Home Formula 4Chinese F4 Leong wins Macau GP qualification race, He takes Chinese F4 title

Leong wins Macau GP qualification race, He takes Chinese F4 title

by Ida Wood

Photo: Macau Grand Prix

Charles Leong will start the Macau Grand Prix from pole after winning the Qualification Race, while his Smart Life Racing team-mate Zijian He has sealed the Chinese Formula 4 title.

A strong launch meant poleman Leong went unchallenged approaching Lisboa on lap one, while LEO Geeke’s Sicheng Li immediately conceded second place to Leong’s fellow Macanese Andy Chang.

The top three pulled away, while Yang Lui led a three-way fight for fourth place.

Yu Songtao went off on lap two, then a lap later Yucheng Zeng crashed in the mountain section and caused a blockade. Zeng was eventually able to get restarted, as were two of the three drivers held up, but the safety car was required when Weifu Huang’s car didn’t get going again until a marshal gave him a push start.

Later around the lap there was a similar incident at Melco hairpin, which caused a 13-car stoppage until the incident was cleared.

The safety car departed at the end of lap four of eight, with Yuanjie Zhu spinning around Stephen Hong just as racing got back underway. Hong continued, while Zhu lost the top segment of his nose cone.

Li thought about passong Chang into Lisboa at the restart but thought better of it, and it wasn’t long before there was another safety car as Hui Zheng crashed at speed in the Solitude Esses.

The drivers were released to race again for the final lap, and this time Leong came under immediate pressure from Chang as he weaved down the pit straight.

Chang was on his gearbox through Mandarin Bend, and when Leong picked the inside of the track after that it left the outside open for Chang. He’d drawn slightly ahead, but Leong was later on the brakes to keep the lead into Lisboa and ultimately claim victory.

Li finished third ahead of Lui, while the battle for fifth ended in a crash going up San Francisco Hill. Neric Wei and He slammed into the barriers, while Kang Ling was also caught out and all three failed to finish.

This promoted SUNMAX’s Zong Yi Shang to a surprise fifth, ahead of Hong, Zhu and Junjie Lu. Despite crashing, He won the title with one race to spare.

Qualification Race results (8 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Charles Leong Smart Life Racing 29m57.450s
2 Andy Chang Chengdu Team +0.867s
3 Sicheng Li LEO Geeke +2.334s
4 Yang Lui +4.515s
5 Zong Yi Shang SUNMAX +13.125s
6 Stephen Hong Asia Racing Team +17.490s
7 Yuanjie Zhu BlackArts Racing +20.581s
8 Junjie Lu Pointer Racing +21.293s
9 Weifu Huang LEO Geeke +32.913s
10 Ying Fu Hon Henmax Motorsport +52.472s
11 Zijian He Smart Life Racing +1 lap
12 Kang Ling BlackArts Racing +1 lap
13 Neric Wei Grid Motorsport +1 lap
Ret Hui Zheng
Ret Yucheng Zeng Champ Motorsport
Ret Jing Zefeng SUNMAX
Ret Yu Songtao Asia Racing Team
Fastest lap: Leong, 2m29.494s

Championship standings
1 He 171   2 Li 114   3 Chang 103   4 Hong 98   5 Lu 87   6 Zhu 80   7 Steven Siling Bei 51   8 Oscar Gao 51   9 Huang 44   10 Tao Cheng 41