MORTARA IMPRESSES AT FANTASTIC MACAU WITH SIGNATURE
Newly-crowned Formula 3 Euroseries rookie champion Edoardo Mortara has enjoyed a fantastic weekend at the world-famous Macau Grand Prix, where he was regularly at the top of the time sheets. The Signature team driver was forced to start the main race at the back, but staged a fantastic fightback to make up 16 places and end the race 10th!
The street circuit of Macau is a legendary venue that unites all the top Formula 3 drivers from across the world, as they compete to win a race that has been claimed in the past by stars such as Michael Schumacher (winner in 1990) and Takuma Sato (winner in 2001). Corners such as Mandarin, famed throughout the world, test a driver's abilities to the utmost.
The French-Italian driver got off to an excellent start in free practice on Thursday, when he was sixth straight away despite never having seen the circuit before. At the preliminary qualifying session he was 12th, using old tyres whereas many other competitors were trying new tyres for the first time.
Confirmation of his pace came in Friday's first free practice session, where he was an excellent fourth. The main qualifying session went very well for the Signature team driver as he was either first or second for a lot of it. In the end, after several red flag interruptions, Edoardo was fourth on the grid.
Saturday's qualification race did not go so well, as he outbraked himself into the tricky Lisboa corner and was forced to retire. This also meant that he would start Sunday's main race at the back. Nonetheless, Edoardo saw this as an opportunity to demonstrate his renowned overtaking skills.
The French-Italian driver did not disappoint. Starting from a lowly 26th on the grid, he scythed his way through the sinuous circuit to end up an astonishing 10th. His remarkable progress was a highlight of the race.
Mortara commented: "This race weekend has been an amazing experience: I understand now why the Macau Grand Prix is such a legendary event. I loved the challenge of a track like this and we had a fantastic weekend: my only regret was outbraking myself in the qualification race. Given our race pace on Sunday, who knows what might have happened if we had started higher up the grid? I honestly don't mind though: I've enjoyed myself thoroughly and I'd like to thank the Signature team for doing such a fantastic job all weekend, as they have done all year."
Edoardo's plans for the 2008 season will be announced shortly.