For three days this month, Macau transforms itself into the epicentre of high-octane car racing with its staging of the 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix.
The Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee has just unveiled a five-race, three-day format for the 67th edition of the iconic event, which will see the famous Guia Circuit reverberate with the roar of engines from November 20 to 22.
This year’s headliners are the Formula 4 Macau Grand Prix, for cars from the Chinese Formula 4 Championship and also counting as the series’ 2020 season finale; the Macau GT Cup, open to both GT3 and GT4 machinery for the first time; and the Macau Guia Race for Asian TCR drivers. The Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix will not take place this year. Having successfully contained the COVID-19 outbreak in Macao, many riders subsequently reconsidered their willingness to compete in view of the prevailing prevention regulations, making running the Far East classic this year unworkable.
Nevertheless, the 67th Macau Grand Prix promises plenty of exceptional motorsports, and this year represents a showcase for China’s hottest talent.
The Formula 4 Macau Grand Prix will see the return of two of SAR’s youngest talents; Charles Leong Hon Chio and Andy Chang Wing Chung. Leong, 19, was crowned Asian Formula Renault Series champion in 2017 and has since competed in Formula 3 at both international and regional levels, contesting the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix in 2018 and 2019. Chang, 24, also contested Macao’s Formula 3 blue riband race, entering for three consecutive years from 2014.
Touring car expert Ma Qinghua is one of the country’s best-known names and will be joined in the Macau Guia Race by Briton Rob Huff. Huff must complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine period during which he will receive at least two nucleic acid tests, and can only be granted permission to compete if confirmed to be free of infection. Huff will be gunning for a record-breaking tenth win on the Guia Circuit this year. Local driver Rodolfo Ávila, who recently gave MG their first TCR China victory, has helped put Macao on the map across international junior single-seater and sportscar competition and is now making a name for himself at the pinnacle of the national and regional touring racing.
Among the hot prospects to take victory in the Macau GT Cup is the winner of the inaugural race in 2008, Darryl O’Young, who will be at the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 which Raffaele Marciello took to victory in the race last year and on the hunt for his fourth Guia Circuit win. O’Young is joined by the likes of former Formula BMW Asia and Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup champion Marchy Lee, and Audi Sport Asia driver Chen Weian.
The MGPOC has received video messages of support from Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile President Jean Todt, FIM Asia President Stephan Carapiet and WTCR promoter, Francois Ribeiro. All congratulate Macao on overcoming the challenges to ensure the continuation of the event’s distinguished heritage, with the FIA President voicing his belief that all three FIA world cup status competitions (FIA Formula 3 World Cup, FIA GT World Cup and FIA WTCR) will return to the Guia Circuit in 2021.
As its largest and most prestigious annual sporting event, the Macau SAR has gone to great lengths to stage this year’s Grand Prix. Not only is the event providing a welcome boost to the many local businesses which benefit from the yearly motorsport showcase, but the event is an ideal opportunity to show the world that Macao remains a safe, exciting, and unique visitor destination. As a footnote, the first two-time winner of the Macau GP was a Filipino, Arsenio “Dodjie” Laurel, who bagged the crown in 1962 and 1963.
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