Zandvoort earlier this year. Macau has become my favourite circuit, and I can’t wait for the start of practice.”

The Macau Grand Prix has been the single most important event of the Formula 3 season every year since its
inception in 1983. The list of previous winners includes the likes of Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Sweden’s Rickard Rydell, with 20 out of the 28 drivers who have started a Formula 1 race in 2011 having driven at Macau at least once in their careers. At Mücke Motorsport, preparations are well underway as excitement for the race builds.

“Racing in the Macau Grand Prix for the first time ever will be a big challenge for the entire team, but with Felix behind the wheel I think we are well-placed to fight for the top five positions,” says team principal Peter Mücke. “Felix drove there very competitively last year, and we do have experience of street circuits from all the races we’ve done at the Norisring in Germany over the years. Adapting to a new track will not be a major problem, and the key to success at Macau will be to get everything together on the day – and some luck on the opening laps!”

The venue for the Macau Grand Prix is the temporarily erected Guia Circuit, which is made up of public roads in the city centre of the Chinese gambling metropolis outside of Hong Kong. The 2011 Macau Grand Prix takes place on November 17-20.

British F3 Champions Carlin have announced that they will be taking four drivers to the prestigious 58th Macau Grand Prix next month. Newly crowned British Formula Three champion Felipe Nasr will be making his second appearance at the famous event. Joining him will be Carlos Huertas and Jazeman Jaafar who both tackled the street circuit last year and Macau rookie Kevin Magnussen. All four drivers have had a successful year in British F3 with Carlin.

Nasr won the 2011 British F3 title with races to spare, the 19 year old quickly took the lead in the championship after a consistent start to his season, taking seven wins and 14 podiums so far this season. The young Brazilian stamped his dominance on the championship and stayed at the top throughout, carefully building a points gap over the rest of the field.

Nasr will have a challenge on his hands at the street circuit in the form of his British F3 team mates. Colombian Carlos Huertas finished in a strong tenth position on his first visit to the 3.8 mile circuit last year. The 20 year old has already taken seven podiums in the British Formula Three Championship and is currently lying second overall.

Jazeman Jaafar will also be representing the team; the young Malaysian drove for Carlin last year in the Chinese enclave and crossed the line twelfth. His 2011 BF3 campaign has seen him walk away with four podiums to date. As his only race on his home continent, the Petronas backed driver will have high hopes ahead of this year’s event.

Making his Macau debut this year will be 19 year old Kevin Magnussen. The Dane is the youngest in the Carlin line-up and goes into this race after a successful season which provided him with six wins and sees him currently lying third in the championship. His all or nothing racing approach should provide some great action around Macau.

Having enjoyed a hugely successful British Formula Three campaign in which he became champion Felipe Nasr said, “Macau is a hugely important race on the F3 calendar and it’s a very special feeling to be able to participate with Carlin. I know the team extremely well, and I know we have a great car – I feel as though we can be right up there.

“Having won the British F3 title I feel super confident and can’t wait to go to Macau and it would really round off a great season if we do really well there.”

Kevin Magnussen heads to Macau for the first time this year, looking ahead to the event he said, “Having never been there before I don’t know what to expect. I’ve been told it’s the best track in the world – and it really does look amazing! I think it will be a great challenge for me and knowing that Carlin have had great results here in the past makes me think we can definitely be right up there.”

Trevor Carlin added, “Macau is a highlight of the season for us and this year we go with a fantastic driver line-up. Felipe, Carlos and Jazeman all have previous experience of Macau, while Kevin is just the right type of driver to be able attack Macau at the maximum level from the outset. It is one of the most challenging events of a drivers’ career and a proving ground for the teams as well, so we can’t wait for the event to get underway.”

British F3 champions Carlin join F3 teams from across the world this week, as the British squad make preparations ahead of the 56th Macau Grand Prix this weekend. Racing with Carlin in the most prestigious and challenging F3 race in the world, will be current British F3 champion Daniel Ricciardo, Max Chilton, Brendon Hartley and Henry Arundel.

