Macau Grand Prix quenches thirst for speed, danger

Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:51am EST
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By Mark Dreyer

MACAU (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton calls it the world's "coolest street circuit" and some of the greatest names in motorsport such as Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher have savored its super-fast straights and treacherous corners, but for many the Macau Grand Prix is all about the danger.

Each year fans flock to the southern Chinese territory to see motorcycles and cars flirt with barriers at breakneck speeds as they hurtle around the 6.2-kilometre Guia street circuit.

The racing festival marked its diamond jubilee this month, with 13 races spread out over two weekends, and while there were plenty of spectacular spills on both two wheels and four, there were no fatalities.

It was a different story last year, however.

Hong Kong driver Phillip Yau crashed and died on the frighteningly fast Mandarin Bend, and Portuguese motorcycle rider Luis Filipe de Sousa Carreira was killed when he smashed into a wall at high speed during qualifying.

Adderly Fong, who clinched the 2013 Audi R8 LMS Cup title this year, was good friends with Yau.

"I was speaking to him on the Monday, told him I was going to go see him on Thursday, then decided to not go and watched from the hotel instead," the 23-year-old told Reuters.

"It happened right underneath the hotel."   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain enters the team garage after arriving at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on November 14, 2013. REUTERS0/Adrees Latif