Charles Leong Hon Chio led a historic one-two for local drivers to win the 67th Macau Grand Prix.
Leong and countryman Andy Chang Wing Chung were a cut above the field throughout the 12-lap race, the pair sprinting away from the chasing pack led by Liu Yang on the opening lap.
Their early advantage was swiftly wiped out when Liu hit the wall at Faraway on the opening lap, triggering the race’s sole safety car.
When the race went green on lap four the leading duo took off again, Leong settling into a comfortable lead over Chang.
That was until the closing stages of the race when lapped traffic began to play its part and Chang able to close right up on Leong’s rear wing.
The race-long leader was able to hold on, though, becoming the just the second Macau driver to win his home grand prix.
“I just reached one of my childhood dreams,” said Leong. “I’m a bit speechless, I don’t know how to describe my feeling right now. There’s too much happening, I feel like I’m dreaming right now.
“I had a couple of cars blocking me through the mountain part [late in the race] and I was struggling quite a bit to get past them. In the end it was really, really close. I think I used my tyres a bit too quick at the start of the race. It was pretty tough.”
Chang said: “In the beginning I was trying to get closer, but Charles was so quick, I couldn’t catch him. And then on the last lap I saw there was a slow car in front, and I thought I had a chance. But I’m really happy to finish second.”
Li Si Cheng finished a lonely third, 23 seconds behind the race winner and 16 seconds clear of Lo Kwan Kit in fourth.
The battle for fourth, meanwhile, was a thriller, with Lo spending a number of laps locked in tense combat with Hong Shi Jie and Ling Kong.
With three laps to go Lo managed to pass Hong and pull a small gap, leaving Hong and Ling to fight it out to the flag.
The gap between the pair was just two-tenths of a second at the finish, Hong hanging on to fifth.
He Zi Jian and Shang Zong Yi finished seventh and eighth, while Zhu Yuan Jie and Wei Chao Yin rounded out the top 10.
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