Dan Ticktum delivered two sensational laps in the closing minutes of qualifying to take pole position for the Suncity Group F3 Macau Grand Prix – FIA F3 World Cup’s Qualification Race.
The Briton, driving a Dallara-VW for the Motorpark team, had also been on provisional pole after Thursday’s initial runs, had been unable to improve on his best lap in the early stages of Friday’s decisive second session as his main rivals delivered better laps. But following the end of a full course yellow to clear the track after Enaam Ahmed spun at the final corner, Ticktum made sure the final six minutes counted as he delivered two laps that were good enough for pole.
“I just got a chance to put everything together, which I didn’t last year,” said Ticktum, who qualified eighth in 2017 before winning the Macau GP. “The 10.1 was almost perfect, and the next one I managed to iron out a couple of mistakes.”
Ticktum’s brilliant last laps knocked fellow Briton Callum Ilott off the top of the standings, with the Carlin driver having faced a challenging session as he lost best efforts through traffic and yellow flags. He was lucky to emerge unscathed, too, from a near miss with Marino Sato at Post 16 Bend on his final lap after the Motopark driver had spun into the barriers ahead of him.
Sacha Fenestraz was another driver who saved his best for last as he produced a strong lap to grab third at the end of the session, before a collision between Joel Eriksson and the spinning Ukyo Sasahara blocked the track at the final corner to prevent anyone else improving. Eriksson ended up fourth overall, ahead of Guan Yu Zhou and Jake Hughes.
• The F3 and GT races from Macau can be streamed via FIA channels at the following times (China Standard Time = UTC/GMT +8 hours):
9:00-10:00 a.m FIA F3 World Cup – Qualifying Race (10 laps)
1:05-2:05 p.m. FIA GT World Cup – Qualifying Race (12 laps)
12:25-1:40 p.m. FIA GT World Cup (18 laps)
3:30-4:30 p.m. FIA F3 World Cup (15 laps)