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Macau Grand Prix to run for FRegional cars from 2024 onwards

by Ida Wood

Photo: Macau Grand Prix

The Macau Grand Prix will run for Formula Regional cars from 2024 onwards, replacing Formula 3 as the category of cars used for the prestigious race.

First run in 1954, the grand prix was initially held for sportscars before switching to single-seaters in 1961 with the open Formula Libre regulations. It then became a race for Formula Pacific cars in 1974, before assuming its long-held position as the annual highlight of the international F3 schedule in 1983.

F3 teams have visited 38 times, as from 2020 to ’22 the COVID-19 pandemic restricted travel to Macau and the neighbouring China so the Chinese Formula 4 championship incorporated the grand prix into its calendar for three seasons.

In 2016 the event was awarded FIA F3 World Cup status, which it retained through the subsequent editions using F3 cars. Now that FRegional will be contesting the grand prix, the FIA has announced that the race will double up as the FRegional World Cup.

“Formula Regional cars to Macau for the FIA World Cup is a natural consequence of the evolution of the junior single-seater landscape over the last couple of years and is a logical step in the pyramid,” said the FIA’s single-seater strategy and operations director Francois Sicard.

“Macau’s F3 race has built its legendary reputation as an event that gathered the best junior racers from national series around the world at what is the world’s most challenging street circuit. A move to FRegional machinery very much revives that spirit and is an optimal long-term solution for the FIA-sanctioned single-seater competition in Macau.”

Since 2020, F3 has been a spec car used in one championship rather than a single-seater category. FRegional however has multiple chassis and engine suppliers, with championships run all over the world.

Macau will become the second grand prix in the international FRegional calendar, joining the New Zealand Grand Prix which runs as the FRegional Oceania season finale.

Racing on street circuits is rare in FRegional, with the European championship having visited Monaco twice and the all-female W Series having raced at the Norisring in 2019 then in Miami and on Singapore’s Marina Bay circuit in 2022.