Changing Guias: 50 Years of the Macau Grand Prix

First run in November, 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 Grand Prix was nominated as the first Formula Pacific Championship, with poleman Geoff Lees taking victory for Theodore Racing for the second year. Masahiro Hasemi was second in his March Nissan and American Tom Gloy's Ralt was third. Sadeo Asami was making history as well when his win in the 14th Motor Cycle Grand Prix made him the only competitor to win the same event three consecutive years. British bike aces Steve Parrish and Bernard Murray repeated their second and third place finishes of the year before and Hans Stuck drove his BMW 320 to victory in the Guia Race.

American Bob Earl took victory in the 28th Grand Prix with Japan's Naohiro Fujita in second and Briton Ray Mallock in third. The Guia Race, in which former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's son Mark competed, was won by the late Manfred Winkelhock. In the Motor Cycle Grand Prix, a new star was on the horizon in the form of "Rocket" Ron Haslam, who took victory in the 30 lap race in 1:22:57.75, followed by Sadeo Asami in second and Dutchman Boet Van Dulmen in third.

Despite the wet and windy conditions the Guia circuit's newest sensation, Ron Haslam, took pole position - and won the Motor Cycle GP - for the second consecutive year. Charlie Williams clocked in a lap time of 2:35.76, setting a new record - one which stood for a decade. Brazilian Roberto Moreno drove to Grand Prix victory in this, the last race in the short-lived Formula Pacific Championship. Columbian Roberto Guerrero smashed Alan Jones' record when he lapped the circuit in 2:20.64 in his Theodore Racing Ralt RT4 Ford. Hong Kong drivers Helmet Greiner, Adrian Fu and Peter Chow took the top three positions in the Guia Race.

The 30th Macau Grand Prix was another landmark year for the event with its nomination as the FIA Formula 3 World Cup. Strongly supported by Teddy Yip's Theodore Racing, a young Brazilian driver, then known as Ayrton Senna da Silva, took victory in this first Formula 3 Grand Prix. Senna was followed home by Roberto Guerrero and Gerhard Berger. Ron Haslam's victory on his Honda 500 in the Motor Cycle GP saw him equal Sadeo Asami's record of three consecutive wins. In the Guia Race, Hans Stuck and Dieter Quester battled it out with Hong Kong driver Michael Lieu, with victory going to Stuck, second to Quester and third to Lieu.

The 31st Grand Prix saw Denmark's John Nielsen drive a remarkable race to snatch the win from pole man Stefan Johansson, with New Zealander Mike Thackwell in third. Ron Haslam's non-appearance in the Motor Cycle Grand Prix left the field wide open, with Mick Grant taking overall victory on his Suzuki 500, followed by Roger Marshall on a Honda 500 and Mark Salle on a second Suzuki. Tom Walkinshaw drove a Jaguar XJS to victory in the Guia Race, with team mate Hans Heyer in second and BMW driver Hans Stuck in third.

After a year off Ron Haslam was back on the Guia circuit - and victorious once more in the Motor Cycle GP. Belgian Grand Prix star Didier de Radigues was second and Eero Hyvarinen, the "Flying Finn" was third. Leg 1 of the Grand Prix was shortened to 12 laps following a first corner incident at Statue (now known as Lisboa) Corner. Mauricio Gugelmin took overall victory with Mike Thackwell in second place and Jan Lammers in third. The Guia Race saw Gianfranco Brancatelli take the win, with Gerhard Berger coming home second and Michael Lieu in third.  

Great Britain's Andy Wallace drove to victory in the F3 Grand Prix, with team mate Mauricio Gugelmin in second and Jan Lammers in third. Venezuelan driver Johnny Cecotto's big Volvo 240 T took the chequered flag in the Guia Race, followed by Tom Walkinshaw in second and Thomas Lindstrom in third. Ron Haslam won an unprecedented fifth Motor Cycle Grand Prix, with second going to Didier de Radigues and third to American Randy Renfrow, making it an all-Honda top three.

Typhoon Nina lashed the China coastal area but winds subsided enough to run a 10-lap Motor Cycle Grand Prix which saw Ron Haslam become the Grand Prix's most successful rider with six chequered flags to his credit. The shortened, 20-lap F3 Grand Prix, was won by Martin Donnelly, with Jan Lammers in second and Germany's Bernd Schneider in third. The Guia Race was a resounding success for BMW, with Italy's Roberto Ravaglia first across the line, Dieter Quester in second and Fabien Giroux in third.

American ace Kevin Schwantz wowed the crowds with his high riding antics - including wheelies at 90 mph - on his way to taking victory in the Motor Cycle GP. BMW team mates Altfrid Heger and Markus Oestreich took first and second respectively in the Guia Race with Ford Sierra driver Andy Rouse in third. The first leg of the Grand Prix was once again shortened to 12 laps following a pile up at Lisboa. Enrico Bertaggia, winner of the Monaco F3 Grand Prix, took victory in the event on aggregate - without winning either of the two legs. Briton Damon Hill was second and Otto Rensing, third.

Teddy Yip again pulled out all the stops to stage his "Race of Champions". Competing in identical Mazda MX5 Miatas were racing legends such as Denny Hulme, Roy Salvadori, Al and Bobby Unser, Alan Jones and overall victor, Geoff Lees. The F3 win went to Australia's David Brabham, with Julian Bailey in second and Christophe Bouchut in third. It was Ford Sierras all the way in the Guia Race with Tim Harvey snatching victory from Andy Rouse. Due to bad weather and fading light, the Motor Cycle GP was shortened to eight laps, with Ulsterman Robert Dunlop taking the chequered flag.