Antonio Felix da Costa fought through to his second Macau Grand Prix victory on Sunday following a race-long battle with Red Bull youngster Sergio Sette Camara.
Andretti Formula E driver Da Costa won the Macau Formula 3 event back in 2012, but was afforded the opportunity to return to the streets of the principality by Carlin for this weekend’s event.
Da Costa stamped his authority on proceedings by winning Saturday’s qualifying race ahead of British youngster Callum Ilott, securing pole position for the main event on Sunday.
Ilott made the best getaway off the grid to initially take the lead, only for da Costa and Camara to make use of the slipstream to sweep past on the opening lap.
Camara was able to slingshot his way from third into the lead of the race, with da Costa closing to within a second before the safety car was called after a crash for Force India junior Nikita Mazepin.
Da Costa eventually battled past on the restart on Lap 7, leaving Camara struggling to keep on his tail until being handed a reprieve by a second safety car period following a shunt for Nick Cassidy.
Da Costa fended off Camara on the restart before pulling out a healthy lead that would remain to the checkered flag, handing the Portuguese driver an emotional second victory around Macau’s streets.
Camara was unable to keep da Costa’s Formula E colleague Felix Rosenqvist back in the dying stages of the race, with the Swede taking second. However, it did mark the end of his stint as Macau champion after winning for the past two years.
Camara ended the race third ahead of Japanese F3 champion Kenta Yamashita, who demoted Ilott to fifth following the second safety car period, while British youngsters Jake Hughes and George Russell followed in P6 and P7 respectively.
Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.
The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).
It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).
Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.
The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.
“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”
“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”