British driver Luke Browning (Hitech Pulse-Eight) is the newest Macau Formula 3 (F3) star after replicating his success at the Qualifying Race (Saturday) during Sunday’s final race.
Starting from the pole position, Browning led a lights-to-flag race that was challenged on only two occasions – initially at the start and later after an extended interruption due to Colombian Sebastián Montoya’s crash at the Faraway Hill Bend, resulting in a red flag.
The restart, with only 5 laps remaining, saw Browning retain his position firmly through Lisboa bend, where he established a lead over the second-place contender.
He also benefited from a maneuver from Norwegian Dennis Hauger (MP Motorsport) to secure second position, as pressure from Gabriele Minì (SJM Theodore Prema Racing) in third place was keeping Hauger occupied.
The race and result seemed to be relaunched for the final laps until Hungarian Nikola Tsolov crashed at the Fishermen’s Bend, hitting the wall and severely damaging the left rear wheel of his car, which was only able to pull away from the turn by a few meters.
Although the car was not in a concerning location, the Safety Car was nevertheless deployed to remove the car. But with three laps remaining, there was insufficient time to do so effectively. Despite the interesting beginning, the race concluded in the worst way possible, with cars lining up behind the Safety Car until the finish line.
Browning’s victory was nonetheless unquestionable, as he displayed control over the racing weekend with victories in both races and topping the Qualifying 2 session with a best time of 2 minutes 05.435 seconds.
Nonetheless, the record of Guia Circuit for an F3 car remains with Estonian Juri Vips, who in 2019 scored a lap in 2 minutes 06.317seconds. This is due to a rule that only considers circuit records during the race, not the Qualifying sessions. This is a longstanding regulation established by local organizers and applies to all categories, including cars and motorcycles racing at the Guia Circuit.
After the race, Browning said that the fact that the race lasted over 1:40 from start to finish was one of the challenges to maintaining concentration over an extended duration.
However, he combatted any potential distraction or loss of focus with a very high degree of motivation to win the Macau race.
He also praised the team for the car, saying that it was “absolutely phenomenal all weekend, and has been an absolute pleasure to drive.”
Browning also noted that after the interruption, the track was very slippery in the Faraway Hill area due to the presence of silica sand, a compound used to quickly absorb liquids on the track released by Montoya’s crash, whose car was severely damaged.