Changing Guias: 50 Years of the Macau Grand Prix

First run in October, 1954 as a club race for local motoring enthusiasts, the Macau Grand Prix has evolved into what many believe is the finest street circuit race meeting in the world. Here we look back at some of the highlights of the last 50 years.


The first Macau Grand Prix, held on 30th and 31st of October, saw 15 entrants compete in a four hour race over 51 laps of the 3.9 mile Guia circuit. Eddie Carvalho's Triumph TR 2 took victor's laurels in the inaugural event while Gordon 'Dinga' Bell set a fastest lap of 4:12.00 in his Morgan. The circuit left much to be desired however, and the official stewards report noted the "back of the circuit is very bad - mostly dirt and loose sand."

During the spring and early summer of 1955, the entire back section of the circuit was closed to traffic so that its old cobbles could be dug up and replaced with asphalt. Hong Kong's Robert Ritchie won the second, 60-lap Macau Grand Prix in his Austin Healey 100 in a time of 3:55.55.7. Less than a second behind was the Mercedes 190 SL of Douglas Steane with third place going to Neville Fullford in a Triumph TR 2.

The third Macau Grand Prix saw the construction of a permanent concrete grandstand which incorporated 10 pits and seating for 300. The 77-lap race was won by Douglas Steane in a Mercedes 190 SL, with his nearest rivals more than two laps behind.

The race programme of the fourth running of the Macau Grand Prix featured a 100 Mile Handicap Race, won by Pan Am pilot George Baker, a Ladies Race and a Novice Race. The 77-lap Grand Prix was won by Arthur Pateman in a Mercedes 300, who also set a new lap record of 3:25.50.

The Guia circuit was reduced to its present length of 3.8 miles for the fifth Grand Prix which also saw the introduction of the 15-lap ACP Trophy Race. A total of 31 cars, the largest field so far, were entered in the Grand Prix, which had been reduced to 60 laps to avoid the glare of the late afternoon sun. Singapore's Chan Lye-choon won the Grand Prix in an Aston Martin DB 3S.


The programme for the sixth Macau Grand Prix was expanded to include official practice sessions for the first time. Hong Kong's Ron Hardwick took an early lead in the Grand Prix but the race was red flagged when an overloaded steel footbridge collapsed, injuring 21 spectators. Hardwick led the field away from the restart and stormed to victory in his Jaguar XKSS, setting a new lap record of 3:24.10. A lap behind in second place was Australian Bill Wyllie in a DKW 1000 RS and third was Chan Lye-choon's Aston Martin DB 3S. Carol Ungricht won the final running of the Ladies Race in her MGA.