Leaders crash out at final corner in sensational Macau Grand Prix

Weekend Racing Wrap

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The Macau Grand Prix was held this weekend with three major categories forming the headline acts: WTCC, GT3 and arguably the most important single-seater race outside of Formula One in the Formula Three World Cup.

Elsewhere the World Endurance and Rally Championships – along with NASCAR – ended for the season, with the latter crowning a Champion, while the Formula V8 3.5 Series ended for good in Bahrain.

Guest Series: Macau Grand Prix

Race 1: Macau

If McLaren’s Lando Norris is the golden child among young British racers then Red Bull’s Dan Ticktum, who most know for earning a one-year ban in 2015, is the bad boy. The rivalry between the pair began in karting but while Norris is now on the cusp of reaching F1 it was Ticktum won the latest battle between the pair. And with it, a glorious Macau Grand Prix triumph.

Ticktum’s decisive move was for third place, which came as Norris finally put himself in position to overtake a slowly Maximilian Gunther. They went three-wide into Lisboa, Ticktum boldly sweeping around the outside of his two rivals for third.

The final lap began with race leader Sergio Sette Camara fending off a concerted attack from Ferdinand Habsburg. Having repelled the Carlin driver as far as San Francisco, Camara should have been home free. But he was struggling badly with his tyres and Habsburg was striving to pass on parts of the track which are normally single-file. He lined Camara up for a move approaching the final turn and got him – but neither of the pair made the corner. With both cars in the barrier, Ticktum swept by to snatch an sensational win ahead of Norris.

Ralf Aron completing the podium in improbable fashion. Habsburg, on three wheels, scraped across the line to take fourth place, JR Hildebrand-style.

New Ferrari junior Callum Ilott had won the qualifying race after an incredible move on Joel Eriksson to take the lead. Having qualified third Ilott leapfrogged Norris – who made another of his slow F3 starts – before setting about closing the 1.1 second gap Eriksson had opened up at the end of lap one. He first tried an overtake around the outside of Lisboa on lap five but had to wait two more tours to make the decisive move. With a good run on the Swede, Ilott dived down the inside at the flat-out Mandarin bend, with Eriksson leaving just enough room to avoid an accident, allowing Ilott to take the lead and win by eight seconds.

Guest Series: GT World Cup

Race 1: Macau

Last year’s GT World Cup race at Macau was won by a driver who ended the race upside down, and the 2017 edition was almost as strange.

A dozen of the 20 starters in the qualification race were eliminated after a huge pileup at Police which was triggered when fourth-placed Daniel Juncadella hit the wall. That blocked the track and caused concertina effect where car after car ploughed into the carnage in front. After a half-hour stoppage, the race was restarted with a hugely depleted field, and Edoardo Mortara emerged victorious for Mercedes ahead of Augusto Farfus for BMW and Rafaelle Marciello in another Mercedes.

Mortara converted his starting advantage to outright victory, his fourth at the track, beating the challenge from Robin Frijns and Maro Engel. Augusto Farfus started from second but was hit by Marciello at Lisboa, putting the Brazilian in the barrier and damaging his car. Marciello inherited second briefly until he retired with a smoking car, while Farfus was instructed to pull into the pits during a yellow flag to fix a boot lid which was obstructing his vision. After re-entering the race, a charging Farfus ended the race in a remarkable fourth with some excellent overtakes.

World Endurance Championship

Race 9: Bahrain

Porsche failed to depart WEC with a win as the number eight Toyota of Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima won in Bahrain. The new champions dropped out of contention early on after collecting a bollard while the two Toyota’s relegated their team mate to third.

It wasn’t to last for the Japanese marque however as the number seven was involved in contact with a backmarker while running third that resulted in a six-minute pitstop, while shortly after the number one Porsche – which had found its way back to the front – was also involved in contact with a slower car and picked up a puncture, leaving the number eight Toyota to cruise to the final win of the season.

World Rally Championship

Race 13: Australia

Thierry Neuville won the final rally of a thrilling season, but only after new team mate Andreas Mikkelsen was cruelly forced to retire early on day two.

