Carlin is pleased to confirm that the team will be taking a four-strong squad of talented drivers to the Suncity Group 65th Macau Grand Prix. Consisting of 2018 FIA Formula Three European Championship racers Jehan Daruvala and Sacha Fenestraz, who have both already competed with the team at the event in the past, Carlin is also thrilled to welcome British driver Callum Ilott back to the fold as well as Japanese driver Yoshiaki Katayama.
Jehan Daruvala will take on the prestigious and exciting event for the second time with Carlin after finishing tenth on his Macau debut last year. Also a race winner in the FIA Formula Three European Championship season this year, Daruvala now looks ahead to the challenging event.
The Indian racer said, “I can’t wait to go back to such an exciting and unique city with one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar. Being there for the second time will hopefully make it easier to get into the groove. Carlin has always been quick at Macau and so I’m very much looking forward to it and ending this year on a positive note.”
Joining him in the line-up will be his 2018 team mate Sacha Fenestraz who will also be returning to the peninsula after a solid rookie season in the European Championship in which he took a race win at street circuit Pau back in May and a further eight rookie podiums. Following a strong rookie drive to seventh in last year’s event, Fenestraz returns with the sole aim being to push further and tame another street circuit.
Fenestraz said of the event, “I’m looking forward to the Macau Grand Prix again this year and I know that Carlin have been really good there in recent years so It’s a strong combination together. Last year, was quite a good debut for me and even though this is one of the most difficult races on the calendar I really enjoy it and love street tracks in general. We’ll see how it goes and work as hard as we can to be fully prepared and aim to get on that podium.”
Making a welcome return to the team for the special event will be British racer Callum Ilott who has spent the 2017 season racing in the GP3 Series with three race wins to his name in his debut season. Ilott took pole position last year after winning the qualification race but bad luck hit during the race when he suffered contact and a subsequent puncture which took him out of contention – leaving him with unfinished business around the Guia circuit.
Ready to do it all again with Carlin, Ilott said, “The real appeal is the challenge of the track – I just love it. It’s given me some highs and lows over the last three years; I’ve kissed the trophies and the walls and I am still coming back again. It’s unique; it can be rewarding, frustrating and even cruel but when it all comes together, a decent lap around there is like nothing else.
“I know Trevor and the Carlin team well from 2015 and they also came close to winning in the crazy race last November. This could be the last year that the current generation of F3 cars compete at Macau so it would be special to get the result together, a team I started in F3 with. I’m sure we can be right in the mix.”
Joining the team for the event will be Japanese racer Yoshiaki Katayama who has spent the 2018 season competing in the Formula 3 Japan Championship in which he finished the season placed seventh overall. The 24-year-old also has experience racing in the MRF Challenge following a season in Japanese F3 in which he took the championship crown in the national class.
Joining Carlin for his debut appearance at the Macau Grand Prix Katayama said, “It’s an honour to be selected by such a prestigious team as Carlin. This will be my Macau debut and I look forward to the challenge it brings. Next week we start preparations together and I’m excited to get started!”
Team Principal Trevor Carlin said of the 2018 line-up, “We are excited by our line-up for Macau which features two drivers with a great deal of current experience in the Formula Three cars. Both Jehan and Sacha are race winners this season and have enjoyed some fantastic wheel to wheel action over the course of 2018, we worked with them in Macau last year as well so I look forward to seeing what they can achieve second time around.
“We are also pleased to welcome Callum back to the team who we last worked with in 2015. He competed with us in FIAF3 so has great experience in the car and took pole position at the event last year – it’s definitely a strong track for him and he certainly feels he has some unfinished business in Macau.
“We’re also happy to work with Katayama for the first time and look forward to working with him as he joins us for one of the most prestigious and exciting races on the junior motorsport calendar.”
The 2018 Suncity Group 65th Macau Grand Prix will get underway on the 15th November with the first practice and qualifying sessions marking the start of four days of action at the Guia circuit.