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Motorsport: Rosenqvist edges da Costa for provisional pole in Macau

The Macau Grand Prix will climax this weekend with the Formula 3 race, with Felix Rosenqvist leading the first qualifying session.

The Macau Grand Prix will climax this weekend with the Formula 3 race, with Felix Rosenqvist leading the first qualifying session.

November 15, 2013: Felix Rosenqvist is on provisional pole for the Star River Windsor Arch Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix after narrowly beating António Félix da Costa in the first qualifying session on Thursday.


GR Asia with Mücke’s Rosenqvist and Carlin’s da Costa staged an epic battle for provisional pole, which started when Rosenqvist went fastest right at the mid-point of the session with a 2:13.477 lap.


The time stood for close to 10 minutes, before da Costa showed exactly why he’s the event’s reigning winner by lowering the benchmark to an astoundingly quick 2:12.862 with five minutes left to run. Rosenqvist immediately responded, his next flying lap a 2:12.751 to re-take top spot.


The pair were set to go even faster again when a Yuichi Nakayama crash brought out the red flag with 90 seconds left on the clock, permanently halting the session and handing Rosenqvist provisional pole.


Alexander Sims was a late improver to finish third for ThreeBond with T-Sport, ahead of Harry Tincknell (Carlin) and Pipo Derani (Fortec), both of whom spent part of the first half of the session on top of the times.


Carlos Sainz Junior recovered from his practice crash to finish the session sixth for Carlin, while Stefano Coletti (EuroInternational), one of the morning’s pace-setters, could manage just seventh.


The biggest surprise of the session was Alex Lynn, the Theodore Racing by Prema driver ending the session down in 26th after crashing at Fishermen’s Bend early on. URD Rennsport driver Lucas Wolf missed the entire session, his car not repaired following a morning practice crash.


Meanwhile, Rob Huff kicked off his Macau weekend in style, topping the times in the FIA World Touring Car Championship’s (WTCC) 30-minute testing session. The reigning FIA World Touring Car Champion spent much of the session in second place, sitting behind the likes of Yvan Muller and Pepe Oriola.


But following a mid-session stoppage – a result of Nika Racing’s Jukinori Taniguchi hitting the wall – Huff was unstoppable, taking his Münnich Motorsport SEAT to the top of the times just over five minutes from the end of the session. He then put the result beyond doubt with a further improvement a minute from the end to leave him with a best of 2:32.147.


Hungarian Norbert Michelisz wound up second fastest, the Zengö Motorsport Honda driver less than a tenth down on Huff, while Yvan Muller – who already has an unassailable lead in this year’s FIA WTCC – made it three different makes of car in the top three in his RML Chevrolet.


Former Formula 1 driver Tiago Monteiro was fourth fastest in the factory Honda, ahead of Oriola (Tuenti Racing Team Chevrolet) and Stefano D’Aste, whose PB Racing BMW escaped serious damage despite an on-track clash with Campos Racing’s Konstantins Calko mid-way through the session.


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