Making Motorsport History
The city will host two FIA World Cups plus an FIA World Touring Car Championship Round
The Suncity Group 64th Macau Grand Prix will be held from November 16-19, when it will become the only international motorsport event in the world to host two official FIA World Cups plus a round of an FIA World Championship.
Marking its 35th edition for Formula 3 cars, the Suncity Group Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix is designated as an official FIA F3 World Cup for the second consecutive year. The 10th running of the Macau GT Cup will be the FIA GT World Cup for the third consecutive year and is once again sponsored by SJM, while the Suncity Group Macau Guia Race will count as a round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC).
Sharing top billing on the six-race programme is the Suncity Group Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 51st Edition, blazing a trail into its sixth decade with a truly remarkable line-up of electrifying road racers.
Besides the four main races, the CTM Macau Touring Car Cup and the Suncity Group Chinese Racing Cup will provide local and regional talent with a high-profile showcase from which to demonstrate their racing skills.
Off the track, a series of events will be held to encourage widespread participation in the Grand Prix, including a promotional show at Tap Seac Square where the cars and motorcycles competing in the Macau GT Cup and Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix will be on display, giving residents and visitors alike the chance to get an up-close look at some of the racing vehicles which will be competing on the Guia Circuit.
Other promotional activities will include the Suncity Group 64th Macau Grand Prix photo competition for local photography enthusiasts, with the best entries winning prizes and the chance to have their work exhibited. Following its success last year, accredited media will again be asked to vote for their favourite team of grid girls during Grand Prix week.
A new initiative designed to encourage greater connection with and knowledge about the Grand Prix amongst local residents is the creation of the Macau GP Club. Pre-registration of membership commences on November 11, and all local residents aged six or above are eligible to join. Complementing the new club is a mascot design competition held in conjunction with the Macao Polytechnic. Encouraging creativity, the contest will incorporate two categories: one open to all residents, and the other specifically for students. Entrants must design an iconic creative personification of the Grand Prix, and the winner will be rewarded with prizes as well as the opportunity to see their creativity come to life through promotion of the event.
The Suncity Group Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix – FIA F3 World Cup again features the cream of the world’s young racing talent in the entry. The entry list for the 35th running of Macau’s famous F3 Grand Prix features newly crowned FIA Formula 3 European champion Lando Norris, as well as two former Japanese Formula 3 champions in the forms of Kenta Yamashita and Yuhi Sekiguchi. They will take on a host of rivals through the three days of free practice, qualifying and the Qualification Race, before the all-important Grand Prix as the climax on Sunday.
EIGHT OF THE BEST
Eight former winners of keynote races on the Guia Circuit will be on the grid for the 10th running of the Macau GT Cup on November 16-19, the FIA GT World Cup for the third consecutive year. Past winners of the Macau GT Cup, the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix and the Macau Guia Race are all represented on a stellar entry list, incorporating 20 cars from seven different manufacturers. The driver line-up has a combined total of 15 victories in the headline Macau races since 2005. Former Macau GT Cup victors Edoardo Mortara, Maro Engel, Darryl O’Young and Laurens Vanthoor all return to the 6.2km Guia street circuit this year at the wheel of GT3 machinery. They are joined by past Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix champions Lucas di Grassi (2005), Daniel Juncadella (2011) and Felix Rosenqvist (2014, 2015), like Mortara a double winner, as well as Augusto Farfus Jr, a two-time touring car victor in the Guia Race (2005, 2009).
The 2017 Suncity Group Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 51st Edition is poised for a re-match of last year’s epic contest, as all three podium finishers return to the Guia street circuit. Triumphing after a brilliant race-long dice with Michael Rutter and Martin Jessopp last November, two-time winner Peter Hickman will be reunited with Rutter on a pair of SMT/Bathams BMWs. Joining them on a third S1000RR in Riders Motorcycles livery will be 2016 third placed finisher, Martin Jessopp. They lead an all-star cast of 28 road racing specialists from nine countries.
After a three-year hiatus, the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) returns to Macau, with November’s event set to make history. With an international field, not only will the championship’s traditional two-race format be split across two days of action - on Saturday November 18 and Sunday November 19 - but 20 TC1 cars are set to contest an FIA WTCC event for the first time since the latest generation of regulations were employed universally in the world’s premier tin-top category.
Topping the bill are the factory entries of Volvo and Honda, with the two locked in a fierce battle for the manufacturers’ title and their lead drivers jousting for drivers’ honours. Thed Björk is the current championship leader and has two victories to his name, while highly-rated team mates Nicky Catsburg and Nestor Girolami have also recorded a victory apiece this campaign.
Honda’s leading two contenders have a wealth of experience in Macau. Ex-Formula 1 driver Tiago Monteiro - a championship stalwart since 2007 - is without a victory around the 6.2km circuit in FIA WTCC machinery, but is the defending winner of the Macau Guia Race, having won the event last year, while Norbert Michelisz scored the first of his FIA WTCC victories on the Guia Circuit in 2010. Rob Huff will head to Macau among the favourites, with a record eight previous tin-top successes on the Guia Circuit. A ninth would make Huff, who is driving a Münnich Motorsport Citroën C-Elysée this season, the most decorated racer on two or four wheels in Macau history.
The two supporting events have seen their grids swell since last year, and each promises enthralling on-track battles. CTM continues its support of the Grand Prix with the CTM Touring Car Cup. Running to a new format this year, eligible cars are divided into 1600cc Turbo and over 1950cc classes. Each group of 25 participating cars is divided for practice and qualifying, and the fastest 18 in each group will enter the Sunday race. The 50-strong entry includes drivers from Colombia, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Macau. The Suncity Chinese Racing Cup is this year for 2.0l turbocharged cars, and will see 36 drivers taking part.