Charles Leong wins F4 MGP 2nd time in a row

2021-11-22 03:51     BY Rui Pastorin    Comment:0

Local driver Charles Leong Hon Chio, driving a Theodore Smart Racing Life MYGALE SARL M14-F4, marked his second consecutive win yesterday at the SJM Formula 4 race of the 68th Macau Grand Prix.

The second win makes Leong the Macau Grand Prix’s 10th multiple winner. Meanwhile, local driver Andy Chang Wing Chung, also driving a MYGALE SARL M14-F4 for 成都天府國際賽道車隊 placed second, followed by mainlander Li Sicheng driving for Blackjack 二十一賽車 in a MYGALE SARL M14-F4.

Remarking on the win, Leong told reporters on the sidelines after the post-race press conference at the Macau Grand Prix Building that the win felt “amazing”. He described it as “special” for someone born and raised in Macau. “It’s just special, I don’t know how to describe it”.

Though he remained dominant throughout the race, Leong told reporters that the race was not without its difficulties, noting the need to maintain the car’s distance from the walls, as well as worries over wearing out his tyres and being overtaken. However, he said that overall, “I think I still did quite a good record for the Macau circuit.” Leong also said that he did not experience any mechanical failures during the race and deemed the SJM Formula 4 Macau Grand Prix campaign “perfect”.

Leong might have also felt pressure at the start of the race as Chang drew alongside him on the run into the Lisboa Bend during the first lap, but Leong was able to hold the inside line and maintain the lead position. Chang also was served a drive-through penalty at the end of the third lap, allowing Leong a 25-second advantage that turned into more than half a minute before coming back to 24 seconds, managing his pace in the closing laps. Meanwhile, Chang surpassed Li by Lap 8 and followed Leong in the fastest lap and nabbed second place. Chang said that it was a tough race and noted that he did not know why he received the drive-through penalty, but was able to overtake Cheng, who finished a distant third.

When reporters asked Leong about his plans for the future, he said that he needs to finish university and is currently in his second year. Leong also noted that “racing is a bit too complicated”, saying that he was not able to have a chance to get into a racing car before the Zhuhai races and this year’s Macau Grand Prix, adding that “the last time I was in the car, before the Zhuhai races was [last year’s] Macau Grand Prix”, having undergone “10 months without [race] driving”. However, Leong was quick to add that despite the limited track time, he was “able to do this in Macau”. He also said: “I think I have done what I should” and “I have proved something.”

Leong, 20, also told reporters that he was looking forward to “helping out the racing culture in Macau”, saying that the city has “great resources” such as the Grand Prix and the go-kart track. Aside from these resources, Leong said, “You need to have a person that knows what is going to happen in a racing career”, noting that he thinks he and fellow local driver Chang could be suitable to take that place with their experience obtained, having been to Europe, as well as having been with big teams and “good drivers”. He concluded that he was looking forward to finding another driver from Macau and coming back to the Grand Prix in the future.

Additional reporting by MGPOC

Macau driver Charles Leong Hon Chio addresses yesterday’s post-race the press conference.   Photo: Rui Pastorin

Macau F4 driver Charles Leong Hon Chio is in his racing car ready to compete at yesterday’s SJM Formula 4 Macau Grand Prix. Photo: GCS

Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng shakes hands with Formula 4 Macau Grand Prix (MGP) driver Charles Leong Hon Chio before the start of the F4 race on the Guia Circuit yesterday. Leong won the local F4 race for the second consecutive year. Photo: GCS

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