The four drivers follow in the footsteps of F1 racers Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastian Vettel, Sebastien Buemi, Robert Kubica and Nico Rosberg who have all competed with Carlin in the Chinese enclave in recent years.

After an eventful race in Macau in 2008, Hartley took a podium finish for Carlin, despite having started from 20th position after an incident in the Qualification race. Chilton also benefits from knowledge of the Guia circuit, having raced here last year. This year’s Macau Grand Prix will be a new experience for reigning British F3 champion Ricciardo and also his first taste of a street circuit, while Arundel also make his Macau debut this year.

2008 third place man Brendon Hartley said, “I’m happy to be back in Macau after a podium last year. We had really good pace then, so I’m expecting that to continue this year. There’s always a bit of luck involved in getting a good result in Macau, its easy to get caught up in other people’s accidents, but then you have to create your own luck as well. I started at the back of the grid last year and finished on the podium but I think if you want to have a chance of winning, you need to qualify well here.”

British racer Max Chilton makes his second visit to Macau after a successful debut last year. “Macau is a fantastic circuit; it’s just so tight there isn’t any room for error. It’s great to come back here already knowing what to expect and knowing the circuit. I’m feeling confident after a strong finish to the British F3 season and I feel as though I’ve developed a lot as a driver since I was here last year. I’m aiming to finish my F3 career on a high with a strong result here this weekend.”

Having had his first look at the Guia circuit, British F3 champion Daniel Ricciardo commented, “The circuit looks incredible. It looks really challenging so I think it will be important to build up to it. Everyone says you need as much track time as possible to get the most out of the circuit and have the confidence to push to the limit. It’s tempting to just go all out and see what I can do, but I’ll have to just take it easy and build up to the ultimate pace. I can tell already that I’m going to love the circuit. ”

Also making his first trip to Macau, Henry Arundel added, “The circuit looks really fun but also a big challenge. We’ve seen in the past that anything can happen here, but I think the important thing will be to improve with every session. It looks like it could be the best circuit I’ve ever driven and certainly the most challenging. I can’t wait for the first session to get underway so I can see what it’s really like.”

The first practice session for the F3 drivers will take place at 10.30 local time on Thursday, followed by first qualifying at 14.00. Second practice and second qualifying will take place on Friday, with the qualification race on Saturday culminating in the 56th Macau Grand Prix on Sunday.

Rodolfo AvilaMacanese F3 driver Rodolfo Avila has completed a successful test session with the HBR Motorsport team as part of his Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix race preparation.

After some ups and downs during the International Formula Master first season Rodolfo Avila returned to the F3 cockpit last weekend in the Czech track of Brno. It was the last chance for Avila to drive the Dallara F307-Mercedes Benz before the prestigious end of the year race.

“In the first day of our testing session we used Kumho tyres but we moved to Yokohama in the second day. I felt very comfortable with the car. We made good progress, and I’ve just been getting quicker as the day goes on. It was a productive programme, and we did plenty of setup testing”, said Avila.

The Macau Formula 3 event has long been recognised as the testing ground for future racing superstars. It is the only time champions from the national F3 series’ in Europe, Britain, Germany, and Japan meet to do battle for the ultimate prize, the FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup. Avila knows how difficult is the tricky Guia street circuit but he wants to honour Macau colours at his hometown race.

“Personally, I was pleased with the speed we achieved and with team motivation for the race. My team-mate Carlo Van Dam (German F3 Cup champion) has strong ambitions for this race so I think the teamwork will be profitable. We have a good package to challenge the most tough race of the season”, held the driver proudly sponsored by Macau Government, Macau-slot.com, BNU, CESLAsia, PAL AsiaConsult, TsingTao, Fat Siu Lau Restaurant, Sujika Crafts and PT Asia.

Rodolfo Avila will stay in England until the end of the month to keep his fitness training, and the #28 car will be painted with Macau flag Formula Master livery in Austria. The Macau Grand Prix will be held from 15-18 November 2007.

