Spanish driver Daniel Juncadella has won the biggest event of his career so far with victory in the Macau F3 Grand Prix on Sunday.
Juncadella was running fourth early in the race but a safety car restart on lap five, moved the young Spanish driver into position to challenge for the lead.
He took the top place from pole-sitter Marco Wittmann after another safety car restart on lap 10.
From there, Juncadella extended his advantage over second placed Felipe Nasr of Brazil, until a third and final safety car period on the penultimate lap guaranteed him the victory.
“I didn’t really expect to win but this feeling is amazing,” said the Prema driver. “I still can’t believe it. On the last lap when we were behind the safety car, I have never cried that much in my life.”
Wittmann, who had started from pole position and had built up a 2.7 seconds advantage before the second safety car period, dropped down to fifth at one stage after being overtaken at the restart – he recovered to finish third.
The race was again full of incident – with Roberto Merhi triggering a startline accident when he stalled at the start and was hit from behind by New Zealand driver Richie Stanaway, while Laurens Vanthoor also spun after getting caught up in the incident.
Valtteri Bottas who had threatened for the lead early on, hit the wall at Lisboa on lap four after a safety car restart and was forced to retire.
The most serious crash involved Kevin Magnussen with a high speed crash into the fencing at Mandarin Bend, after he clipping the back of William Buller’s car. Magnussen escaped with a minor injury to his left knee.
In other races at Macau. English rider Michael Rutter made Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix history by taking a seventh victory on the famous Guia street circuit, bettering the existing record he had shared with fellow legend Ron Haslam since 2005.
Second was Rutter’s team mate Martin Jessopp, with Ian Hutchinson on the Swan Yamaha 1000 making a remarkable return to competition by taking third for an all-British podium. American Jeremy Toye was fourth with the IGT Kawasaki Racing Team.
It was a wild Macau GT race with former Grand Prix winner Edoardo Mortara taking victory in the Star River/Windsor Arch Macau GT Cup. The Italian, driving an Audi R8 LMS, crossed the line almost six and a half seconds ahead of closest challenger and two-time race winner Keita Sawa of Japan.
Third across the line was Danny Watts in the McLaren MP4. Watts had tried to challenge for second, but Sawa held firm in the Lamborghini LP-560.
Rob Huff won the final round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, but all eyes were on his Chevrolet team-mate Yvan Muller who captured the drivers’ crown with a third placed finish.
The event attracted a total of 65,000 attendees over the four days, including representatives of 240 media organisations and 1,000 journalists from both Macau and 26 counties across the world.
The 59th Macau Grand Prix will be held from November 15th to 18th 2012.