Leong makes history with Theodore Racing's ninth Macau Grand Prix win
Charles Leong defended his Macau Grand Prix title on Sunday, making history along the way by becoming the first Macau-born driver to secure back-to-back wins on home soil.
He joins only a handful of other successful drivers to win the prestigious event twice in a row, including former Theodore Racing drivers Geoff Lees (1979-80) and, most recently, Felix Rosenqvist (2014-15).
Following a dominant victory in Saturday's qualification race, Leong looked unstoppable right from the off, producing a lights-to-flag victory with a 24secs advantage over his nearest rival. It was not all plain sailing, however, as Andy Chang challenged Leong for the lead during the opening laps, especially on down the run to Lisboa. Despite Chang’s efforts, there was no way past the Theodore Smart Life Racing entry, as Leong held the inside line at Mandarin to ensure he maintained the lead.
From then on, the local hero kept calm and showed his skill, creating a mammoth gap to the rest of the field – already half a minute ahead at the middle stage of the race – before claiming the crown for a second time.
Starting in the top ten, team-mate Lyu Jingxi produced another solid drive, running in the top five at one stage of the race. The Chinese racer managed to avoid an incident at Mandarin where many of his competitors were collected by the barriers, and focused on putting in clean laps, eventually finishing seventh overall.
Teddy Yip of Theodore Racing
“It’s a special thing to have a Macanese driver win for Theodore Racing at the Guia Circuit. Charles has that vital commitment at the most challenging of corners at Macau which distinguishes him from the others. He drove the perfect weekend and produced a brilliant performance.
David Kennedy, Managing Director of Theodore Racing
“What a sensational weekend we’ve had at Macau! I remember meeting Charles for the first time a few years ago at an F4 event in Ningbo with Teddy. The conditions were biblical, with horrendous streams of water running across the circuit, and we watched the race where an ambitious driver was lapping an incredible 3-4 seconds faster than the rest. This turned out to be the precociously uber-talented Charles Leong! Macau showcases his raw speed, and he displayed that in bucketloads this weekend. Charles is undoubtedly a star of the future, and we are proud to see him carry the Theodore banner.”
“I have no words right now, I don't know how to describe my feeling, but it is an honour to become the first Macau driver to win twice in the Macau Grand Prix. Thank you to the whole Theodore team for their support.”