Red Bull junior and Motopark’s Dan Ticktum took the win in 2018 Macau GP’s Qualification Race from teammate Joel Eriksson with Ferrari junior and Carlin’s Callum Ilott in third.
Ticktum made a good start but Ilott had a better one to take the lead of the race at the exit of Turn 3 with Carlin’s Sacha Fenestraz in third from Eriksson and Theodore Prema’s Guanyu Zhou completing the Top 5.
The Red Bull junior retook the lead on the very next lap from Ilott as the two Brits pulled out a gap to Fenestraz and Eriksson. However, a dog on the track brought out the Full Course Yellow which turned into a Safety Car as TODA’s Sena Sakaguchi crashed out.
As the race went green after two laps behind the SC, Ticktum held on to his lead from Ilott but Eriksson made the move to grab third from Fenestraz, while Zhou fought back on HitechGP’s Jake Hughes to retake fifth position.
Behind the leading pack, Theodore Prema’s Mick Schumacher steadied himself in seventh with the other Red Bull junior and Motopark’s Juri Vips making the most inside the Top 10 from 14th on the grid.
The stewards put Ilott and Zhou under investigation for their respective starts but gave them both the green signal to continue without any penalty. In the race though, Ticktum eventually held on to win the Qualification Race.
The Brit will start on pole with Eriksson in second after he passed Ilott who had to fend off Fenestraz for third from Hughes, as the HitechGP driver gained a position due to a hit for Zhou on the final lap – a heartbreak for the local Chinese talent.
With Zhou out, Schumacher then ended up as the lead Theodore Prema driver in sixth with Vips gaining seven places to seventh as the three Theodore Prema cars of Armstrong, Ralf Aron and Robert Shwartzman completed the Top 10.
Having started inside the Top 10, Motopark’s Marino Sato dropped places but held on to 11th in the end from HitechGP’s Alex Palou and Motopark’s Ferdinand Habsburg – the latter gaining two places from 15th.
Among the non-finishers was Sakaguchi along with Van Amersfoort Racing’s Frederik Vesti, Team TOM’s Ritomo Miyata, Carlin’s Yoshiaki Katayama and Zhou but all of them apart from Sakaguchi were classified finishers.
Position 11-23: Sato, Habsburg, Yuhi Sekiguchi, Enaam Ahmed, Sho Tsuboi, Jehan Daruvala, Charles Leong, Sophia Floersch, Kevyan Andres, Toshiki Oyu, Ukyo Sasahara, Dragon. Position 24-27: Zhou, Vetsi, Miyata, Katayama. DNF: Sakaguchi.