The Italian Gabriele Minì (SJM Theodore Prema Racing Team) has shown his potential on the first day of track action on Guia Circuit snatching the provisional pole for the FIA F3 World Cup.
Since early morning during Free Practice 1 (FP1) Minì started to display his skills and although being his first year in Macau he wasted no time posting 2m06.354s with which he led the pack on FP1.
Minì continued his dominance later in the afternoon during Qualifying 1 (Q1) improving his best lap time to 2m05.521s assuming the position of favorite for Sunday’s main race.
The Italian was immediately followed by the Brit Luke Browning (Hitech Pulse-Eight) who came second to Minì in both FP1 and Q1 sessions yesterday.
Browning, also a newbie to Macau, clocked his best lap around Guia in 2m06.018s, almost half a second slower than Minì.
Completing the top 3 was another SJM Theodore Prema Racing Team driver, Dino Beganovic, who after finishing FP1 in 6th position, improved his time significantly during Q1, ending up with a personal best of 2m06.131s.
Immediately after Beganovic were Dennis Hauger (MP Motorsport), and another two Hitech Pulse-Eight racers, Alex Dunne and Isack Hadjar.
Previous winners in Macau, Dan Ticktum (2017 and 2018) and Richard Verschoor (2019) placed 10th and 11th respectively, not having been able to capitalize, so far, on their theoretical advantage.
At the end of Q1, although he took the provisional pole, Minì said he was surprised by the outcome as he felt that his tires were wearing, adding also that the red flags that interrupted Q1 on three occasions also made it difficult to pick the right timing to time-attack.
The session was briefly halted after seven minutes when Sebastián Montoya crashed at Lisboa. The Colombian’s car suffered front left-corner damage and the Campos Racing driver could not rejoin the session.
Ugo Ugochukwu caused the second red flag when he overshot braking for Lisboa and ran down the escape road where his Trident Motorsport-run car became stranded for some time before he was eventually able to continue.
The third red flag occurred when Zane Maloney stopped on track after earlier contact with the barriers.
When the action finally resumed, Browning was set to come out on top but in a last-gasp effort, Minì managed to find the best lap so far and topped the timesheets.
F3 drivers will be back on track today for FP2 from 9:30 a.m., followed by a Q2 session at 3:05 p.m.