Home Featured Browning wins the Macau GP qualification race in a Hitech 1-2

Browning wins the Macau GP qualification race in a Hitech 1-2

by Ida Wood

Photo: Macau GP Organising Committee

Williams junior Luke Browning won the Macau Grand Prix qualification race to earn first place on the grid for tomorrow’s main race.

Gabriele Mini tucked in behind poleman Browning at the start, but then drew alongside on the approach to Mandarin. He stayed on Browning’s outside all the way to Lisboa, where Browning had to move to the inside a little more to avoid Alex Dunne – who had started sixth – from attempting a pass too.

Browning was already out of DRS range by sector three (with DRS enabled on lap two in Macau), while those in the midfield lost time due to extra yellow flags at the Melco hairpin after Marcus Armstrong and Matias Zagazeta stopped there. Both managed to get going again without losing a lap.

There was a 1.882-second gap between the top two at the end of lap one, and Dunne had to cover off Dino Beganovic into Lisboa before the race was put under virtual safety car conditions. Ugo Ugochukwu had cut the kerbs at Lisboa then gone into the barriers, which also sent Dan Ticktum into retirement.

The real safety car was called out later in the lap, and racing resumed on lap five of 10 after Ugochukwu and Ticktum’s cars had been craned away.

Browning weaved on the run to Mandarin to try to break the tow, but Mini got on his outside and Dunne on the inside approaching Lisboa. Dunne took second place into the corner, but was 1.434s behind Browning by the end of the lap.

Beganovic tried to stay close to the podium trio and pulled away from fifth-placed Dennis Hauger, while just behind Paul Aron made progress by passing Isack Hadjar, who then got overtaken by Pepe Marti and Mari Boya into Lisboa on lap six.

Browning set the fastest lap on lap seven to maintain his lead at 1.328s. Another fastest lap next time by, despite the lack of a slipstream to benefit from, brought the gap up to 1.5s.

He went into the final lap 1.749s ahead of Hitech GP team-mate Dunne, and grew that gap to 2.097s at the chequered flag.

Mini was a further 2.3s behind, with Beganovic and Hauger holding position while Boya passed Aron late on for sixth.

Further back Charlie Wurz held off repeated attacks from the reigning FIA Formula 3 World Cup winner Richard Verschoor to finish 11th, and Armstrong passed Tommy Smith to finish 22nd.

Qualification race results (10 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Luke Browning Hitech GP 26m52.318s
2 Alex Dunne Hitech GP +2.097s
3 Gabriele Mini Theodore Racing +4.441s
4 Dino Beganovic Theodore Racing +5.339s
5 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport +10.936s
6 Mari Boya MP Motorsport +13.082s
7 Paul Aron Theodore Racing +13.877s
8 Pepe Marti Campos Racing +17.224s
9 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP +17.648s
10 Zane Maloney Carlin +19.620s
11 Charlie Wurz Jenzer Motorsport +20.946s
12 Richard Verschoor Trident +21.490s
13 Nikola Tsolov ART Grand Prix +22.390s
14 Laurens van Hoepen ART Grand Prix +24.804s
15 Sophia Floersch Van Amersfoort Racing +25.505s
16 Max Esterson Jenzer Motorsport +26.184s
17 Noel Leon Van Amersfoort Racing +26.610s
18 Sebastian Montoya Campos Racing +27.535s
19 Roman Stanek Trident +28.329s
20 Christian Mansell ART Grand Prix +28.896s
21 Oliver Goethe Campos Racing +29.894s
22 Marcus Armstrong MP Motorsport +30.515s
23 Tommy Smith Van Amersfoort Racing +34.908s
24 Matias Zagazeta Jenzer Motorsport +37.750s
Ret Dan Ticktum Carlin
Ret Ugo Ugochukwu Trident
Fastest lap: Lindblad, 2m24.791s