Leong storms to second Macau Grand Prix victory

Charles Leong defended his Macau Grand Prix crown in dominant fashion at the Guia circuit.

Leong storms to second Macau Grand Prix victory

For a second year running the Macau driver was unstoppable on home soil, executing a perfect lights-to-flag win.

The only time he looked under pressure was right at the start, rival Andy Chang drawing alongside on the run into Lisboa on the first lap - as the two had battled in Saturday's eight-lap qualifying race for pole.

Leong cleverly held the inside line to ensure he retained the lead, before a devastating first two laps that left him four seconds clear off the field.

At the end of Lap 3 Leong's life got even easier when Chang was forced to serve a drive-through penalty for a jump start.

That left Leong with a remarkable 25-second advantage, which ballooned out to over half a minute before coming back to 24 seconds as he managed his pace in the closing laps.

Leong is the 10th multiple winner of the Macau Grand Prix and joins the likes of Edoardo Mortara, Felix Rosenqvist and Dan Ticktum as back-to-back winners in the modern era.

He hailed a "perfect" 2021 Macau GP campaign, which stretched back to his four wins at Zhuhai in the recent warm-up event.

"It was perfect from Zhuhai, which is quite amazing," Leong said.

"I didn't have any mechanical failures, everything just went fine. It was perfect.

"Without that track time since last year, this really gives me a boost. It shows that I have the ability to go a lot higher, and I'm really eager to show that ability and the talent that I have.

"It's pumped me up quite a lot."

Chang had pulled clear of third-placed Li Sicheng before serving his drive-through, but dropped well behind after his unwanted tour of the pitlane.

However he was able to reel in and pass Li by Lap 8, Chang then shading Leong in the fastest lap stakes as he sealed second place.

Post-race he was left to rue a poor first couple of laps – and was left bemused by his penalty.

"It was a tough race," he said. "At the beginning I drove terribly. My times were 2m31s or something like that, pretty slow.

"At Lisboa [on the first lap] I tried to brake later [than Leong] to overtake as it was my only chance, but it didn't work.

"Then I received a drive-through penalty. I thought, 'why have I got a penalty?'.

"After I served it I thought I thought I was fourth or fifth but then I caught Li Sicheng I realised I was in third and if I could overtake him I'd be second.

"I'm happy to finish second."

Li finished a distant third to mark two Macau GP podiums in as many years, the top three identical to last year's race.

Jing Ze Feng finished fourth with a charging drive after a first-lap mishap saw him down the end of the run-off area at Lisboa.

He methodically worked his way through the field, grabbing fourth – where he started – on the final lap.

Li Chao finished fifth while Shang Zong Yi dropped from fourth to sixth on the last of the 12 laps.

Lyu Jin Xi, Brian Lee, Wei Chao Yin and Peng Li Shin rounded out the Top 10 for the 2021 running of the prestigious race.

Two drivers weren't classified, Wong Yiu Ming and Patrick Tsang both crashing out at Lisboa on the opening lap.

shares
comments
​NASCAR Heat Ultimate Edition+ officially launches on Nintendo Switch
Previous article

​NASCAR Heat Ultimate Edition+ officially launches on Nintendo Switch

Next article

Why Pure ETCR champion Cupra chooses electric motorsport

Why Pure ETCR champion Cupra chooses electric motorsport
Load comments
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021