The Suncity Group 66th Macau Grand Prix will be held from November 14-17. The programme includes six races, of which three of the four headliners are official FIA World Cups. The Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee (MGPOC) held a press conference today (October 17th) at the Macao Science Center to announce the impressive line-up of international and regional drivers and riders - which includes the defending champions from all four bill-topping races - and to announce details of promotional activities ahead of and during the four-day motorsport extravaganza.
Attending the press conference and meeting with the media were: Mr. Pun Weng Kun, President of the Sports Bureau and Coordinator of the Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee; Mr. Lo Keng Chio, Chairman of the Automobile General Association of Macao-China; Mr. Chong Coc Veng, Coordinator of the Sporting Subcommittee of Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee; Ms. Christine Lam Lin Kio, Deputy Coordinator of MGPOC; Ms. Gina Lei, Senior Vice President of Corporate and Community Relations of the Suncity Group and other guests including members of MGPOC and its Subcommittees.
During the press conference, the President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Mr. Jean Todt commented via video message: “The Macau Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious motorsport events in the world and we are looking forward to the 66th edition. Macao is known all over the globe as a passionate and vibrant city, and the perfect location to host such a key event in the motor racing calendar.
The introduction of the new Formula 3 car brings a further dimension to this thrilling event. The collaboration between the organizing committee, the AAMC and the FIA continues to make the Guia Circuit safer, including a number of significant upgrades and developments for this year.”
For the fourth consecutive year, the Suncity Group Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix is designated the official FIA F3 World Cup, and this year for the first time the race will feature the cars which contest the new FIA F3 Championship. For the fifth successive year, the SJM Macau GT Cup is the FIA GT World Cup. The Macau Guia Race, meanwhile, will feature drivers and teams from the FIA World Touring Car Cup – WTCR for the second time. The Suncity Group Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 53rd Edition has once again attracted the cream of the world’s international road racers to compete on Macao’s legendary 6.2km Guia street circuit.
In addition to the four main races, the ever-popular FOOD4U Macau Touring Car Cup and the Suncity Group Greater Bay Area GT Cup, open this time to GT4 cars from a variety of manufacturers, will provide local and regional talent with a high-profile showcase.
Tickets may be purchased in Macao via Kong Seng / Macau Ticketing Service at www.macauticket.com, while a full list of outlets can be found on the official website at www.macau.grandprix.gov.mo.
A wide variety of promotional and educational campaigns have been running both at home and abroad since the start of the year, and activities will increase in the coming weeks.
From November 2nd to 3rd (Saturday and Sunday), the Macau Grand Prix Family Carnival will again be held in Tap Seac Square. Through racing car-themed interactive games, children will get to know and understand the professional racing world in an enjoyable way, and experience the fun of the various roles and tasks in organizing the event.
The annual supercar and motorcycle show at Tap Seac Square on November 9th and 10th, will mark the official opening of the Suncity Group 66th Macau Grand Prix. There, visitors and residents will be able to view the GT3 sportscars and superbikes which will take part in this year’s Grand Prix up close, and enjoy the official opening ceremony for the event on the Saturday afternoon. Entry to the event on both days is free of charge, and it has become a popular warm-up to the city’s annual Grand Prix.
Suncity Group Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix
Reigning and two-time Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix – FIA F3 World Cup champion Dan Ticktum returns to Macao this year to attempt what no other driver has so far achieved in the race’s 37-year history: take the category’s most coveted victory a record third consecutive time. In addition, the new FIA Formula 3 Championship cars make their Guia Circuit debut this year.
Amongst the outstanding line-up are newly-crowned FIA Formula 3 champion Robert Shwartzman and runner-up Marcus Armstrong, both members of the Ferrari Driver Academy. The pair will be joined at SJM Prema Theodore Racing by Indian driver Jehan Daruvala, third in the championship and making his third visit to Macao.
David Schumacher is a newcomer to the race this year, the son of 1995 Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix winner Ralf and nephew of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael, winner at Macao in 1990, entered with the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz, which is also making its debut on the Guia Circuit. Joining him on the team is another Ferrari Driver Academy member and Macao rookie, Enzo Fittipaldi, grandson of two-time F1 World Champion Emerson. Joining the pair on the team is Ferrari Driver Academy FIA Formula 2 Championship driver Callum Ilott.
Estonian Jüri Vips, fourth in the FIA F3 Championship, is joined at Hitech Grand Prix by two Macao newcomers: Briton Max Fewtrell, who is affiliated to the Renault F1 team as a Renault Sport Academy youngster, and exciting Japanese Yuki Tsunoda – who is a junior driver for both Red Bull and Honda.
Jenzer Motorsport fields Macao’s own Hon Chio Leong, who is out for his second attack in his home race.
