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|16th November 2015, 21:50||#1|
Senior - BHPian
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Macau Grand Prix: Monaco meets Isle of Man! Brilliant race track
"Take the glitz of Vegas, the propped confidence of modern China, and the margin of error of the Isle of Man and place in a centrifuge. The result is the Macau Grand Prix. Three point eight miles of road course. Where the Isle of Man is expansive in its distance and speed, Macau condenses the experience down to a track that is a tenth of the size, but only seven meters wide in some spots. Make a mistake, meet the Armco. There is no runoff, there is no second chance. It is gladiatorial and glamorous."
This article I read got me curious about the otherwise alien to me Macau Grand Prix. An hour spent on the interweb and now it is right there on top of my motorsports bucket list with the Isle of Man, Monza, LeMans, Nurburgring and Singapore.
Four days of street racing in a myriad of machinery like Formula 3 open-wheel racers, World Touring Car Championship cars, GT3 cars AND superbikes. What is there not to like! It sounds like an absolute blast and a must-do for every motorsports nut.
So I thought I should share and discuss it here with you all, my brethren.
Before I copy-paste wikipedia, here's some nice footage to get your juices flowing.
Ofcourse being such a narrow street circuit with no run-off areas, there are bound to be accidents and sadly, fatalities too.
And here's a teaser for this years 62nd grand prix
The Macau Grand Prix is a motor-racing event held annually in Macau, one of China's Special Administrative Regions. It is known for being the only street circuit racing event in which both car and motorcycle races are held. Every year in November hundreds of racing drivers and riders compete in different categories of motor-racing, including single-seaters, touring cars and motorbikes.
Many current or former Formula One drivers have participated in the event early in their careers and some of them have won the prestigious prize. Famous winners include Riccardo Patrese, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard, Ralf Schumacher and Takuma Sato.
As a matter of fact, 13 of the 20 drivers from the 2015 Formula 1 line up have raced there at some point in their career. The young Max Verstsppen holds the fastest lap record.
The Macau Grand Prix was originally conceived in 1954 as a treasure hunt around the streets of the city, but shortly after, it was suggested that the hunt's track could host a professional racing event for local motor enthusiasts. The race continued as an amateur race until 1966, when Belgian driver Mauro Bianchi entered the race in an Alpine A220 (chassis #1722). Alpine Renault had also sent engineer, Jean-Paul Castilleux, to assist Bianchi with technical aspect of the car. Bianchi's victory and exposure led to more professional racing teams entering the Grand Prix in the following years.
The motorcycle race was introduced in 1967, and in that year the first fatal tragedy struck the race: double champion Dodjie Laurel was killed when he lost control of his car and crashed. This raised the alarm for more safety improvements for the race.
The first Guia race for touring cars was held in 1972. Macau's Guia Race for touring cars is a particular race for this category, as very few races with these cars are held on street circuits. Since 2005 the race has officially become the final two rounds of FIA World Touring Car Championship.
In 1983, it was decided by the organisers that since Formula Pacificwas becoming obsolete, the race would be held as a Formula Three event. Initially, they wanted to run a F2 race, but as they were unwilling to make any large circuit modifications, which included cutting down trees, the organisers settled for F3. This turned out to be a right decision, given the fact that since then it has raised the reputation of the event in the motorsport world by attracting the best young drivers from Europe and Japan to compete in the event. The first F3 race was won by a young Ayrton Senna. The race in 1990 was a memorable one, as Michael Schumacher and Mika Häkkinen were involved in an incident when they were in positions 1 and 2 going into the final lap. At the main straight just after the Mandarin Oriental Bend, Häkkinen hit the back of Schumacher's car and crashed out when he attempted to overtake him. Schumacher's car was able to continue with its rear wing damaged and eventually won the race with the best aggregate time. Other notable winners include Formula One drivers David Coulthard, Ralf Schumacher and Takuma Sato. Since the introduction of F3 races, the Macau GP has gradually become a stepping stone for many F3 drivers to higher class motor-racing competitions such as the GP2 series and Formula One.
Macau is a special event for motorcycle riders too. The Motorcycle Grand Prix has featured many famous riders such as Kevin Schwantz, Carl Fogarty, Ron Haslam and Michael Rutter.
Teddy Yip was one of the main forces behind the Macau Grand Prix back in '70s and 80s, leading the Grand Prix to be one of the world's most famous motor racing events. The Macau Grand Prix parties he hosted for many years at his home also became a central part of the social aspect of the Grand Prix.
