Twice Macau Grand Prix Formula 3 winner Felix Rosenqvist is on a mission to test a Ferrari 488GT3 before he competes in his first FIA GT World Cup at the Guia circuit on November 19.
Rosenqvist, who turns 26 just a week before the Macau race, has decided to leave F3 to the “young guns”, despite his potential to become the first person to win three F3 races at the circuit.
Instead he and his manager, former Ferrari F1 driver Stefan Johansson, have secured a Ferrari from leading American team Scuderia Corso.
“The problem is the car is not available to me until first practice at Macau,” Rosenqvist said.
“That is too late to be learning a new car on a circuit like Macau, so we’re trying to find a 488GT3 somewhere in Europe in the next fortnight to get some miles in.”
Rosenqvist will face a strong field of another six factory supported teams as well as three former Macau F3 winners who have also made the switch to GT.
Edoardo Mortara (AMG GT3) is the only driver who has so far won both F3 (2009-10) and GT (2011-13) to make him by far the most successful dual disciplined competitor at Macau.
Daniel Juncadella (AMG GT3), F3 winner in 2011 and Lucas Di Grassi (Audi R8), F3 winner in 2005 will both be attempting the double.
Rosenqvist successfully raced a Mercedes-AMG GT3 in 2016, taking second place at the Spa 24 hours and a round win in the Blancpain Endurance series.
“Macau will be a lot different in a GT car than it was in a F3,” he said.
“It is much harder to see where you are placing the car on the circuit and it is a much larger car on a tight track.”
Rosenqvist has resorted to computer simulation learning of the track but says it is of minimal value.
“Macau always changes a bit each year and it is a far more bumpy track in a GT car so the feeling is not the same.”
For Rosenqvist the greatest challenge lies in the penalty for making a mistake.
“If you hit a wall its nearly always possible to rebuild an F3 car between sessions,” he said.
“If you do the same in a GT car the damage will usually be so great that it’s impossible to repair in time.
“You cannot afford to miss out on track time at Macau because there is so much to learn and prepare.”
Rosenqvist’s challenge is heightened because he is competing in a one car team, limiting data collection and also the availability of replacement components.
“I rate myself as a potential winner,” he said.
“I’ll know more after the first practice session.
“The Balance of Performance (a parity formula to equalise the cars) should sort out any differences.
“The chance of safety cars and red flags means you must take every moment to push hard when the track is clear.”
The FIA GT World Cup allows two 30 minute free practice sessions, a 30 minute qualifying dash leading to a 12 lap qualifying race before the 18 lap World Cup decider.
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