The 2008 Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix was Brendon Hartley’s second race on the city streets after finishing 12th in 2007 with Carlin Motorsport.
It was the 55th running of the GP and the 26th time that F3 cars were competing for the trophy. It comprised two races. First a 10-lap qualifier which in turn determined the grid positions for the main 15-lap feature race.
The 30-entries including future F1 drivers Max Chilton, Marcus Ericsson, Jules Bianchi, Roberto Merhi and Jamie Alquersuari. Also in the field was Austrian Walter Grubmüller who was the first international driver to compete in the Toyota Racing Series back in 2005. He finished the Macau GP ninth overall.
The Grand Prix was won by Japanese TOM’S driver Keisuke Kunimoto with second place to Edoardo Mortara (Signature-Plus). Third home was Kiwi Brendon Hartley.
Hartley qualified 11th for the qualifying race. However, early in the qualifying race Brit James Jakes and Hartley glanced each other against the wall heading towards the Reservoir Bend. Jakes moved across the front of Hartley’s car and into the wall and retired. Hartley limped back to the pit lane with suspension damage.
Edoardo Mortara won the race from Kunimoto with Roberto Streit third. Hartley was able to finish the race in 20th position, setting the fastest lap time.
Hartley was proving to be quick all weekend and again in the 20-minute warm up session before the race, set the fastest time (2min 11.071 sec), six-tenths quicker than the nearest rival.
With the usual collisions in the opening laps of the race, Hartley was in the top ten after eight laps and two safety car periods having started from 20th.
Kunimoto eventually crossed the finish line to become the first Japanese driver to win since Takumo Sato in 2001. Mortara finished 1.710 seconds further back in second while Hartley had moved up seventeen places from his starting position to complete the podium in third.