53rd Macau Grand Prix - Fast Facts
THE MACAU GRAND PRIX
Originally conceived in 1954 as an amateur event for local motoring enthusiasts, the Macau Grand Prix is today a race meeting to which the world's leading riders and drivers vie for entries. Each November, Macau wakes up with a jolt as more than 200 racing drivers and riders, as well as thousands of motor sports fans, descend on the territory for the world's only international street circuit race meeting which features both car and motorcycle races.
This year, the event will be held from the 16th to 19th of November.
One of the three headlines races is the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix – the FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup, which sees a field of 30 leading drivers from the various national championships compete for the unofficial world cup of Formula 3. For these young superstars of tomorrow, a win at Macau can guarantee the driver a place in a top Formula 3000 team or, in the case of exceptional talent, an immediate invitation to move in to the pinnacle of motor racing, Formula 1.
The late Ayrton Senna's win here in 1983, the first year Formula 3 ran at Macau, put the Grand Prix firmly on the world-wide motor racing calendar. Multiple F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher quickly established himself as the hottest property in F1 after his win in 1990, while David Coulthard’s victory the following year brought him to the attention of the F1 fraternity. More recently, 1999 runner up Jenson Button jumped from the Macau podium straight to Formula 1, as did 2001 winner Takuma Sato and this year, Robert Kubica took the fast track to F1 as a result of his podium finish at Macau in 2005.
In 2005, the Macau Grand Prix added another feather to its already-impressive cap with the addition to the race programme of the final – and deciding – rounds of the newest FIA World Championship – the FIA World Touring Car Championship. After the spectacular Macau season-climax, which saw Andy Priaulx crowned as the inaugural Champion, the series once again returns to Macau and the 2006 title-winner will be decided on the Guia Circuit.
This year is a special one for fans of two-wheel racing as the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix marks its 40th year. Like its F3 counterpart, the Motorcycle Grand Prix regularly features a host of road racing and endurance specialists. To mark the anniversary, former winners such as Kevin Schwantz, Mick Grant, Didier de Radigues and Ron Haslam, will return to Macau for the celebrations, and to see whether six-time winner Michael Rutter can set a new record of Macau victories.
In spite of its growth as a motor sports event of international standard, Macau has not forgotten its roots and there is a full compliment of support races to cater for the strong interest in motor sport from local enthusiasts.
THE GUIA CIRCUIT
Length: 3.8 miles (6.2 km)
Minimum width: 22.8 feet (7 m)
Characteristics: A street circuit with an exhilarating combination of long, fast straights
and sharply twisting corners. It is recognised as one of the most
demanding circuits in the world.
Formula 3 Lap Record: 2:11.929 (Loic Duval, 2005/Dallara Mercedes-HWA)
Motorcycle Lap Record: 2:28.233 (Michael Rutter, 2003/998cc Ducati)
FIA World Touring Car Championship Lap Record: 2:33.757 (Andy Priaulx, 2005/BMW 320i)
Guia Race Lap Record (pre-2005): 2:29.536 (Steve Soper, 1997/BMW 323i)
Number of races : 8 (6 car/2 motorcycle)
Number of competitors : 263