Home Formula 4Chinese F4 Leong takes Macau GP pole in qualifying for Chinese F4 finale

Leong takes Macau GP pole in qualifying for Chinese F4 finale

by Ida Wood

Photo: Macau Grand Prix

Charles Leong claimed pole position for the Macau Grand Prix qualification race by a comfortable 0.813 seconds in qualifying.

The local driver sat under the radar in the first half of the 20-minute session, before rising to provisional pole with a 1m31.970s lap with eight minutes to go.

He improved on that next time around with a 1m29.794s, and yellow flags in the final minutes meant he didn’t have the opportunity to go even faster than that, but it was good enough for pole.

The Smart Life Racing driver is ineligible for points though, as a result of having already won the Chinese F4 title in a previous year, and it was LEO Geeke’s Sicheng Li who took top honours for those classified for points this weekend.

He was in first place before Leong moved to the top of the times, and while he did drop to third behind Macau’s second home talent Andy Chang, he was able to reclaim a front row grid spot with a 1m30.607s lap.

This came despite encountering the spun car of Hui Zheng down the pit straight, and the removal of another car in the twistier section of the lap by marshals.

Li pitted early rather than stay out to the chequered flag, meaning he also denied himself the opportunity to beat Leong.

BlackArts Racing’s Kang Ling rose up to fourth place with six minutes to go and was able to stay there on the timesheet, ahead of points leader Zijian He – who briefly topped the times – and Junjie Lu.

Stephen Hong was seventh for Asia Racing Team, but could have qualified higher had he not gone down the Lisboa escape road on his final lap.

Over 3.7s covered the top six drivers, with an astonishingly large 37.959s spread from pole down to 16th. Such gaps suggest lapped traffic will be an issue in the qualification race, even though it runs to a short eight-lap distance.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Charles Leong Smart Life Racing 2m29.794s 8
2 Sicheng Li LEO Geeke 2m30.607s +0.813s 7
3 Andy Chang Chengdu Team 2m31.026s +1.232s 8
4 Kang Ling BlackArts Racing 2m32.010s +2.216s 8
5 Zijian He Smart Life Racing 2m32.943s +3.149s 8
6 Junjie Lu Pointer Racing 2m33.498s +3.704s 8
7 Stephen Hong Asia Racing Team 2m34.236s +4.442s 8
8 Yang Liu 2m35.950s +6.156s 8
9 Neric Wei Grid Motorsport 2m36.434s +6.640s 7
10 Zong Yi Shang SUNMAX 2m39.396s +9.602s 6
11 Yucheng Zeng Champ Motorsport 2m40.173s +10.379s 6
12 Yuanjie Zhu BlackArts Racing 2m41.246s +11.452s 7
13 Jing Zefeng SUNMAX 2m41.467s +11.673s 7
14 Weifu Huang LEO Geeke 2m45.485s +15.691s 7
15 Hui Zheng 2m49.164s +19.370s 7
16 Yu Songtao Asia Racing Team 3m07.753s +37.959s 4
17 Hui Zheng Henmax Motorsport no time 0