Buller targets Macau F3 victory

Northern Irish racer William Buller has his sights firmly fixed on victory in the biggest event on the Formula 3 calendar this weekend when he makes his third visit to Macau for the end of season Macau Grand Prix.The MSA Team UK-backed driver – originally from Scarva but now based in Northamptonshire – heads to the Chinese enclave on the back of a strong season in the British F3 International Series, where he won on three occasions en-route to fourth in the championship standings at the wheel of his Fortec Motorsport-run Dallara Mercedes.The 2011 running of the Macau Grand Prix will be Will’s third appearance at the famous venue, although he has conquered the challenging street circuit in the past having won the Formula BMW race back in 2009.Last season’s F3 race marked Will’s debut with the Fortec team and he secured a solid 15th place in the event having been forced to start the qualifying race from the back of the field after an accident in qualifying and a post-session penalty.With a full season of F3 competition behind him, Will goes into the final race of 2011 in confident mood as he seeks to end his year with another trip to the top of the Macau podium.Should Will achieve his aim of victory, he would become the first British winner of the Macau Grand Prix since Oliver Jarvis back in 2007 and would join the likes of Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Takuma Sato and Lucas di Grassi on the list of winners. “Having missed out on the British F3 title this season, my only goal now is to win Macau,” he said. “As ever, the entry list for Macau is a strong one but I showed at Spa earlier in the season when British F3 joined forces with the FIA F3 International Trophy that I can compete against the best drivers in Europe.

“I know what you have to do to win in Macau as I took victory in the Formula BMW race back in 2009 and I also learned a lot from my first F3 outing last year, even if the end result could have been better. A good set-up is going to be vital for the weekend as you need to have a car that is strong for the high-speed run through Mandarin Bend and down to Lisboa, but that also handles well when you head up the hill onto the tighter section of the circuit.“Macau is one of my favourite circuits and is one where the Mercedes engine should be strong, so I’m really looking forward to the event. Of course, it isn’t just about being quick as you also need a bit of luck on your side when the walls are so close and the margin for error is so small, but hopefully lady luck will be on our side and I’ll be able to fight for victory.”

Will’s bid for glory in Macau will get underway on Thursday, with free practice and qualifying taking place on the tricky street circuit. A further practice and qualifying session will then take place on Friday before a ten lap ‘qualifying race’ on Saturday which will determine the starting grid for the main Macau Grand Prix, which will be contested over 15 laps on Sunday.