SJM Theodore PREMA Racing secures promising starting positions for 70th Macau Grand Prix Qualifying Race
SJM Theodore PREMA Racing showed outstanding form today at the 70th Macau Grand Prix, securing solid starting positions for tomorrow's FIA Formula 3 World Cup Qualifying Race at the Guia Circuit.
A tricky Qualifying 2 session, disrupted by several contacts and red flag situations, meant that drivers had to be quick, smart, and even lucky to find the right moment for their qualifying attempt. Coming from a dominant performance in Qualifying 1 yesterday, Gabriele Minì maximised his chances to secure second place mid-session, while his final two attempts were thwarted by stoppages. The 18-year-old Italian ended up 0.006s away from pole.
Dino Beganovic was an equally competitive contender, navigating the tricky traffic situations to end up third, only 0.08s away from the pole lap time in an incredibly close session. The 19-year-old racer will start tomorrow's Qualifying Race from inside Row 2.
Estonian Paul Aron faced a tough run and got the short end of the stick with the challenging situations that occurred during the session. The 19-year-old Estonian, who showed outstanding potential in this morning's Free Practice 2 session, was forced to settle for 13th place. Considering the combined results of the two qualifying sessions, he will start from P14 in the 10-lap Qualifying Race, which will set the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix.
Teddy Yip - Team Principal
"We can be extremely satisfied and proud of our team effort in this really close qualifying session, and we feel we are in a great position for tomorrow and Sunday. Gabriele and Dino missed pole by incredibly small margins and will be fighting at the front from rows 1 and 2. I feel for Paul, who had such an impressive pace this morning and actually did a remarkable job considering the conditions. He will start from Row 7, but nothing is impossible at Macau, and we will all give everything we have when race day comes."
#8 - Dino Beganovic
"I'm really happy with today's result, which puts us in a great place for the races tomorrow and on Sunday. Coming to Macau is incredible, you only need to look at the smiles on the drivers' faces. In addition, all the top-3 drivers are rookies here. That just proves the level of our generation of drivers and Formula 3 this year."
#9 - Gabriele Minì
"Of course I'm disappointed not to have taken pole by such a small margin. The start of my lap was not perfect, as we went through the last corner in first gear during the preparation lap, which probably cost us one tenth on the straight. After that, we had two more chances but caught red flags in both. On the other hand, Browning did a mega job, and I congratulate him on that. This year, we already had a street circuit in Monaco, and it went quite well there, but we know that Macau is a much tougher place, three times harder. We know the races won't be easy, but we will give our best."
#10 - Paul Aron
"I'm obviously very disappointed after qualifying. We were the quickest this morning in practice, and we went into Qualifying very confident, but we had zero clean laps. On run 1, we got traffic in every lap, and my best lap time was done while overtaking six cars. On Run 2, I got a driver go off in front of me, which took away my only chance. After that, we got red flags on every lap. It is a big shame because not getting pole in Macau is one thing, but starting outside the top 10 is always very difficult, and I feel like we deserved much more. Sadly, things didn't go our way today, but hopefully, tomorrow we will be luckier."