SJM Macau GT Cup – FIA GT World Cup
Four former SJM Macau GT Cup - FIA GT World Cup champions will battle for victory in this year's running of the prestigious event: Edoardo Mortara, Maro Engel, Laurens Vanthoor and Augusto Farfus Jr., who have eight wins in the race between them.
Mortara, who has six Macao victories across the GT race (2011, 2012, 2013, and 2017) and the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix to his name, will again drive a Mercedes-AMG GT3, this year for the factory Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing squad.
Maro Engel, meanwhile, returns for a seventh straight year in a bid to extend a run of podiums stretching back to 2014, the year of the first of his two victories in the race.The German again drives for Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing team with which he finished second last year.
Rowe Racing fields two Porsche 911 GT3-Rs, one of which is for 2016 race winner Laurens Vanthoor, while reigning champion Farfus Jr. is back with BMW Team Schnitzer.The Brazilian drives one of two BMW M6 GT3s in the field.
Audi, the most successful marque in the 11-year history of the Macau GT Cup is represented by five cars, with the Belgian WRT team entering an Audi R8 LMS GT3 for Laurens Vanthoor’s younger brother Dries.
Suncity Group Macau Guia Race – FIA WTCR
Briton Rob Huff, the man who holds the record for the most victories on the Guia Circuit, is amongst eight other Macau Guia Race winners who will contest the Suncity Group Macau Guia Race – FIA WTCR which once again incorporates three races. The SLR VW Motorsport driver has won nine times in Macao between 2008 and 2017.
Huff is joined on the team by Macao winner Mehdi Bennani of Morocco, while another former winner, Norbert Michelisz, is the man to beat having emerged as the protagonist in a four-car Hyundai line-up. The Hungarian is partnered in the BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse line-up by Gabriele Tarquini, who claimed last year's inaugural FIA WTCR drivers' title by three points in a gripping season finale in Macao. Honda's title challenge in the FIA WTCR this year has been headed by winner of that race, Esteban Guerrieri.
Another previous Guia Race winner, Portugal’s Tiago Monteiro, part of the KCMG Honda squad, missed Macao last year as he prioritized a full-time return from injury, something the fan favourite has successfully achieved this season.
Cyan Racing Lynk & Co driver, four-time World Touring Car champion and two time winner in Macao in 2012 and 2013, Yvan Muller returns, while triple touring car world champion and two-time Macao winner Andy Priaulx returns to Macao for the first time since 2010.
Suncity Group Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 53rd Edition
Twenty-seven of the world’s top road racers from 11 different nations will line-up for the celebrated two-wheel spectacular that is Saturday’s Suncity Group Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 53rd Edition, amongst them no fewer than four former champions who have 13 victories between them.
Eight-time winner Michael Rutter is the most successful rider in the race’s history with victories spanning 1998 to 2012, and he will be gunning for his ninth win aboard the MotoGP-specification Aspire-Ho by Bathams Racing Honda RC213V. Alongside him will be Peter Hickman, who scorched to his third victory last year to add to his successes in 2015 and 2016, and will ride a Smiths-prepared BMW once again.
John McGuinness, a 23-time Isle of Man TT winner who took victory at Macao in 2001, returns aboard the very latest factory-backed PBM Ducati V4 R, while the fourth previous winner to return to the grid is 2013 champion Ian Hutchinson. Hutchinson was absent last year recovering from his latest fitness setback but will have aspirations of repeating his sensational win as he teams up with Team Milwaukee with SMT Racing aboard a BMW.
While all four former champions arrive in Macao as hot prospects to take victory in the 53rd running of the race, there is no shortage of challengers amongst the talent-packed field.
British Macao regulars Gary Johnson, fifth last year, and Lee Johnston team up at Ashcourt Racing aboard their respective BMWs, while Australian namesake David Johnson, who finished seventh last year, gets the prized ride aboard the second of the PBM Ducati V4 Rs. Popular Liechtenstein-based Austrian Horst Saiger, sixth in 2018, makes his 12th visit on his Saiger Racing Yamaha, while Ireland’s Derek Sheils, who claimed eighth last year will be in action on his Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Suzuki – the only one in the field.
Saturday’s 12-lap FOOD4U Macau Touring Car Cup continues its two-class format for the third consecutive year. Competing cars are either 1600cc Turbo or 1950cc and over. The 36-strong field, 18 in each class, qualified for the race via the Macao Motorsport Festival held over the summer, and lining up on the grid in November will be touring cars from 10 different manufacturers.
The Suncity Group Greater Bay Area GT Cup is open this year to the increasingly popular GT4 sportscars for the first time, a popular development which has resulted in seven manufacturers represented on the grid. The impressive, 27-strong entry promises to deliver a sensational 12-lap race on Sunday morning.View gallery