Mikkelsen led comfortably early on after dominating Friday, but he picked up two punctures on stage ten and was only carrying a single spare, ruling him out of contention. This promoted Neuville to a lead he wouldn’t relinquish, as he looks to carry strong form into 2018 in a bid to finally beat Sebastien Ogier to the title.

Jari-Matti Latvala looked set for second place until a small mistake put him out on the final stage, meaning Ott Tanak ended his career with M-Sport in second place as he moves to Toyota in 2018. Hayden Paddon gained a surprise final spot on the podium thanks to Latvala’s demise, a good end to a trying year.


Race 36: Homestead

Martin Truex Jnr clinched his first NASCAR Cup title with victory in the final race of the season at Homestead in Miami, chased to the line by Kyle Busch.

World Series Formula V8 3.5

Races 17-18: Bahrain

Ahead of the season finale Formula V8 3.5 announced the Bahrain weekend would be the last hurrah for the championship. Grid numbers have slumped alarmingly since Renault withdrew its backing after 2015 and just ten cars contested the final race.

At least there was the prospect of a six-way title fight to savour. Unfortunately that was decided within seconds of the start. With Egor Orudzhev a non-starter due to tonsillitis it fell to his SMP/AVF team mate Matevos Isaakyan to take the fight to points leader Pietro Fittipaldi. He got off to a promising start by claiming his first pole position of the year, but a transmission glitch on the line stopped him from getting away. Gallingly, the car ran faultlessly after a few minutes’ attention in the pits.

That meant all Fittipaldi had to do to secure the title ahead of the remaining contenders was hold the second place he took at the start. That was good news for series newcomer Henrique Chaves, who inherited the lead spot on the grid from Isaakyan and led from start to finish as Fittipaldi took the title. Race two was a similar story, this time with Fittipaldi pursuing team mate Rene Binder to the flag, and failing to get ahead even when Lotus gave Fittipaldi the benefit of pitting a lap earlier than the other car.

Video not available yet.

World Touring Car Championship

Races 17-18: Macau

Mehdi Bennani won the opening race from reverse-grid pole after Norbert Michelisz’s brought the race to an early end. Contact with the inside and outside barriers at Police left Esteban Guerrieri unable to avoid piling into team mate Michelisz, triggering a standard macu pile-up and red flag. The result was declared based on the result two laps earlier, so Michelisz kept fifth behind his championship rival Thed Bjork. Tom Coronel was second ahead of Ryo Michigami, Japan’s first visitor to a WTCC podium.

The field followed the Safety Car for the first two sodden laps of Sunday’s main race. Rob Huff finally led the field away from pole position and collected a record-breaking ninth Macau win. Michelisz pushed him hard to begin with before making a mistake which allowed Huff to break the tow. Huff won by 8.1 seconds after 9 laps of racing. Tom Chilton took the final podium position ahead of Guerrieri and Bjork, who enters the final round of the season in Qatar with a 6.5 point lead in the driver’s standings and 60 on offer.

Also last weekend

Tragically, motorbike racer Daniel Hegarty was killed in another crash during the Macau Grand Prix weekend. The 31-year-old hit a barrier at Fishermen’s Bend.

Over to you

What racing action did you watch last weekend? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks to Robert Mathershaw (@mathers) for contributing to this article.

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22 comments on “Leaders crash out at final corner in sensational Macau Grand Prix”

  1. It’s just a shame that one of the 3 fastest drivers didn’t won the Macau race (Eriksson/Illost/Camara). But it’s the way motorsport is.

    I hope Pietro have a chance in F2 next year, it would be interesting to see him there, it’s difficult to tell how good he is in a small grid like V8 is this year.

    1. It’s the way Macau is haha. Ilott only has himself to blame though, he took himself and Eriksson out of it.

  2. You could mention MRF Challenge races in these “Weekend Racing Wrap”.

  3. Sundar Srinivas Harish
    20th November 2017, 8:46

    The FIA highlights are so bland, no idea what is going on due to the lack of commentary. How much could it cost to hire someone to voice-over your reels, or just sign an agreement with the broadcasters to use their highlight reels?

