Ilott Outduels Eriksson for Macau GP Pole

Jack Cobourn Other Road Racing, Road Racing 0 Comments

Callum Ilott will start pole for Sunday’s FIA Formula Three World Cup event in Macau, having beaten Joel Eriksson on Saturday in a 10-lap race. (Creative Commons photo)

MACAU, China — After dueling with Joel Eriksson early on, Callum Ilott will start pole for Sunday’s FIA Formula Three World Cup event at the Macau Grand Prix. Driving a Dallara-Mercedes fielded by the hometown Theodore Racing team, Ilott dominated the second half of the race.

“I didn’t expect to pull away so quickly, I thought I wasn’t pushing so hard, and then once I saw the gap, I was like ‘Okay, well, I can sort of relax a little bit,'” Ilott, who just was named to the Ferrari Driver Academy, said. “At the beginning, I made a mistake at the last corner on the first lap, so I had to start again and try to catch him because Max [Gunther] was getting quite close to me, and then I tried to overtake Joel after Mandarin. I didn’t really get the run I wanted, I was just trying to sit behind and I just never timed it right and I was on the wrong side and I thought I’d try to surprise him a little bit before Mandarin and get the run out of it, but it was still close into Lisboa, but I managed to hold it and then after that Joel struggled with his tires a bit, I managed to hold it until the last lap then I decided to go.”

“So it’ll be interesting for tomorrow to see how that goes, but yeah, I’m really happy to start from the front tomorrow.”

Joel Eriksson had pole for the qualifying race, with McLaren junior Lando Norris starting second. Mick Schumacher started seventh in his Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes.

When the lights went out, Eriksson got away perfectly, while Norris fell towards the midpack on the way down to Lisboa Bend. The field made it cleanly through the twisty section on the way to Maternity Bend. Callum Ilott was up to second. The run down to Melco Hairpin was clean as well, and Eriksson was a second ahead of Ilott at the line as Norris was down in ninth.

Formula Two driver Sergio Sette Camara was setting fast lap after fast lap, being faster than leader Eriksson by a second. Sette Camara was spectacular all weekend, driving the treacherous Guia Circuit with flair, though two big shunts in practice blotted his copybook.

Schumacher’s chances of starting high on Sunday ended when he was outbraked by Ferdinand Habsburg heading into Lisboa Bend, and had to take the escape road.

With five laps to go, Ilott had closed in on Eriksson, and heading into Lisboa, he drew alongside the Swede, but couldn’t pull it off. Ilott stuck to Eriksson heading down to the start-finish straight, and heading into Mandarin Bend on lap seven, he grabbed the lead, and though Eriksson tried heading into Lisboa, Ilott held the lead.

As Ilott stretched his lead to 2.4 seconds, Eriksson was now under attack from Sette Camara. Sette Camara tried to get Eriksson at Lisboa on lap nine, but couldn’t.

Ilott had checked out by four seconds on lap nine, and held on to win by six seconds. Pedro Piquet got by Norris for sixth position at Lisboa on the last lap, while Eriksson held off Sette Camara for second

1. Callum Ilott
2. Joel Eriksson
3. Sergio Sette Camara
4. Maximillian Gunther
5. Ferdinand Habsburg
6. Pedro Piquet
7. Lando Norris
8. Dan Ticktum
9. Yuhi Sekiguchi
10. Guanyu Zhou

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