Sacha Fenestraz showed his concentration and his capacity to adapt in only his second weekend in Formula 3 on a circuit that does not forgive any errors. The Franco-Argentinean was up against top-level opposition and he drove his Vaillante-Carlin to seventh place in the Macao Grand Prix – a performance that bodes well for the 2018 season.
On Saturday Fenestraz was on the sixth row of the grid for the qualifying race. He made a good start, but got hemmed in on the inside of the Hotel Lisboa corner; he opted for caution and emerged from the first trap without any damage.
The Dallara-Volkswagen driver was caught out by another car under slipstreaming, but kept a cool head hitting back two laps later after which he managed the heavy tyre degradation in masterly fashion in the closing stages of the race and gained another place.
The next day the Vaillante-Carlin driver started the 64thMacao Grand Prix in 12thplace. Sacha used the experience he had accumulated the previous day and he remained mobilised, calm and relaxed and made the best of the two restarts following the first two neutralisations behind the safety car. Thus, he had already moved up three places into the top 10 by lap three!
The Michel Vaillante protégé found himself faced with yellow flags waved in the main overtaking area on the circuit, and he patiently built up his next manoeuvre finding an opening three laps before the finish. Sacha latched on to the leading group in less than a lap and snatched seventh place in the final corner!
Thus, Fenestraz’s overall performance during the Macao weekend has been an extremely promising one. The Franco-Argentinean at the wheel of a car he was still getting used to never put a foot wrong during the four days. He gradually upped the pace and the heavy tyre degradation never caused him any problems unlike many of his more experienced rivals. His performance, which put the car in the Vaillante-Carlin colours in the world top 10, bodes well for the next step in his career!
Sacha Fenestraz: “It was a pretty solid weekend. Thanks to the fantastic job done with the Vaillante-Carlin team the car was very quick. My aim was to stay on the track in each session and avoid the guardrails. Mission accomplished! Even though I was hemmed in on the inside I made excellent starts and my pace was good right from the off. Today, starting twelfth I was aiming for a place in the top 10. I lost one on the first lap, but I fought my way back up to seventh finishing in second spot in the rookie category at the end of a wild race punctuated by frequent neutralisations. I’m delighted with this fightback and already I’m looking forward to coming back next year to battle for victory!”
Rendezvous in 2018!
The authors of the new Michel Vaillant season were on a reconnaissance mission at the Macao Grand Prix. Philippe Graton, Denis Lapière, Benjamin Benéteau and Jean-Louis Dauger soaked up the unique ambiance in the Chinese city during the race weekend. Rendezvous in October 2018, 35 years after “Rendezvous in Macao!”