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13.-16. November 2003
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Picking a winner from the entry list for the 49th Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix, again nominated as the official FIA International Cup for Formula 3, is virtually impossible.

The demanding nature of the track and the quality of the entry will see the leading drivers separated by fractions of a second, which means victory will be hard-fought and the race will be a true barometer on the talent of the future. With the enormous prestige attached to winning the unique event, it is the race every competitor wants on his CV.

Frenchman Renaud Derlot was unstoppable on the last occasion the Formula Three challengers met on a street circuit. He dominated the Pau European Cup event in his Arta-Signature-Elf Dallara F302-Renault but narrowly missed out on the French crown. He was beaten to the title by ASM Dallara-Renault man Tristan Gommendy, and the pair will be strong challengers. Olivier Pla (ASM) adds to the French attack.

The German F3 championship will also provide a number of drivers capable of victory. Japanese Kousuke Matsuura was runner up in the series and knows how to win in the category, and former world karting champion Vitantonio Luizzi has a spectacular style which should mark him out as someone to watch around the confines of Macau.

British Formula Three champion Robbie Kerr knows just how important victory on the streets of Macau would be to help him reach Formula One. He explains, "The national championship is one thing, but everybody takes notice of Macau. I am not testing any other type of car beforehand deliberately because I do not want to jeopardise my preparations for Macau. It will be that important."

The gritty ADR Dallara-Mugen Honda driver will have tough competition from his regular British Championship rivals. Australian James Courtney will be hoping to redress the balance to Kerr and end his season with the promise with which it started. His domestic title chances took a dive when he was injured in a testing crash for the Jaguar F1 team in July. The Macau event will give him a chance to restore his reputation.

A step forwards from the Renault engines over the course of the 2002 season has meant the Fortec Motorsport machines of Finn Heikki Kovalainen and Brazilian Fabio Carbone have been a true threat. Carbone took his only win of the season at Zandvoort back in August, but a late-season run of form took Kovalainen to third place in the British Championship points.

Promatecme's French ace Bruce Jouanny was another to turn up the heat late-on in the season. A smooth and stylish driver, his approach will be well suited to the demands of the taxing course at Macau and he can be expected to race right at the front of the field.

Other drivers to look out for from the UK series include domestic race winner Alan van der Merwe and hard-trier, Dane Ronnie Bremer. American Richard Antinucci has shown that he is capable of running at the front of the British field on occasions this season too.

Carlin Motorsport will run a car for 2000 race-leader Narain Karthikeyan. The Indian, a former winner in Korea, has raced in both the Dallara Nissan World Series and Formula Nippon this year as he aims to move up the motor sport ladder. However, the kudos attached to victory at Macau means he will return to the category for one last attempt to tame the streets. He will be desperate to make up for his last appearance at the circuit when he ran off the road while in first position.

Italian Paulo Montin is another with previous experience of the Macau circuit. He finished on the fringes of the top 10 in his last appearance here in 2001, and has been contesting the Japanese F3 series throughout this season with success. He will handle a Tom's Dallara-Toyota. Japanese Takahashi Kogure took the title down to the wire with Montin and he will also take to the grid.

Italian Formula Three title winner, Yugoslavian Milos Pavlovic, spearheads the challenge of Target Racing, and will be joined by his team-mate and fellow Italian series racer Cristiano Citron in their Dallara-Opels.

Macau is well represented in the entry with Jo Merzei, Lei Kit Meng, and Michael Ho who finished 9th last year. From Hong Kong, Marchy Lee will make his 3rd visit to the event.

In total, there will be 17 different nations represented on the grid for the 49th Macau Grand Prix which reflects the intercontinental appeal of the event. It is a true contest to find the best in the world behind the wheel of a Formula Three machine.

October 24, 2002

Issued on behalf of the Macau Grand Prix Committee by PR Plus Limited.

Macau Weather
Pictures 2001


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