Ivan Lintin and the RC Express Racing team were back in action this week with the Lincolnshire rider making his debut at the Macau Grand Prix and it proved to be a more than positive outcome as he took a strong 18th in Saturday’s ultra-competitive race.
The Bristol-based team were making their return to the Far East venue after their first appearance in 2013 but for Lintin, Thursday morning’s free practice session was the first time he’d seen the 3.8-mile circuit. Adopting a sensible and mature approach, Ivan gently eased his way into the event and with a lap of 2m42.430s, he recorded the 26th fastest time.
The afternoon saw the first qualifying session around the daunting, Armco-lined circuit and it was run in two halves after fellow newcomer Russ Mountford crashed heavily. Although he slipped back to 27th fastest, Ivan lapped four seconds quicker than what he had done in the morning and this was again the case in Friday’s final qualifying session. The session was again stopped due to an accident, this time involving another debutante, Tom McHale, but with a best lap of 2m35.867s, Ivan duly qualified in 25th overall.
The 12-lap race got underway just after 3pm local time with conditions again perfect and a good start immediately saw Ivan advance forward. This set the trend for the entire race and, showing his aptitude and how well he was learning the course, Ivan shaved almost three seconds off his lap times to record a new personal best of 2m33.190s. He continued to climb the leaderboard and was ultimately rewarded with 18th place at the chequered flag, the second newcomer to finish.
Ivan Lintin: “I’m really happy with how the week progressed and I got faster with every session I went out, continually knocking seconds off my lap times. Although 18th wasn't what I was hoping for, the pace was incredibly quick this year but I chipped away and can be satisfied with my debut. After what happened to Tom and Russ in qualifying I wanted to have a good safe run and head into 2016 in a good position with my aim now to come back to Macau next year with a lot more knowledge.”
Ben Constable, Team Co-owner: “What a week! The place definitely has its own aura and we were again really proud to be part of the event. I’m also immensely proud of what Ivan and the whole team have done this week. Macau is renowned for being one of the hardest tracks in the world to learn but Ivan never stopped doing exactly that and after qualifying in 25th, he made good strides forward in the race and can be more than happy with 18th. We’re now looking forward to working with Ivan again in 2016 and already building the machines in preparation for next season. We also have some big news to announce in the next few weeks and are ready to take 2016 head on.”
Picture by Stephen Davison – Pacemaker Press International