Macau Grand Prix
|Number of times held||64|
|Most wins (drivers)||John MacDonald (4)|
|Circuit length||6.120 km (3.803 mi)|
|Race length||91.800 km (57.042 mi)|
|Last race (2017)|
The Macau Grand Prix (Chinese: 澳門格蘭披治大賽車) is a motorsport road race for automobiles and motorcycles 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 cars and motorcycles participate.
The first Macau Grand Prix event was held in 1954, as a sports car event. In 1961, the title race became an open-wheel Formula Libre event. The event has also had a variety of support races in its duration. Production cars joined the event in 1957, which were superseded by touring cars in 1972. The event received world championship status from 2005 to 2014 as the final round of the World Touring Car Championship. In 1976, the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix was introduced. In 2008, a GT3 race was added to the event, which became known as the FIA GT World Cup.
The highlight of the race weekend is the Macau Formula Three Grand Prix, featuring many national Formula Three champions and drivers from around the world, with the winner being awarded the FIA Formula 3 World Cup. Due to the challenging nature of the circuit, which consists of fast straights (a Formula Three car can reach a top speed of 275 km/h (171 mph) at the end of the straight), tight corners and uncompromising crash barriers, the Macau Grand Prix is famously known as one of the most demanding circuits in the world. 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, Takuma Sato, Lucas di Grassi, Edoardo Mortara, António Félix da Costa and Felix Rosenqvist.
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 aspects 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. Teddy Yip was one of the main forces behind the Macau Grand Prix back in the 1970s and 1980s, leading this 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.
In 1983, it was decided by the organisers that since Formula Pacific was 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 decided to adopt Formula 3 cars for the feature race and it was sanctioned by FIA as the F3 World Cup title race. At the same time, Yokohama Tire was officially designated as the sole supplier of control tires for the competitors.
This decision has seen the reputation of the event in the motorsport world increase rapidly, with the event attracting the best young drivers from Europe and Japan. 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 first and second 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, because Schumacher noticeably slowed down and Häkkinen could not avoid the contact. 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 FIA Formula 2 Championship and Formula One.
Along with the New Zealand Grand Prix, the race is one of only two non-Formula One events to receive the Grand Prix title.
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 practice 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 (the final 2 rounds of the TCR International Series since 2015), as well as the FIA GT World Cup, 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 World 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 Pacific race, and for locals and Hong Kong drivers who want a slice of the action, Interport Race for novices, CTM Cup race the experienced.
Newly introduced into the 2007 race Macau GT Cup is the race for GT3 category cars. Since 2015 the winner of the race is awarded the FIA GT World Cup.
Races that have been held in the past but have since been discontinued includes the ATCS race, Supercar Cup for 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 Chan endorsed race for celebrity women drivers (partnered with pro racers) involving Mitsubishis, with whom Chan hold a sponsorship deal.
The 3.8 miles (6.2 km) Guia Circuit features a combination of fast straights and tight corners, with the circuit's minimum width being only seven metres. It is recognised as one of the most challenging circuits in the world.
|4||John MacDonald||1965, 1972, 1973, 1975|
|2||Arsenio Laurel||1962, 1963|
|Jan Bussell||1968, 1971|
|Vern Schuppan||1974, 1976|
|Riccardo Patrese||1977, 1978|
|Geoff Lees||1979, 1980|
|Edoardo Mortara||2009, 2010|
|Felix Rosenqvist||2014, 2015|
|António Félix da Costa||2012, 2016|
The first Guia race for touring cars was held in 1972. The event was notable in that very few touring car races were held on street circuits at the time. From 2005 to 2014, the race became the final two rounds of the FIA World Touring Car Championship. In 2015, the category was replaced by the TCR International Series with Robert Huff winning both the last WTCC and first TCR races at the circuit. Huff has won a record eight races at the circuit.
Macau is a special event for motorcycle riders. The Motorcycle Grand Prix has featured many famous riders such as Kevin Schwantz, Carl Fogarty, Ron Haslam and Michael Rutter. The 31-year-old British rider Daniel Hegarty died after crashing into the barriers during the 2017 Motorcycle Grand Prix.
In 2014, the award-winning documentary Macau Gladiators by German director Andreas Knuffmann appeared. The movie is about the 2013 edition of the Motorcycle Grand Prix and followed the Team of Frank Heidger with the German Didier Grams (8th place) and his Belgian teammate Marc Fistette (DNF).
The FIA GT World Cup is a race for GT3-spec cars, organized by the Stéphane Ratel Organisation (SRO) and the Automobile General Association Macau-China (AAMC). The event was confirmed by the FIA at the World Motor Sport Council in Geneva on 20 March 2015. The winning driver of the event is the winning driver of the Main Race, but the award for the FIA GT World Cup for Manufacturers is presented to the manufacturer supplying the cars with a manufacturer entry with the highest number of points after addition of the points of its two best cars awarded according to the result of the Main Race.
|Year||Winning Driver||Winning Manufacturer||Car|
|Macau GT Cup|
|2008||Darryl O'Young||not applicable||Porsche 997 GT3 Cup|
|2009||Keita Sawa||Lamborghini Gallardo GT3|
|2010||Keita Sawa||Lamborghini Gallardo GT3|
|2011||Edoardo Mortara||Audi R8 LMS GT3|
|2012||Edoardo Mortara||Audi R8 LMS GT3|
|2013||Edoardo Mortara||Audi R8 LMS GT3|
|2014||Maro Engel||Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3|
|FIA GT World Cup|
|2015||Maro Engel||Mercedes-Benz||Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3|
|2016||Laurens Vanthoor||Audi||Audi R8 LMS|
|2017||Edoardo Mortara||Mercedes-Benz||Mercedes-AMG GT3|
- Guia Circuit
- Grand Prix Museum, opened during the 40th Macau Grand Prix in 1993
- World Touring Car Championship
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Macau Grand Prix.|
- Chan, Pedro (19 November 2016). "Hickman wins Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix". www.atimes.com. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
- Takuma Sato's demonstration of a hot lap around the Guia Circuit, Macau Grand Prix Committee official website Archived 2006-11-01 at the Wayback Machine.
- Chan, Pedro (20 November 2016). "Portuguese Antonio Felix da Costa clinches second Macau victory". www.atimes.com. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- "Fernando Macedo Pinto, one of the founders of the Macau Grand Prix" (in Portuguese). Blog Macau Antigo. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
- Smith, Roy (2010). Alpine & Renault: The Sports Prototypes, Volume 1, 1963–1969. Veloce Publishing Limited. pp. 108–110. ISBN 978-1-84584-191-1.
- Smith, Roy (2010). Alpine & Renault: The Sports Prototypes, Volume 1, 1963–1969. Dorchester, Dorset, England: Veloce Publishing Limited. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-84584-191-1.
- "Lewis Hamilton column: Racing has become more strategic".
- Chan, Pedro (20 November 2016). "Portuguese Antonio Felix da Costa clinches second Macau victory". www.atimes.com. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
- "Daniel Hegarty: English rider dies after crash at Macau Grand Prix".
- Macao Gladiators, facts about the movie.
- "GT World Cup in Macau confirmed". Motorsport.com. Smith, Sam. March 21, 2015. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
- Prior to 1972, production car race