This year’s only Formula 3 driver from Macau, 18-year-old Andy Chang Wing Chung, completed his first ever Macau Grand Prix Formula 3 race Sunday finishing 19th out of 21 drivers who qualified, and he is already planning to return next year to finish in the Top 10.
Chang, who has been competing in kart racing since he was five because of his father, a big Grand Prix fan, told reporters after the race that he was just happy to have completed it. The Macau-born teen also said he planned to return to the circuit next year where he aims to make it into the Top 10.
The four-day 61st Macau Grand Prix wrapped up Sunday. According to official figures, the four-day event, which was sponsored by the Suncity Group this year, which according to the organisers drew 80,000 spectators.
Just before his race on the Guia Circuit, Chang spoke to The Macau Post Daily in the paddocks about what he thinks about racing and the circuit, which he knows so well as a Macau resident yet it was so new to him as a racing driver.
“It’s my first time doing the Macau circuit as a Formula 3 driver.
“The car is so much bigger and so much faster [than in kart racing],” Chang said, adding, “There are so many top drivers in the race, many of them are from Europe, so I’m a little nervous but that’s what racing is about.”
Chang had a taste of driving around the circuit in an invitational race during last year’s Grand Prix. He began familiarising himself with the circuit on simulators last Thursday before the qualifying races.
“The points I need to look out for is the Mandarin Oriental Bend and then the Lisboa Bend, there might be crashes there and I just need to avoid them,” he said, adding that with the street circuit, there was no place for mistakes.
“But the most important thing is to complete,” he said – which he did.
From the go-kart track in Coloane, Chang and his dad decided that he should head to Europe if he was to take motor-racing seriously.
“The training and racing in Europe is so much better. In Macau, there is no proper motor-racing circuit to practise on regularly,” said Chang, who wants to become a Formula 1 driver in four to five years’ time.
As he needs to continue his education while he works to become a professional Formula driver, he chose to move to the UK where he can study, improve his English while living there and also get to practise racing on a regular basis.
He practises on the Silverstone Circuit, and when he needs to race, he has to take days off school, like he did for the Macau Grand Prix, and needs to catch up on school work when he gets back to the UK. “When there’re school holidays, I get tutoring classes,” he said.
“I’m flying back to the UK tomorrow [today],” he said, “I’m in college, I’ll be in foundation year next year and after that, I’ll be studying motor engineering at university.
“So by the time I finish university, hopefully I’ll become a Formula 1 driver. But before that, there is so much I need to learn and taking engineering will help in the future,” Chang said.
His racing background includes last year’s Formula Masters China Series and this year’s British Formula 3 Series (6th, 4 podiums), FIA Formula 4 European Championships (2 rounds), and Masters Formula 3.(macaunews/macaupost)