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F3 rookie Dunne: ‘Nobody will remember’ speed before Macau crash

F3 debutant Alex Dunne believes that his strong showing in the Macau Grand Prix weekend will be quickly forgotten after he crashed on the opening lap in the final race.

Alex Dunne, Hitech Pulse-Eight

GB3 runner-up Dunne was the star of Saturday’s opening race, belying his lack of experience in F3 machinery by fighting his way up from sixth on the grid to an eventual second behind Hitech team-mate Luke Browning.

That put Dunne alongside Browning on the front row of the grid for Sunday’s main event, but a poor launch saw the Irishman slip behind Gabriele Mini as the field rounded Mandarin.

Dunne was tucked into Mini’s slipstream for the run to Lisboa before he ducked to the outside and appeared to misjudge his braking before ploughing into the wall.

“I don’t really know what happened,” Dunne told Autosport. “Gabriele defended the inside, I had to go into the outside, and then he braked early and I had to move to avoid him. 

“It felt like I braked relatively early, I didn’t even lock up a wheel, but for whatever reason I couldn’t get the car stopped. It must have been something I did wrong, but I don’t know what exactly. 

“The weekend went really well up to that point, but if I think about how I’m feeling now, it doesn’t really matter. Nobody remembers the first race, it’s the main race that counts.”

While most of the Macau field were new to the streets of the Far Eastern city, Dunne’s performance stood out owing to his lack of experience in F3 machinery.

Podium: Race winner Luke Browning, Hitech Pulse-Eight, second place Alex Dunne, Hitech Pulse-Eight, third place Gabriele Minì, SJM Theodore Prema Racing

Photo by: Macau GP

Podium: Race winner Luke Browning, Hitech Pulse-Eight, second place Alex Dunne, Hitech Pulse-Eight, third place Gabriele Minì, SJM Theodore Prema Racing

The 18-year-old aspires to race full-time in FIA F3 next season and hopes his Macau showing can help him assemble the necessary budget.

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“I only did one day in the car before this weekend, and I’d never driven on a street track before, so, performance-wise the weekend has been pretty good,” said Dunne. 

“As for the future, I don’t know. Hopefully, some people were happy, and hopefully, it can help me out a bit. It would be nice [to race in FIA F3], but it’s all about the budget and what support we can get, so I don’t know yet. 

“Every weekend I try and show what I am capable of, and this weekend I got to do that, so hopefully that will help a little bit for next year.”

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