Rodolfo AvilaMacau motorsport rising star Rodolfo Avila had an unlucky weekend at his hometown event the Macau Grand Prix. On Sunday, in the main race of FIA F3 Intercontinental Cup at Circuito da Guia, the #23 Performance Racing Dallara F306-Mügen Honda hit the barriers in the open lap. Rodolfo Avila was quite disappointed but he is now focusing on 2007 season.

During the four days of competition, Rodolfo Avila was always the fastest of the five Macanese drivers. On the 15-laps main race, he pushed hard since the “green lights” and the risk resulted in him smashing into the barriers at Fishermen’s Bend.

“I went too fast and can’t avoid the accident. I have to apologise to all my team, Macau SAR citizens and my faithful sponsors for the error I did. It wasn’t the result I wanted to give them”, held Avila.

According to several press the safety car was deployed because of wreckage on the track from a coming together between Rodolfo Avila and Paul di Resta. That is false! Both cars hadn’t a single touch during the race meeting. “I didn’t collide with Paul Di Resta. He is fast but he was far behind me in the first lap. I crashed alone and I confessed my mistake. He is looking for the wrong man”, says Avila who was surprised by his opponent comments. In the fact Paul Di Resta collided with Jonathan Kennard not with Rodolfo Avila.

The Macau SAR international motorsport ambassador is looking forward next season. “I don’t know where and what I am going to do next year. I hope to stay in F3 and in Europe. That’s the place where I can develop my career. I have to give huge thanks to this people: Macau Government, Hotel Fortuna, Rio Casino, Macau-Slot.com, BNU, Gain Well Group, Tong-Lei, CESL-Asia, PAL – Asia Consult, RP Macau, Tsingtao Beer, Fat Siu Lau Restaurant, PT Asia, Sujika Crafts, China Unicom (Macau), Chubb and 2nd Asian Indoor Games 2007. They did an enormous effort to support me this year”.

In high-level motorsport the work never stops. Rodolfo Avila hopes to start 2007 preparation very soon.

In less that four days, the green light will announce the start of the 53rd Macau Grand Prix to the thirty cars arrived at the city circuit of the ex Portuguese protectorate.

This is a real World Cup, for the best drivers from the main national Championships. Prema arrived in Asia with the Japanese driver Koudai Tsukakoshi and Brazilian Roberto Streit, both coming from the Japanese Formula 3 Championship.

For Koudai it is a comeback on this track with the Team after his third place obtained with Prema last year but in the Formula Renault 2.0 support race. This will be Roberto Streit’s debut here as he has never raced in Macau before.

The Macau Grand Prix is a race defined as “one-shot” as it isn’t a race of any Championship. On Thursday and Friday there will be free practices in the morning and official practices in the afternoon. On Friday, the afternoon sessions will determine the starting grid, when the track will be in its best conditions. On Saturday, as last year, the qualifying race will take place and it will determine the starting grid for Sunday. The final race will be held on Sunday afternoon.

According to drivers and collaborators , Guia is the most difficult circuit in the world. A series of long straights alternates with winding sectors along city walls and guard-rails. This is a hard and at the same time spectacular track. The Macau Grand Prix will be broadcast live by the most important Chinese television networks and there will be special programmes on the main television channels worldwide. The results of the event will be in real time on the websites www.mstworld.com and gp.macao.grandprix.gov.mo

Angelo Rosin, Prema Team Principal declared: “The next appointment of Macao is an important occasion for drivers and teams. A good result here may pay for a whole season. All our Team have been workin g very hard to be ready for this relevant event. We must optimise our vehicles in the first two days to be prepared for the qualifying. In a circuit with this characteristics it is important to run as much as possible in order to assimilate all the secrets of the track. We have arrived here in Macau in order to make a change to this season which was much inferior to our standards. We want to show to everybody which is the real value of Prema.”

Macanese motorsport rising star Rodolfo Ávila completed last week in England his preparation for the FIA Intercontinental Formula 3 Cup – Grand Prix of Macau, to be held from 16 to 19 November at the demanding Circuito da Guia.

