Brilliant second place finish for Hong Kong's Marchy Lee at the Macau Grand Prix
Hong Kong's Marchy Lee Yin Kin of Team Meritus scored an excellent second place finish in the 2003 Grandtour Tires Asian Formula Renault Challenge, held at the 50th Macau Grand Prix. He crossed the line just under 2 seconds behind race winner Hideaki Nakao of Japan. Third place went to Henry Lee Jnr who was 20 seconds behind the lead pair.
After a blinding start from fifth, Marchy was in second place by lap 2 and catching Nakao. However an incident at the infamous Melco Hairpin brought out the red flag and the race was re-started from the original grid positions. On the second attempt, Marchy was stuck in third behind Lee Jnr, finally finding a way past on lap 4 with some expert late braking.
Marchy then proceeded to reel in Nakao, who was 8 seconds ahead at this stage. In the ensuing 6 laps Marchy came as close as 1 second, but ran out of laps as the chequered flag came out.
"It was a really great race. My first start was perfect, but the second was a bit delayed, so I stayed in third. I had a good clean fight with Henry [Lee Jnr], and then tried my hardest to catch up to Nakao, but then the race ended," said a delighted Marchy Lee.
Team Meritus also ran 2 others cars in the race. Harold Primat had a qualifying session full of traffic, and started 10th on the grid. After fighting hard through out the race, he crossed the line in 7th, just ahead of team mate Jonathan Chan, who went from 15th to 8th.
"My grid position really dictated my result. I was stuck behind a few cars but was unable to get past. It was too bad, but I still enjoyed the race," said Harold Primat.
"Like Harold I had a tough qualifying. There were just too many slow cars. It was fun making my way up the field, but 8th was the best I could do in the 10 lap race," said Jonathan Chan.
Marchy's second place finish was in fact Team Meritus' worst result this season, having dominated every race in the AFOS Formula BMW Asia series and winning the 12 hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race at the Sepang F1 Circuit, Malaysia. More information can be found at www.MeritusRacing.com
Marchy goes on to race in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia event on Sunday, in his attempt to score a podium finish in both a Formula race (single seater) and a sports car race. He qualified fifth, and has had a good record in the Porsche, taking 3rd and first in is 2 outings earlier this year.
"I'm now looking forward to the Porsche race. I don't feel too tired so I don't think that will be an issue," concluded Marchy Lee.
The Macau Grand Prix brings the regular motor racing season to a close, as the teams return home and begin preparations for the 2004 season which starts in March. Meritus will be carrying out driver evaluation events at the Sepang Circuit to fill its 2004 line-up between December and February, as well as forming new partnerships with sponsors in what will be another successful year of motor racing.