Charles Leong wins F4 Macau Grand Prix – 3rd local to win MGP since 1954

2020-11-23 04:17     Comment:1

     Macau's Andy Chang 1st runner-up, mainland's Li Sicheng finishes 3rd 

          Charles Leong Hon Chio led a historic one-two for local Macau drivers to win yesterday’s Formula 4 Macau Grand Prix. 

Leong, who took part in Macau’s Formula 3 races in 2018 and last year, won the China F4 Championship in 2017. He finished yesterday’s race in 00:36:38.984. 

Leong, who is only the third Macau driver to win the Macau Grand Prix, and Andy Chang Wing Chung were a cut above the field throughout the 12-lap race, the Macau pair sprinting away from the chasing pack led by mainland China’s Liu Yang on the opening lap.

Chang competed in the F3 MGP races between 2013 and 2016. Both Leong and Chang took part in the FIA F4 Chinese Championship this year. Chang finished yesterday’s race in 00:36:39.497.

The first winner of the Macau Grand Prix was local driver Eduardo de Carvalho at the 1954 event. André Couto won the F3 MPG in 2000. 

Their early advantage was swiftly wiped out when Liu hit the wall at Faraway on the opening lap, triggering the race’s sole safety car. When the race went green on Lap 4 the leading duo took off again, Leong settling in to a comfortable lead over Chang. That was until the closing stages of the race when lapped traffic began to play its part and Chang was able to close right up to Leong’s rear wing.

The race-long leader was able to hold on and take the chequered flag. 

“I just reached one of my childhood dreams,” Leong, 19, told a post-race press conference at the MGP complex in Zape. “I’m a bit speechless, I don’t know how to describe my feeling right now. There’s too much happening, I feel like I’m dreaming right now. I had a couple of cars blocking me through the mountain part [late in the race] and I was struggling quite a bit to get past them. In the end it was really, really close. I think I used my tyres a bit too quick at the start of the race. It was pretty tough.”

Chang, 24, added: “In the beginning I was trying to get closer, but Charles was so quick, I couldn’t catch him. And then on the last lap I saw there was a slow car in front, and I thought I had a chance. But I’m really happy to finish second.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the press conference, Leong said he wanted to thank his parents, friends, and the government for helping him to achieve his “childhood dream”. He also said he acknowledged that a lot of residents were not happy that the government decided to host the race despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but he said he thought this was also a really good chance to show how safe Macau is for mainlanders. 

When asked whether spectators would be seeing him next year, Leong said that “the future is very unpredictable”, adding that he is enrolled in a university in England and having Sports Management, Sports Science and Psychology classes online now. He said that it’s hard to say whether he would be coming back next year. 

Leong and Chang both said on the sidelines of yesterday’s press conference that they would invest more time in coaching and supporting young local racers. 

Meanwhile, mainland Chinese driver Li Sicheng finished third, 23 seconds behind the race winner and 16 seconds clear of Hong Kong’s Lo Kwan-kit in fourth. The battle for fourth was a thriller, with Lo spending a number of laps locked in tense combat with mainland China’s Hong Shijie and fellow mainlander Ling Kang. With three laps to go, Lo managed to pass Hong and pull a small gap, leaving Hong and Ling to fight it out to the flag. The gap between the pair was just two-tenths at the finish, with Hong hanging on to fifth.

The 67th MGP ended yesterday. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MGP’s signature F3 and Motorcycle Grand Prix could not be held. It was the first time a F4 race has taken place in Macau.  – MGPOC, MPD 

Macau driver Charles Leong Hon Chio celebrates after winning the final race of the F4 Macau Grand Prix (MGP) at the MGP complex in the Zape yesterday afternoon.  – Xinhua

MGP F4 second placed Andy Chang Wing Chung looks on during yesterday’s post-race press conference. Photo: Prisca Tang

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  • visitors2020112405:282020-11-24 05:28

    STOP WRITING BULLSHITS IGNORANTS IDIOTS WITH NO CLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ANDRÉ COUTO DID NOT WON THE F3 MPG IN 2000 INSTEAD BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT RACE IT WAS A FRAUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WITH THE HELP OF SAFETY CAR UNTIL THAT IDIOT CROSS THE FINISH LINE IT\'S A RIGGED RACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ANDRÉ COUTO IS A FOREVER LOSER INSTEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WON A BIG SHIT INSTEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!