Polytec Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix Race
Weather: Overcast and dry
Date: November 19, 2006
Conway wins Macau Grand Prix
British Formula Three champion Mike Conway won the Polytec Macau Formula Three Grand Prix on Sunday after resisting a late-race charge from Richard Antinucci.
Conway took the lead of the race at Lisboa corner on the first lap after the three leading cars all slid down the escape road. Early leader Marko Asmer had no option but to miss the corner after Paul di Resta locked up under braking and slid into the back of pole sitter Kamui Kobayashi, forcing both of them to go straight on into Asmer’s path.
After staying clear of trouble, Conway set about opening up an early one-second lead over Kohei Hirate, but the Safety Car was called out on lap two after di Resta and Rodolfo Avila crashed at Fishermen’s Bend.
The race restarted on lap five and Conway once again pushed hard to open up an early advantage, although he nearly came to grief after brushing the wall near Maternity Bend on lap six – leaving marks of yellow paint on his right front wheel.
From there Conway was able to keep his advantage, while the cars behind him were locked in a fantastic battle for position. Hirate, who was Conway’s closest challenger in the early stages, eventually lost second position to a hard-charging Richard Antinucci at Lisboa on lap 12 and then dropped to fourth behind Adrian Sutil on lap 13 before crashing out on the penultimate lap.
Antinucci set about trying to close down Conway’s lead but after losing time behind a backmarker on the penultimate lap, he ran out of time to be able to mount a challenge. The American finished 1.4 seconds behind, with Sutil taking third.
Conway was clearly delighted with the victory, but admitted that his brush with the wall had been a worry. “I am very happy with this result,” he said. “But it was a heart-stopping moment when I touched the wall. Luckily there wasn’t much damage.”
Sebastien Buemi took advantage of a high rate of attrition to take fourth place, with Romain Grosjean recovering from being hit by Kobayashi at Lisboa on lap nine to finish fifth. James Jakes was sixth.
For further information please contact:
Macau Grand Prix Press Office: +853 2872 6210
Official website: www.macau.grandprix.gov.mo