by Michael Butterworth
MACAO, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Luke Browning emerged above the chaos of two Safety Car periods and a mid-race stoppage to take victory in Sunday's 2023 Formula 3 Macao Grand Prix.
After having won yesterday's qualifying race, Browning led the field away from pole position at the Guia Circuit, with second-placed man Alex Dunne an early casualty after failing to negotiate the tricky Lisboa Bend on Lap 1 and ending up in the barriers, prompting the race's first full course yellow.
Two laps later, Dino Beganovic came to grief at the same place in an almost identical accident, seemingly misjudging his braking point after challenging Gabriele Mini for second place.
The race was initially neutralized under the Safety Car on Lap 8 of 15 following a dramatic accident for Paul Aron, whose car split in two after clouting the barriers at speed, with flames emerging from its rear.
Aron's hefty hit damaged the outer guardrail, prompting a red flag and a delay of around one hour while track workers mended the affected area.
From the resultant restart, Browning came under intense pressure from Dennis Hauger, who nosed ahead of the Briton on the first run down to Lisboa, but was on the outside of the corner and unable to make his move stick.
From then on, Browning reasserted his dominance, and when Nikola Tsolov hit the outer wall at Fisherman's Bend on Lap 12, the resulting debris brought out the Safety Car a second time.
With pieces of Tsolov's car strewn around the corner, marshals were unable to clear the track in time for any action to resume, and the Safety Car would lead the field around until the race's conclusion on Lap 15.
Behind Browning, who topped every competitive session at Macao this weekend, Hauger settled for second, with Mini completing the podium places.
Mari Boya, Josep Marti, Richard Verschoor, Isack Hadjar, Zane Maloney, Oliver Goethe and Laurens Van Hoepen rounded out the top ten.
The Macao Grand Prix is one of motor racing's most prestigious events outside F1, and its unique combination of long straights, tight corners and elevation change means the 6.2km Guia Circuit is widely regarded as one of the world's most challenging race tracks.
The event has long been seen as an important step on the motor racing ladder for aspiring young drivers, with previous winners including Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, who would go on to amass ten F1 World Championship titles between them.