Author Topic: F3 Macau: Mike Conway Wins  (Read 2979 times)

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F3 Macau: Mike Conway Wins
« on: January 30, 2008, 04:26:16 PM »
Together with the ?Formula 3 Masters? in Zandvoort, the ?Macau Grand Prix? is the most important and most competitive Formula 3 race of the season and it is the highlight and season finale for the best drivers of different international Formula 3 championships. Both races are ?one offs? and do not count for any championship. 32 drivers from 12 nations participated this year, 16 of whom ? exactly half of the field ? raced with the Mercedes-Benz engine M271 developed from the production engine of the C- and E-Class. Apart from Mercedes-Benz, there are Honda, Nissan, Opel and Toyota as engine partners for the teams.
Several times, a win in Macau has been the breakthrough for a great motor racing career. Ayrton Senna won this race in 1983, Michael Schumacher in 1990, David Coulthard in 1991 and Ralf Schumacher in 1995. Conway?s success is the third consecutive win of a Dallara Mercedes driver in Macau. The Masters in Zandvoort has been won by Dallara Mercedes drivers even four times in a row.
22-year-old Estonian Marko Asmer drove the Hitech Racing team Dallara Mercedes to the fastest lap time in the first qualifying with a 2:13.965. Asmer had finished seventh in the All-Japan Formula 3 Championship. Friday?s second qualifying saw Kamui Kobayashi, eighth overall in the Formula 3 Euro Series, topping the time sheets with a 2:13.449 in the ASM team?s Dallara Mercedes. Thus, the 20-year-old Japanese achieved pole position for Saturday?s qualification race. Kobayashi won the 10-lap sprint (61.2 kms) leading from start to finish. Asmer came home second ahead of Kohei Hirate in a Manor Motorsport Dallara Mercedes. The Scotsman Paul di Resta, the 2006 Formula 3 Euro Series Champion ended up fourth.
Mike Conway racing for the R?ikk?nen-Robertson-Racing team owned by Kimi R?ikk?nen and his manager Steve Robertson won Sunday?s ?Formula 3 Grand Prix?. Starting seventh, Conway took the lead on the opening lap and won after 15 laps with 1.489sec ahead of Richard Antinucci (Dallara Mercedes) and 23-year-old Spyker Formula One test driver Adrian Sutil (Dallara Toyota) from Germany. At the first corner, Kobayashi, Asmer and di Resta ran wide. Afterwards, di Resta hit the retaining wall and retired on the opening lap with a damaged car. The safety car was deployed for three laps. Kobayashi was ninth when he had a collision with the Frenchman Romain Grosjean (Dallara Mercedes) on lap 10 and dropped to 24th position. Kobayashi ended up 19th. The Brazilian Roberto Streit at the wheel of a Dallara Mercedes of Prema Powerteam posted the fastest lap of the race with a 2:12.527. Fighting for seventh place on the final lap, the Brazilian collided with German BMW-Sauber Formula One test driver Sebastian Vettel (Dallara Honda Mugen) who had started last on the grid after a crash in the qualification race; both drivers retired.
Mike Conway: ?After winning the British Formula 3 Championship, this is the most important victory in my career and I?m really happy about this success. I started well and when three drivers ahead of me ran wide I took the lead. After the safety car period I concentrated on maintaining first place until the finish.?
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: ?The third consecutive win in the prestigious Formula 3 race in Macau is a nice result for our junior driver support programme at the end of the 2006 season. For the Formula 3 talents, Macau is an important stepping stone, which has been proved by many former winners with their Formula One careers afterwards ? headed of course by Michael Schumacher who won 16 years ago, when he was supported by Mercedes-Benz, like many motor sport juniors since then. For teams and drivers, our four-cylinder engine M271, developed from a production engine, is a reliable and downright victorious engine. This time, with Mike Conway and R?ikk?nen-Robertson-Racing, it stood up against four engine competitors. My cordial congratulations on this win ? Mike and his team showed their rivals, that the best of the British Championship don?t have to hide behind their competition from the Formula 3 Euro Series.?