Macau F3 GP is a go!


Only few hours remain till the first practice session of SJM Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix as it is officially titled. Kevin Korjus is entered by Galaxy Double R Racing in #19 Dallara F312 Mercedes. His team-mate is Swede Jimmy Eriksson, German 2012 ATS Formel 3 Cup winner.

Racing weekend in Macau involves many different classes, both bikes and cars, and thus the track-days are long.

F3 drivers have 45-minute practice and 30-minute qualification sessions both on Thursday and Friday which are followed by qualification race on Saturday. Saturday's finishing order determines the starting grid for the main race, held on Sunday.

What does Macau F3 GP mean for drivers? It's very easy to explain. Winners list looks very much like a Hall of Fame of single-seater racing. First F3 GP in 1983 was won by unforgettable Ayrton Senna and in 1990 certain Mika Häkkinen lost his almost certain victory to certain Michael Schumacher. 2012 marks 30th time when Macau GP winner will be decided by F3 drivers, in the past sportscars, Formula Libre and Formula Pacific cars have also been used.

Macau racing track aka Guia Circuit is basically a street course albeit a very unique one. Firstly it is very long for a temporary circuit - 6120 meters. Secondly it consists of two contrasting sections. Three long waterfront straights are linked together with ultra-fast bends and present some overtaking opportunities. On the other hand the mountain section is extremely tight and twisty. The narrowest place, Melco hairpin is only 7 meters wide and quite oddly overtaking is permanently banned there. And did we mention all track is surrounded by Armco guardrails with "softening" tire barriers in most dangerous places?

Here's a brief schedule for F3 at Macau:

 Event  Duration  Local  CET
 45 minutes
 10:55  3:55
 30 minutes
 14:40  7:40
 45 minutes
 11:00  4:00
 30 minutes
 14:35  7:35
 Qualification race  10 laps
 14:00  7:00
 SJM Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix  15 laps
 15:30  8:30


Youngest driver to win a race in Formula Renault 3.5 Series.