Photo/Chan Hou Kin & STATUS GP
November 17 2013
Theodore Racing by Prema’s Alex Lynn drove to victory in a thrilling Macau Grand Prix to take Theodore Racing’s seventh win in the famous event.
The race was Theodore Racing’s first appearance in Macau since 1992, and came on the 30th anniversary of Ayrton Senna taking victory in the very first F3 Grand Prix for the team set up by Theodore Racing founder, the late Teddy Yip Sr.
With SJM Holdings CEO Dr Ambrose So watching on, Englishman Lynn made an excellent start and led from start to finish, despite his initial advantage being eradicated by an early appearance for the safety car.
Crucially, the SJM-backed car of Lynn avoided being slipstreamed down to the Lisboa bend at both the start and the restart, and was able to build up enough of a lead over the twisty mountain section of the Macau street circuit to put him out of range of his pursuers.
His closest rival was 2012 Macau GP winner Antonio Felix da Costa, who closed the gap to just over a second with four laps remaining when Lynn slowed for yellow flags. But he then pushed to keep his margin to the Portuguese driver to win by 1.173 seconds.
Unfortunately, Lynn’s Theodore Racing by Prema team-mate Lucas Auer got caught up in an accident at the Mandarin Oriental bend.
The Austrian was trying to charge through from the back of the grid after an incident in the qualification race. But a chain reaction caused by drivers braking to avoid a crashing car on the first lap sent Auer into a rival and then into the barriers.
Theodore Racing by Prema principal Teddy Yip Jr said: “This is a fairytale way for the Theodore name to return to the great Macau Grand Prix in its 60th anniversary year. To be with our sponsor SJM, to witness Alex’s victory, is an emotional day and a fitting tribute to my father’s contribution to this great Macau event. Alex and Prema did a perfect job all weekend.”
The decision for Theodore Racing to return to the Macau Grand Prix in the event’s 60th year was taken by Yip Jr as a tribute to his father, the late Teddy Yip, who was synonymous with the race. Under Yip Sr’s guidance, Theodore Racing won the Macau Grand Prix six times, including with Ayrton Senna in 1983.
The team’s sponsor is hotel group Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, S.A. (SJM). SJM is famous for its links with the Macau Grand Prix, dating back to the 1960s when, as STDM, it began a long-standing relationship with the race and with Yip Sr.
“I can’t put into words how I feel. Since I finished third in Macau last year I’ve dreamed of winning this race, and all I wanted to do was come back and win it. I can’t believe I’ve actually done it! I thought I’d have to battle because I thought I might get slipstreamed into the first corner, so we set the car up to have some strong front end in the first laps to enable me to get close in corners to overtake. That meant the rear started fading in the last few laps. As the gap to Antonio came down I thought, ‘Hang on, hang on, hang on’, and I did it!”
“Someone spun in front and there was nowhere for me to go when the guys just in front braked. It’s always the same in Macau – the nature of the track means anything can happen. It’s all because of yesterday, when I made a mistake, and that decided what happened today.”