At Croft, Pembrey (Wales) and Rockingham, the driver sporting the colours of Macau SAR drove the maximum possible mileage with the white Dallara F306 – Mügen Honda of the Anglo-Sweden Performance Racing Europe team.

“I can’t say it was a fully productive testing program. I can’t also say it was so negative but definitely the steady rain didn’t help us. Anyway it was quite good to be at the wheel of the F306 again. I really enjoy driving the car. It is quite different to drive if we compare to my season 2006 car (the Dallara F304)”, explains the 19 years old driver.

For Macau Grand Prix 2006 edition, the hometown driver guaranteed the support of China Unicom (Macau) and Chubb. These two major sponsors joined to key backers Macau Government, Rio Casino, Hotel Fortuna, Macau-Slot.com, BNU, Gain Well Group, Tong-Lei, CESL-Asia, PAL – Asia Consult, RP Macau, Tsingtao Beer, Fat Siu Lau Restaurant, PT Asia and Sujika Crafts as Rodolfo Avila’s Official Partners for the East Asia most famous motorsport event.

“Basically these four days were good for me to meet my new engineer and the new team crew who is going to work at Macau GP. I wanted to readapt my driving style to the car too and I reach the goal. We worked hard on the Grand Prix setup and I feel we are more confident now that we found the right path for the race weekend”, Rodolfo Avila says.

The Formula 3 event of the 53rd edition of the Macau Grand Prix will be made-up of two races, as usually: the first one on Saturday (November 18th) and the second one on Sunday (November 19th), the final standings being decided by the latest.

Macanese motorsport rising star Rodolfo Avila will join Performance Racing Europe team to contest the F3 Macau Grand Prix 2006, 16-19 November

The agreement just comes true after Macau SAR driver guaranteed the support of China Telecom (Macau). The first China mainland-based telecommunication operator to grant a mobile communication license outside of the Mainland China will be joined by worldwide leader fire and security services provider Chubb as Rodolfo Avila’s Macau GP Official Partner. Rodolfo Avila season 2006 project key backers – Macau Government, Rio Casino, Hotel Fortuna, Macau-Slot.com, BNU, Gain Well Group, Tong-Lei, CESL-Asia, PAL – Asia Consult, RP Macau, Tsingtao Beer, Fat Siu Lau Restaurant, PT Asia and Sujika Crafts – will also be well represented at the most known East Asian Motorsport meeting.

The 6.2km circuit is like no other track in the world, varying in width from 14 metres along the main straight, to just seven metres as it twists through the back streets of the former Portuguese colony. This is the most important race of the year for Macanese motorsport biggest hope.

“Macau means a lot to me. It’s one of the most famous F3 races in the world, and this is my home race. My target is similar to my previous races; my sights will be on getting a respectable finishing position and the best result among Macanese racers – but, of course, anything better than that would be magnificent. After one season in British F3 I feel much more confident but at Guia Circuit we never know”, says Avila.

After analysing all the received proposals, the 19-year old finished fourth of British F3 National Class in his first European campaign this year decided to remain with Performance Racing Europe. “My team had never been here before but they are working hard to overtake the difficulty. My engineer is a Macau GP previous winner so I guess we can do a good job during the weekend to honour Macau colours!”.

Performance Racing Team Manager, Bobby Issazadhe shares the same spirit: “Performance Racing are very excited for the opportunity to race in the 53rd Macau Grand Prix with our regular driver Rodolfo Avila. The Macau Grand Prix is by far the most challenging and prestigious race on the Formula 3 calendar and for Rodolfo it is the only opportunity to showcase his talent in front of his sponsors and fans. From the start of the season we always knew how important this race was for Rodolfo and much of the work we have done this year has been in preparation for Macau. Rodolfo has developed tremendously as a driver and I am sure he will perform very well and make Macau proud of him”.

Next Monday Rodolfo Avila will be driving at Croft (England) the more powerful Performance Racing Dallara F306-Mügen Honda. The young Macanese will accomplish four days testing before Macau GP challenge.