Home Formula 4Chinese F4 Charles Leong dominates to win Macau GP for second year in a row

Charles Leong dominates to win Macau GP for second year in a row

by Ida Wood

Photo: Macau Grand Prix

Smart Life Racing’s Charles Leong won the Macau Grand Prix for the second successive year in dominant fashion.

The local driver started from pole and faced his only challenge on the opening lap from countryman Andy Chang.

Both got a bit of wheelspin from the front row, with Leong having started from pole after winning Saturday’s Qualification Race, but Leong was unchallenged into Reservoir while Chang had to defend from Sicheng Li.

The long run down to Lisboa meant Chang could tuck into Leong’s slipstream through, even though Leong took as tight a line as possible after Mandarin and Chang attempted to go around the outside into the first braking zone.

Both brakes as very late as they could dare and Leong kept the lead, while Li followed and Jing Zefeng went down the escape road. Yaoming Huang also missed the corner but charged into the barriers, cutting off the turn-in of Patrick Tsang who then went into the back of him.

That didn’t disrupt the action though, bar yellow flags being waved at the corner next time by, and Leong and Chang raced away.

There was a 2.1-second gap after lap one, then 4.0s after two laps when Chang was handed a drive-through penalty for jumping the start. He served it at the end of lap four and dropped behind Li, with both over 25s behind after just five laps.

Leong pulled further away as Chang pursued Li, and on his third lap of attack he got onto the rear of him in the lap’s mountain section. There was literally nowhere he could pass though and he finished the lap 0.153s behind.

Chang then made an easy move into Reservoir, but had lost a further four seconds to Leong, now 31s ahead. Chinese Formula 4 points leader Chang took fastest lap as he tried reducing the gap, and Leong lost time in the last two laps as he came to lap three backmarkers, but he was still 24.5s behind at the finish.

The pace advantage the pair had over Li was astonishing, with a gap of another 24.5s opening up to third place in the final four laps.

There was some battling for fourth to sixth as well, with Zefeng claiming fourth after recovering from his lap one off.

Main Race results (12 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Charles Leong Smart Life Racing
2 Andy Chang Chengdu Team +24.530s
3 Sicheng Li Blackjack Racing +50.069s
4 Jing Zefeng Ningbo Team +1m13.319s
5 Chao Li Leo Geeke +1m37.501s
6 Zhong Yi Shang Chengdu Team +1m44.727s
7 Jingxi Lu Smart Life Racing +1m45.147s
8 Brian Lee iDEAK by KRC +1m50.078s
9 Neric Wei Grid Motorsport +2m23.339s
10 Lishin Peng iDEAK by KRC +2m35.178s
11 Mak Ka Lok UMS Racing Team +2m44.766s
12 Lei Kit Meng UMS Racing Team +1 lap
13 Weifu Huang LEO Geeke +1 lap
14 Lifeng Lin Ningbo Team +1 lap
Ret Yaoming Huang Henmax Motorsport
Ret Patrick Tsang Champ Motorsport
Fastest lap: Chang, 2m29.331s

Championship standings
1 Chang 186   2 S Li 106   3 Lu 75   4 Ryan Liu 61   5 Zefeng 60   6 Shang 44   7 C Li 44   8 Lee 36   9 Chengru Hu 33   10 Weiyuan Fang 27