Lucas DiGrassi triumphs in Macao
Renault Driver Development member Lucas DiGrassi won Sunday's 52nd Macao Grand Prix after a thrilling race. Pole-sitter Loic Duval finished 6th.
On his second visit to the prestigious International Macao Grand Prix, 21 year-old Brazilian Lucas DiGrassi -- who has been a member of the Renault Driver Development programme for two years -- won the race, held on Sunday around the Da Guia circuit. The race attracts the top international Formula 3 drivers, and previous winners have included Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard.
Starting third, Lucas surprised Kubica in the first corner to seize second position. He benefited from a penalty to then leader Loic Duval, to take the lead. Kubica gradually closed the gap to the Brazilian, and passed him under braking. Several laps later, a three-car collision brought the safety car out, closing up the field. The race resumed two laps later, with DiGrassi making a decisive move under braking to take a lead he would hold until the chequered flag.
"I am delighted," commented Lucas. "I have been waiting for this moment all year. It's certainly the best day of my career: I have beaten the best F3 drivers in the world. At Macao, it is not always the quickest car that wins, but the driver that has the best strategy. That was me today, and I am proud we could demonstrate it."
The other RDD representative in action was Frenchman Loic Duval, and he had distinguished himself throughout the weekend. Having topped qualifying and won the qualifying race from pole, he started from pole in the blue riband event. However, he jumped the start and, while leading, was penalised by the stewards. He served a drive-through penalty to emerge amidst the chasing pack. But he drove aggressively to climb back up to 6th position.
"I had a great chance to win today, but it all went wrong," lamented Loic. "At the start, my hand slipped off the handbrake and the car moved... I had to serve the penalty, which was completely justified. It goes without saying that I am really disappointed."