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Macau GP: Antonio Felix da Costa wins race for Carlin

antonio Felix da Costa Carlin Macau GP 2012 F3

Antonio Felix da Costa continued his incredible late-season run of form by winning the Macau Grand Prix.

The Portuguese, a winner in GP3 and Formula Renault 3.5 and who tested a Red Bull Formula 1 car recently, has now added victory in the world's most prestigious Formula 3 race.

Da Costa slipstreamed back ahead of the fast-starting Felix Rosenqvist on the run to the Lisboa bend on the opening lap, and then led the way for the remainder of the 15.

Coupled with his qualification race victory, da Costa was in front for all 25 racing laps of the Macau weekend.

Rosenqvist also lost out to Alex Lynn on the run to Lisboa, but the Swede immediately repassed the Briton.

He chased da Costa's Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen and made attempts to pass into Lisboa over the next couple of laps, but then the safety car emerged after Lucas Wolf crashed at Maternity Bend.

Rosenqvist's Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes was close in da Costa's slipstream at the restart, but the leader pulled an advantage of just enough over the mountain section to prevent Rosenqvist getting close enough to find a tow.

Instead, Lynn's Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes began to close on Rosenqvist, but similarly he was unable to get near enough to make a move.

"These guys gave me an unbelievable race," said da Costa.

"Every lap was on the limit. I'm speechless, but at the same time there is so much to say. There are so many good names on this list of winners and now I'm there too."

German Pascal Wehrlein completed a good day for the Mucke team, pressuring Lynn in the early stages before dropping back slightly in fourth, while Felipe Nasr gradually fell away to take fifth in his Carlin machine.

Last year's winner Daniel Juncadella was up to fourth on the opening lap, but the Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes touched the barrier at R Bend and the Spaniard toured around to retire in the pits.

Macau F3 start 2012It was a bad day for Prema as Hannes van Asseldonk, sixth on lap one, went out on the second lap.

Carlos Sainz Jr bogged down badly from his second-row start and dropped into the midfield, but he climbed up the order and was right in the wheeltracks of Pipo Derani, who made great progress to make it two Fortec cars in the top six.

Derani had battled ahead of team-mate Harry Tincknell and the Prema car of Raffaele Marciello. Tincknell fell back to the tail of this group on the final lap, with Will Buller completing the top 10.

British F3 champion Jack Harvey ran just outside the top 10 before retiring, while Alexander Sims stalled at the start and raced to 15th.

There was a big accident on the 13th lap when Ryo Hirakawa crashed at R Bend and bounced into the path of Lucas Auer. The race continued with yellow flags at the final corner for the final two laps.

There was another big shunt on the final lap, when Dennis van de Laar and Luis Sa Silva collided on the run to Lisboa.

Race result: 15 laps

Pos  Driver                  Team/Car                       Time/Gap
 1.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Carlin Dallara-VW              38m02.845s
 2.  Felix Rosenqvist        Mucke Dallara-Mercedes           + 1.573s
 3.  Alex Lynn               Fortec Dallara-Mercedes          + 2.468s
 4.  Pascal Wehrlein         Mucke Dallara-Mercedes           + 3.471s
 5.  Felipe Nasr             Carlin Dallara-VW                + 9.127s
 6.  Pipo Derani             Fortec Dallara-Mercedes         + 11.043s
 7.  Carlos Sainz Jr         Carlin Dallara-VW               + 11.417s
 8.  Raffaele Marciello      Prema Dallara-Mercedes          + 14.376s
 9.  Harry Tincknell         Fortec Dallara-Mercedes         + 16.944s
10.  Will Buller             Carlin Dallara-VW               + 21.650s
11.  Jimmy Eriksson          Double R Dallara-Mercedes       + 22.955s
12.  Daniel Abt              Carlin Dallara-VW               + 24.025s
13.  Kevin Korjus            Double R Dallara-Mercedes       + 24.632s
14.  Hideki Yamauchi         B-Max Dallara-Toyota            + 26.502s
15.  Alexander Sims          T-Sport Dallara-Nissan          + 26.757s
16.  Jazeman Jaafar          TOM'S Dallara-Toyota            + 27.834s
17.  Tom Blomqvist           Euro International Dallara-VW   + 28.565s
18.  Mitchell Gilbert        Mucke Dallara-Mercedes          + 31.899s
19.  Sven Muller             Prema Dallara-Mercedes          + 32.744s
20.  Felix Serralles         Fortec Dallara-Mercedes         + 33.276s
21.  Yuichi Nakayama         TOM'S Dallara-Toyota            + 47.525s
22.  Andrea Roda             Jo Zeller Dallara-Mercedes      + 59.222s
23.  Luis Sa Silva           Angola Dallara-Mercedes           + 1 lap
25.  Dennis van de Laar      Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW         + 1 lap


     Ryo Hirakawa            RSS Dallara-Toyota                12 laps
     Lucas Auer              Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW         12 laps
     Jack Harvey             Carlin Dallara-VW                 12 laps
     Daniel Juncadella       Prema Dallara-Mercedes             2 laps
     Hannes van Asseldonk    Prema Dallara-Mercedes             2 laps  
     Lucas Wolf              URD Dallara-Mercedes               0 laps
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