Filipino rising star, Bianca Bustamante, has confirmed her entry for the 70th Anniversary of the iconic Macau Grand Prix for the non-championship round of the 2023 Formula 4 South East Asia Championship. The 18-year-old is set to race for BlackArts Racing on the first weekend of the 2-week-long spectacle on the streets of Macau, with the Formula 4 race set to be held from the 11th to 12th of November 2023. Following a successful season at the inaugural F1 Academy, Bustamante is set to mark her debut at the legendary event and is keen to finish her season on a high. Her #19 Formula 4 car will feature APM Monaco and Anastasia Beverly Hills partnerships along with season-long partner Lance East Exotics.
For Bustamante, this will be her maiden visit to the famous Guia Circuit, which presents unique challenges with its changing elevation, high speeds, and unforgivingly narrow barriers. It is set to be the third time she takes on the challenges of a street circuit in her professional career, following her last visits to the Miami Grand Prix & Singapore Grand Prix. The 6.1km Macau Guia circuit is known in motorsport to be one of the most difficult street circuits in the world, but also famously known to be a proving ground for emerging F1 talents including the likes of Ayrton Senna, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, and Max Verstappen to name a few.
The Filipina is confident knowing she will be driving the Tatuus F4-T421 car, one that she is familiar with from her 2023 season. Bustamante’s focus will be to learn the track quickly, given the limited time on the circuit with only 1 practice session, 1 qualifying session, and 2 races. She previously worked with BlackArts Racing, which is managed by former F1 driver Alex Yoong of Malaysia, having conducted a 2-day test with the team last year at the Sepang Circuit.
Bustamante, who was also recently announced as the newest addition to the McLaren Driver Development Programme, will be looking to end her 2023 season on a high. Her Macau Grand Prix debut would not have been possible without the support of full-season partner Lance East Exotics, as she also welcomes new sponsors, jewelry brand APM Monaco, cosmetic brand Anastasia Beverly Hills, and Azure International as partners for this event. The Macau Formula 4 Race will be available worldwide via the official website and broadcast to several TV stations around the globe.
“I’m very excited to be back racing in Asia, especially in Macau where my racing journey began in karting. It truly feels like a return to my roots!” said Bustamante. “Moving up to formula cars and the Macau Grand Prix is a significant step for me, but I’m fully committed to delivering a strong race weekend. This is a tremendous opportunity for learning, and I’m going to absorb as much knowledge as possible from this experience. Although there will be over twenty F4 cars entered in the race, the biggest challenge will be against myself, as I push to conquer this iconic street circuit. It’s great to be back with BlackArts Racing, I tested with them last year and I’m looking forward to working with Alex Yoong and the team through a race weekend.”
“We are excited to have Bianca with us. She is a driver I’ve been watching since she was winning in karts here in Asia,” added BlackArts Racing Sporting Director Alex Yoong. “We’ve seen her close up from testing at Sepang to working on the Simulator and we think she has fantastic potential to go all the way. Macau is not an easy track and demands respect and discipline. We will be working on making sure Bianca is prepared to face the challenge of her first time at what is probably the greatest street track in the world.”
Meanwhile, Anastasia Beverly Hills noted their excitement in sponsoring the young driver in her Formula 4 stint. “We are super proud to partner with Bianca for her Formula 4 race at the 70th Anniversary Macau Grand Prix. Bianca is a force on and off the race track and we are honored to be a small part of her journey. Our mission is for our high-performance products to make people feel confident and Bianca embodies that beautifully. We know this is just the beginning of a long and incredible career for Bianca and we can’t wait to watch her shine.”
Macau Grand Prix Formula 4 Race Weekend Schedule (all times in Manila time)
11th November 2023 Saturday
0745 – 0830: Free Practice
1545 – 1615: Qualifying
12th November 2023, Sunday
0800 – 0825: Qualifying Race (8 laps)
1540 – 1620: Final Race (12 laps)
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