DRIVER NEWS: Niall Breen’s valiant drive to seventh place in the Macau F3 Grand Prix today ended in the tyre wall on the second lap, having been hit hard from behind and punted out.
The Dundalk driver was hoping to get a good result for the Republic of Ireland, being the first driver from Eire to compete in Macau for many years. He was always aware the first trip to Macau was to learn the 26-corner circuit but having got through qualifying and then finishing in a superb 10th place in Saturday’s qualifier, he was hopeful of a top finish in the Grand Prix.
Racing with Carlin Motorsport – the team with which he finished fifth in the British Formula 3 Championship - Breen stayed out of trouble for most of the test and practice sessions although he was hit by Britain’s James Jakes during one session. Elsewhere, the track often resembled a battlefield with cars crashing on many occasions.
Niall was philosophical after the 15-lap final, saying: “By the second lap I was up to seventh, having started 10th on the grid and the car was flying. Someone hit me from behind and I ended up in the tyre wall, taking off two corners, so that was the end of my race. But that’s Macau for you - it’s a very tough circuit!”
During Saturday’s qualification race, Breen was up to sixth place from his 15th place grid start and was really on the pace chasing the leaders. When Bruno Senna - nephew of the late Ayrton – and Nico Hulkenberg crashed, there was debris strewn across the circuit and Breen was unlucky to collect Senna’s front wing underneath his Bar One Racing Dallara Mercedes. For the next three laps, he was totally hampered by the trapped wing and dropped back to 10th place where he finished.