Hitech top British team in F3's Jewel in the Crown

Marko Asmer took the runner-up spot in today's qualifying race to secure a front row start for tomorrow's Polytec Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix. The Hitech Racing driver took the early lead in the qualifier from pole-sitter Oliver Jarvis as the pack entered the first corner.

A multi-car accident ensued behind which eliminated Sebastien Buemi and Edoardo Mortara and held up many drivers behind. Further round the opening lap, Esteban Guerrieri also hit the wall, forcing the deployment of the safety car.

With the British F3 Champion at the front leading Jarvis and his team-mate Kazuya Oshima, things were looking good for Asmer to take victory. However when the race resumed after three laps behind the safety car, Jarvis got into the slipstream of the Hitech ace and powered his way past into the lead.

Asmer wasn't giving up though and for the remaining laps, was right with the British A1GP race winner, pushing him all the way to the flag, which signalled a premature end to the race when first Niko Hulkenberg and Bruno Senna collided and then Atte Mustonen crashed out. With the race declared at just seven laps, Asmer crossed the line just over a second and a half adrift of Jarvis to secure another front row start for tomorrow's main race.

"Marko did exactly what he needed to do today to guarantee a front row start for the main race," said Hitech Racing team Principal David Hayle. "The real race is tomorrow and it was important to drive sensibly to get to the finish in a strong finishing position for it and that's exactly what he did."

For Asmer's young team-mate, Austrian Walter Grubmuller, the qualifying race saw another mature drive from the 18 year-old on his first visit to the Guia street circuit. Starting from 27th position, Walter kept his head when those around him were losing theirs, gradually picking off cars ahead to get up to 16th place at the flag which will ensure an eighth row start for the F3 rookie in tomorrow's Macau Grand Prix.

"Walter did an excellent job today," said Hayle. "He started 27th and got up to 16th at the flag. If he can continue that performance tomorrow we could be looking at a top ten finish, which would be a fantastic result for him on his first visit here."

The team's third driver Michael Ho was unfortunately forced out after three laps after a collision with another car which caused a broken rear wishbone and front wing.

Tomorrow's 54th running of the Macau Grand Prix, the Polytec Formula 3 Grand Prix, will commence at 15.30pm local time.

-credit: hitechracing.net