Polytec Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix Qualification Race
Weather: Overcast and dry
Date: November 18, 2006
Kobayashi dominates qualification race
Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi converted his pole position into a dominant victory in the Macau Grand Prix qualification race on Saturday, eventually finishing 3.3 seconds ahead of Marko Asmer.
The ASM driver briefly lost the lead at the start to front-row starter Kohei Hirate but was able to move back to the front on the run down through Mandarin Bend and into Lisboa. From there he pushed hard to extend his lead over the early stages before controlling the gap until the chequered flag.
“I pushed really hard on the first and second lap to build up a lead,” he said. “After about five laps it was okay, so I am confident for tomorrow.”
Having moved up to second at the start, Asmer was unable to respond to Kobayashi’s early pace. The Estonian then came under late-race pressure from Hirate, who had recovered from dropping behind Kodai Tsukakoshi to challenge for second spot.
Hirate found his speed was compromised by a collision with the barriers at Hospital on the formation lap that damaged a front wheel, and he could not find a way past so finished third.
F3 Euroseries champion Paul di Resta finished fourth, having lost ground at the start when he lost momentum avoiding the stalled Romain Grosjean on the grid and found himself boxed in on the run down to Lisboa. He also suffered minor damage to his suspension after rubbing wheels with Kodai Tsukakoshi on lap three.
Tsukakoshi, who had a brilliant start as he jumped from 10th on the grid to grab third, lost places to Hirate and di Resta, but overcame a strong challenge from Adrian Sutil to take fifth. British F3 champion Mike Conway finished right behind the pair in seventh.
There was disappointment for BMW-Sauber test driver Sebastian Vettel, who crashed out on the penultimate lap. He had struggled for pace in the race after slightly damaging his front wing early on.
For further information please contact:
Macau Grand Prix Press Office: +853 2872 6210
Official website: www.macau.grandprix.gov.mo