The Macau Grand Prix race weekend normally starts on the Thursday and ends on the Sunday on the second or third week of November. The first two days (Thursday and Friday) are generally scheduled for practicing and qualifying. All races are held on Saturday and Sunday, with the final rounds of the heavyweights Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix and the Guia Race (scheduled to be the final 2 rounds of the FIA World Touring Car Championship since 2005) held on the last day. Both the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix and the Guia Race are sanctioned by the FIA and the winner of the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix is awarded the FIA Intercontinental Cup. Apart from the two major races held at the race weekend, the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix is also one of the highlights of the weekend since it features former or current racers of the Superbike World Championship. Other races include the Formula BMW Pacificrace, and for locals and Hong Kong drivers who want a slice of the action, Interport Race for novices, CTM Cuprace the experienced.
Newly introduced into the 2007 race is the Road Sport Challenge for popular sport compact cars commonly associated with the tuner market, Macau GT Cup for GT3 cars.
Races that have been held in the past but have since been discontinued includes the ATCS race, Supercar Cupfor road going exotic sports cars, the Formula Renault race, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia race, the scooter race for locals and in the past but on a less than frequent basis, a Jackie Chanendorsed race for celebrity women drivers (partnered with pro racers) involving Mitsubishis, with whom Chan hold a sponsorship deal.
A street circuit with a combination of fast straights and tight corners. It is recognised as one of the most challenging circuits in the world.
Length: 3.8 miles (6.2 km)
Minimum width: 22.8 feet (7 m)
Variation in altitude: 30m
The Guia Circuit, or Circuito da Guia, is a street circuit located at the southeast region of the Macau Peninsula in Macau, China. It is the venue of the prestigious Macau Grand Prix and Guia Race of Macau. The circuit consists of long straights and tight corners, and features the characteristics of a typical street circuit - narrow, bumpy and limited overtaking opportunities. However, there are two special features that can rarely be found in other street circuits - variation in altitude (over 30m between highest and lowest point of the circuit) and an ultra long main straight that allows top speed of 260 km/h on F3 cars. As a result, the circuit is recognised as one of the most challenging circuits in the world in terms of both driving and tuning, as cars have to maintain competitive speed to overcome hill-climbing, twisty corners and long straights in a single lap.
The Guia Circuit was originally conceived in 1954 as a route for treasure hunt around the streets of the city, but shortly after the event it was suggested that the hunt's track could host an amateur racing event for local motor enthusiasts. Since 1967, with the introduction of a motorcycle race, the track has become a venue for both motorcycle and car racing events.
Unlike other regular racing tracks in the world, the layout of the Guia Circuit has not been modified since its first event in 1954 (the pit and paddock complex has been relocated to the present location since 1993, but the layout of the circuit has not been changed). The narrowest part of the track has a width of merely 7m, which is located at the Melco Hairpin. The whole length of the circuit is safely bounded by Armco barriers painted in black and yellow stripes. There used to be a gravel trap near the Reservoir Bend but since the pit and paddock complex was moved to the present location, this feature has been removed.
The circuit is unique for its combination of motorcycle and car racing events within the same race weekend. The Macau Motorcycle GP, the Guia Race (WTCC final rounds since 2005) and the Macau Formula 3 GP are the highlights of the race weekend. In addition, various kind of racing events are organized for competition between local and regional (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South East Asia, etc.) enthusiasts.
There are two major grandstands around the circuit for spectators to watch live racing - the main grandstand along the pit straight and the other one at the Lisboa Bend. The Lisboa Bend is the most famous spot of excitement as it offers the only possible overtaking opportunity at the end of the main straight. On the other hand, it is also notorious for massive pile-ups on opening laps due to its 90-degree turn configuration and its significant reduction in track width. As a result, the ticket price for a seat at the Lisboa Bend is much higher than that of a seat at the main grandstand. But as with most street circuits there are many people who stand or sit next to the track or on bridges and fly overs.
Here's our very own Moderator, Mr. Rtech, visiting the Macau Grand Prix Museum.
Last edited by shyn : 16th November 2015 at 21:55.
|21st November 2015, 10:19||#3|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Re: Macau Grand Prix: Monaco meets Isle of Man! Brilliant race track
Coincidentally will be in Hong Kong while the race is on. Hadnt not planned to gom but tempted.
Anyone been for it before? Is it worth the trip. Expect Macua to be chaotic.
|21st November 2015, 17:56||#4|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Dec 2009
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I have never been there but you most certainly should go! I can't see how it wont be worth the trip, now even more so since you are in Hong Kong already.
Superbikes, Formula3, Porsche Cup, WTCC...what more could a man ask for!
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