FORMULA 3 GRAND PRIX - FIA INTERCONTINENTAL CUP OF FORMULA
SET FOR RACE OF CHAMPIONS
from all three major Formula 3 championships will go head-to-head
on the streets of Macau as the classic race enters its second
half-century on November 21. The usual quality field will
again race for the FIA Intercontinental Cup of Formula 3 crown,
and this year contains the names Jones, Rosberg and Piquet
- the sons of three consecutive world champions!
title winner Nelson Angelo Piquet will go up against Euroseries
champion Jamie Green and Japanese series top dog Ronnie Quintarelli
will all be racing each other in similar Dallara chassis -
though each comes armed with a different engine.
campaigns the Mugen-Honda motor, Quintarelli the Japanese-built
Toyota and Green the Mercedes-Benz. Macau's delicate mix of
long straights and endless curves will be a supreme test of
drivers, cars and engines.
will come in with the most momentum, as he won both the final
race and the title in the British finale at Brands Hatch.
The son of the triple world champion, racing for his own Piquet
Sports team, is at Macau for the second time and will certainly
carry the most famous name at the race. Success in a tough
British championship that had no less than ten different race
winners should have made him as prepared as could be for the
has had an easier run to the European title, driving for top
French team ASM. The British driver made sure of the championship
with two of the ten meetings remaining, as nobody else could
muster the consistency to challenge his scores.
the other two championships were won by "foreign"
drivers, it's only fitting that an Italian took honours in
Japan! Ronnie Quintarelli did the business for the Inging
squad, taking the series with a round remaining.
three champions are of course just the cream of a 31-car field,
so there will be 28 cars out to beat them. Most of these are
front-runners from around the world, and there's no guarantee
that the blue-riband race won't fall to one of them.
Britain, Piquet will be joined by drivers from leading outfits
Carlin Motorsport, Hitech Racing and Menu Motorsport. Both
Carlin and Hitech will run three cars each, while Menu will
champions Carlin will have two of its 2004 race winning drivers,
Alvaro Parente and Danilo Dirani. Their third man will be
Macau's very own Rodolfo Avila.
just 17 years-of-age, the talented youngster has been preparing
for his Formula 3 debut by testing with the crack Carlin outfit
in the UK.
is also bringing two race-winners, with Lucas di Grassi and
Danny Watts heading the team's challenge. Watts has in fact
been regularly racing a Lola-Dome chassis in Britain this
year, but the experienced driver will have no problem switching
to Hitech's Dallara for this race. Di Grassi has been sensational
for Hitech this year, performing with ease on unfamiliar tracks.
Improving Estonian Marko Asmer will be the team's third driver.
is to run Malaysian driver Fairuz Fauzy - for whom Macau is
the nearest thing to a home race. Joining him will be Piquet's
number one championship challenger Adam Carroll. Neither driver
is a regular for the team, but both have raced for Menu in
and ASM head up the Euroseries challenge, and the champion
is bringing his two extremely fast team-mates with him. Frenchmen
Alexandre Premat and Eric Salignon make up a very quick combination
- these two having scored first and second respectively in
August's Macau curtain-raiser at Zandvoort in Holland.
quality French team is Signature, which fields Euroseries
top ten finisher Giedo van der Garde alongside Loic Duval.
But the star driver will be British series third-placed man
James Rossiter, who joins the squad for this race as he prepares
to compete in Europe next season.
behind Piquet in the famous-name stakes is Nico Rosberg, if
only because his father was world champion just once, in 1982!
Rosberg will also compete in a team bearing his own name,
and will be looking for victory after placing fourth in this
La Rosa and Robert Kubica, who finished seventh in the championship,
are the last of the Euroseries regulars. They'll be with the
only British team in the Euroseries, the well-respected Manor
Euroseries challengers are the Italian teams Prema and Ombra,
plus the Swiss Racing Team. Leading light of these entrants
is Frenchman Franck Perera, who was eighth in the championship.
Both Swiss Racing team and Ombra will run local drivers -
namely Joe Merszei and Lei Kit Meng. Joining Lei at Ombra
will be Matteo Cressoni who currently leads the Italian F3
Ho is the fourth Macau driver for home fans to cheer on. Ho
will partner Christian Jones (the third world champion son
- father Alan won in 1980) at the TME-Racing team.
Quintarelli and Naoki Yokomizo hold Inging's hopes for the
race, but there are yet more Toyota-engined cars to report.
The TOM'S team is back, with its strong team of series stars
American Richard Antinucci and Kazuki Nakajima, son of former
Japanese Formula 1 driver Satoru. Front-runner Fabio Carbone
completes the line-up, driving the race's only Nissan-powered
car for Three Bond Racing.
format of Macau's headline event has been changed this year,
with a 10-lap Qualification Race scheduled for Saturday afternoon,
with the Grand Prix proper run over 15-laps on Sunday.
drivers had to complete the maximum number of laps over the
two-leg Grand Prix to have a chance of winning, but the new
format means they can go all out in the Qualification race
without fear of being precluded from outright victory in the
the sterling line-up and improved format, the 51st Macau Grand
Prix is set to begin its next half Century with the best race
Macau Grand Prix Committee
October 14, 2004