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F3 F3 Asia: Sepang

F3 to return to Macau after three-year absence

Formula 3 will return to the streets of Macau in November after an absence of three seasons. 

Start action, Jüri Vips, Hitech Grand Prix leads

The FIA Formula 3 and GT World Cups will headline the 70th anniversary running of the Macau Grand Prix meeting on the weekend of 18/19 November following three years during which travel restrictions into China resulting from the COVID pandemic precluded an international presence. 

The F3 fixture, which also carries the Macau GP title and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and the GT race were respectively replaced by a round of the China Formula 4 Championship and the Macau GT Cup in 2020-22. 

It will be the second time that the new FIA one-make F3 formula for the Dallara F3 2019 chassis based on the GP3/16 and powered by a 3.4-litre Mecachrome V6 has raced at Macau after 2019.

Macau's race for GT3 machinery gained FIA status in 2015 and ran for five years up to 2019. 

The Stephane Ratel Organisation, the world's premier promoter of GT3 racing, has again been retained to put together the entry for the race.

Confirmation of the return of F3 follows comments from FIA single-seater strategy director Francois Sicard in March that the governing body was working on bringing the category back to Macau.

Plans to revive the two fixtures last year had to be abandoned as a result of the quarantine period that remained in force before entry into China. 

The FIA-sanctioned races are returning to the Macau Guia circuit as part of a three-year agreement between the governing body and the Macau national sporting authority (the Automobile General Association Macao-China) and the Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee.

Podium: Race winner Richard Verschoor, MP Motorsport, second place Jüri Vips, Hitech Grand Prix, third place Logan Sargeant, Carlin Buzz Racing

Podium: Race winner Richard Verschoor, MP Motorsport, second place Jüri Vips, Hitech Grand Prix, third place Logan Sargeant, Carlin Buzz Racing

Photo by: Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images

Nikolas Tombazis, FIA single-seater director, said: "We are all very eased to see the return of the FIA 3 World Cup in Macau – the history of Macau and F3 is one of the most renowned stories in motorsport and the event has long been the highlight of the junior single-seater calendar. 

"Over the decades many of the biggest names in racing have been tested at the Macau Grand Prix, as an outstanding performance around the Guia Circuit is a sure sign of talent and commitment. 

"It is fantastic news that the story is set to continue with the current generation of F3 cars that made a successful debut on the streets of Macau back in 2019."

Marek Nawarecki, director of the FIA's circuit sport department, described the revival of the GT World Cup as "great news".

"The volume of manufacturers involved and homologated cars make the GT3 platform the FIA's most successful customer racing category," he said. 

"It is therefore important that it has its own pinnacle in the form of a standalone sprint format event awarding an FIA World Cup title. 

"The importance of the GT3 class will further grow, therefore having FIA racing back at the streets of Macau is an extremely positive development for all involved."

Pun Weng Kun, co-ordinator of the Macau GP Organizing Committee, said the organisation was "honoured to continue to receive the trust and support of the FIA". 

Race formats for the two World Cup fixtures will be unchanged from 2019, with a qualifying race and then a main event that will decide the overall winners. 

The F3 races will be 10 and 15 laps of the 3.80-mile Guia circuit and the GT races 12 and 16 laps. 

Macau will run over two weekends this year, 11/12 and 18/19 November, with track action for the FIA events beginning on Thursday, 16 November.

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