Mortara wins Macau Grand Prix Qualification Race

Edoardo Mortara will start Sunday’s Windsor Arch Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix from pole position after taking a convincing win in Saturday’s qualification race.

The Signature Plus driver started the race from third on the grid, but managed to get up to second, right behind leader Keisuke Kunimoto, by the time the field streamed into Lisboa Bend for the first time.

After a brief Safety Car period required to clear the stranded car of James Jakes from the side of the track after the Briton collided with Brendon Hartley off the start, Mortara bided his time to steadily close in the leading TOM’S driver.

At the start of lap seven Mortara was right onto Kunimoto’s tail and he got a slipstream on the run down to Lisboa, which allowed him to pull alongside on the left and grab the lead under braking.

From there, Mortara opened up a gap of more than two seconds before easing off to take the chequered flag just more than one second ahead.

It was a good race today,” said Mortara. “Once I created a gap it was not so important to push, so I controlled the race. I am really happy for this victory, for myself, Signature and Volkswagen.”

Kunimoto was able to hold onto his second place during the remainder of the race, finishing just ahead of a train of cars comprising Roberto Streit, Oliver Turvey and Sam Bird.

There was disappointment for pole position man Carlo van Dam, who retired on the first lap of the race. He brushed the wall going through Mandarin on the first lap and suffered a puncture.

Attempting to get back to the pits, he carried on for two more corners before a collision with fellow Dutchman Renger van der Zande at San Francisco Bend put him out for good.