Motorsports | Uncertainty over qualifying procedure for Macau Grand Prix


Several drivers slated to compete in the upcoming Macau Grand Prix (GP) are uncertain of whether they will pass the qualifying procedure for the race, as they have not competed in FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile)-specific F3 races this year.
Previously, drivers were supposed to participate in two F3 races in the current calendar year to be qualified in the event, however Macau GP coordinator (who resigned last month), Barry Bland, allowed drivers to participate by counting a round of the UK based MSV F3 Cup.
Autosport reported that Formula Renault Eurocup champion Lando Norris and MSA Formula race winner Dan Ticktum have each completed a substantial number of private test days with F3 European Championship teams in preparation for 2017.
Therefore the two have exceeded the number of permissible private test days prescribed by the European Championship’s sporting regulations as they did not know that they would have to participate in a 2016 round to be eligible for the Macau GP.
The Macau GP regulations have never featured this rule, as the 2016 edition only stated that “the event will be by invitation with priority given to those drivers having achieved the highest positions in the 2016 FIA European Formula 3 Championship and national Formula 3 championships being organized to the 2016 FIA technical regulations.”
Speaking to Autosport, Bland clarified that the requirements amounted only to “an informal agreement” between him and the teams.
Ferdinand Habsburg, a frontrunner in Formula Renault and Euro Formula Open (which uses current F3 chassis), has also breached the 2016 European F3 sporting rules over private test days.
The report added that among the other Macau entrants not to have competed in a European or Japanese championship round this year, GP3 race winner Jake Hughes and Spa 24 Hours victor Alexander Sims have not broken any Euro F3 sporting regulation and could start from the grid, while Sam MacLeod has qualified by counting the Masters of F3 at Zandvoort in his official race history. MDT

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