    1. They still have the entire Macau GP live stream, with commentary, here. The parade lap starts around 29:00.

  4. Dan Ticktum should not be in motorsport period.

    For his 1 year ban, the guy passed 13 yellow flags, four double-yellow flags, two white flags and 15 safety-car boards to catch back up to his rival TO CRASH INTO HIM. He’s not right in the head.

    Only a year after Bianchi too when the safety car etiquette and marshal safety was at the forefront of motorsport.

    1. Remind me what Vettel got for deliberately crashing into his rival behind a safety car in a significantly more dangerous formula?

      1. A warning never to disrespect Lewis from the man himself. That is a real punishment and Vettel is still quaking in his boots.

      2. There’s a subtle difference: F1 is governed by the FIA directly, while MSA Formula is only indirectly covered by them (the stewards there were running the event to MSA rules, and MSA organises races within parameters permitted by the FIA). This is part of the glaring differences in stewarding.

        The other is the level of premeditation: Vettel was, at most, not racing properly for a few seconds, and due to the mechanism the FIA used to penalise it, no attempt to assess whether that erroneous driving was deliberate. On the other hand, Dan passed 19 marshal posts at full speed (in F1, 5-second time penalties have been issued for excessive speed past one in that situation), overtook most of the field under Safety Car (which would be worth about 2 minutes of time penalty in itself!) and only then crashed into someone on purpose under the Safety Car. Hardly surprising the penalty was just a tad heavier for the latter incident…

      3. Vettel in baku was a crusing speed, stupid but not dangerous

  5. Sette Camara seems pretty inconsistent, but he can be very fast on his day. With no brazilian drivers in F1 for the first time in what seems to be a eternity, surely someone should bet on him? I know RB dropped him – how does his path to F1 look now?
    Not the first time he has done well in Macau…

    1. He’s Just 19 years old, he have at least 1 or 2 more years to prove himself. But he will need a seat at a better team I think.

  6. Habsburg, on three wheels, scraped across the line to take fourth place, JR Hildebrand-style.

    Huh, poor guy will always be remembered for that. One of the most memorable moments in the history of motorsport.

    @keithcollantine would you fancy making an article about morosport’s most memorable moments? Or maybe last lap/stage DNF’s? Obviously depending on how broadly your treat motorsport, it might be very hard to do. But it surely would be a cool topic for conversation.

    1. @Damon I like the idea but it’s very broad – there’s a lot of motorsport out there!

  7. Might I recommend a spelling correction to Kyle Busch’s name in the NASCAR wrap-up?

    1. @nooma341 Fair enough that was a pretty bad one. At least I didn’t call him Kurt though…

  8. Along with the championship battle, Sunday may well be the last NASCAR Cup race for both Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth. Both driver came into the sport during the 2000 season with Kenseth earning Rookie of the Year honors. Kenseth ends his career with the 2003 championship, 39 victories and 2 Daytona 500’s. Earnhardt Jr. finishes with 26 victories and 2 Daytona 500’s.

    Sunday marked Danica Patrick’s last race in what could be her last full season as a driver. She plans to run the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 with Chip Ganassi and then call it a career.

    It is also reported that half of NASCAR’s remaining fan base may also move on next year to bigger and better things.

    1. SHE thinks she is running with CGR at Indy next year, Chip has said otherwise and they have only talked about it as a possibility. She hasn’t had sponsors beating down her door lately and she better bring cash, and 100% of what’s needed before CGR will push for an engine lease for just Indy. He lost his biggest and long term sponsor in Target/P&G after 2017 and right now his cars are still a little sparse. With the new teams, and part-time teams, looking at Indy she better have a great proposal and saying I’m Danica isn’t going to cut it anymore.

  9. Why mentioning Illotts move on Eriksson in qualifyrace ” with good enough room” and leave out that he robbed Erikssons chances of a clear win ( again! Noisring2016) with a headless move “clearly without enough room”..??! Illott need atleast another year in F3 or lower to grow up!
    Joel did everything just right and where the fastest driver all weekend, robbed when leading after an ” incredible move” from 2nd on the grid. He was the moral winner of Macau 2017 and should be mentioned as that even if he is not from GBR.

  10. Who would have won the NASCAR Cup Series under a traditional points format ???

    1. Martin Truex Jr would have still won the championship. He dominated the season and led nearly every major statistical category.

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