Highly rated Formula Three star Ernesto Viso is in the Far East and preparing for possibly the biggest race of his short career, as he tackles the 50th Macau Grand Prix this coming weekend.

The teenager travelled east on Wednesday in the company of Promatecme boss Chris Weller, for whom he will make his debut in Macau, determined to add his name to that of Venezuelan hero Johnny Cecotto as only the country's second winner in the former Portuguese colony. Cecotto, still worshipped in his homeland despite stepping back from the international limelight, won the 1986 running of the Macau Guia touring car race.

Viso heads to Macau buoyed by a strong street racing debut on the Italian island of Sardinia, where he was one of the stars of the inaugural F3 Masters event, earning the 'revelation of Cagliari' title offered by the media covering the event.

The field in both Macau and Korea is expected to far outweigh Cagliari in terms of strength in depth, with the names of Brazilians Nelson Piquet Jr and Fabio Carbone, Finn Nico Rosberg, Australians Ryan Briscoe and James Courtney - respectively Japanese and European F3 champions this year - Pole Robert Kubica - who won in Sardinia - Italian Paolo Montin - the Macau veteran who pushed Kubica close last weekend - Britons Lewis Hamilton, Danny Watts and Rob Austin, Dutchman Robert Doornbos and Indian Narain Karthikeyan all expected to be pushing for overall honours.

"I arrived at Macao after a trip of almost 24 hours, and am adapting to the time difference, so it will not be a problem this weekend," Viso commented, "After running in Cagliari with Carlin, I have received numerous congratulations and positive comments from team owners and the press - something I hope to get again when I race with Promatecme this weekend.

"The team has assured me of a competitive car, despite not having very good experiences during testing in England. Something failed each time, but we come to Macau and Korea with high spirits and looking to achieve good results.

"I already know what it is like to race between the walls, but this track is a great deal more complicated and longer, more than the double one that Sardinia, and there is both a very quick zone and another very tight area where will be quite important to find the best balance for the car."

Promatecme will run Fairuz Fauzy alongside Viso this weekend, both drivers using Dallara-Mugen combinations.

 

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