The 65th edition of the Macau Grand Prix (GP) will continue to host six racing events, including three international level races, organized and scrutinized by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee (COGPM) representatives introduced the 2018 edition yesterday at a press conference. As in the past, the GP will continue to host the Formula 3 (F3) World Cup as well as the GT World Cup, alongside the newly created World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), the racing event dedicated to touring cars that merged the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) and the Touring Car Race (TCR) Series.
With this fusion between the two major championships for touring cars, Macau will be back hosting a grand finale of such a championship with the last of the 10-event championship to be held once again at the Guia Circuit this November.
The only novelty of this year’s event will be the announced transformation of the former Chinese Racing Cup, a one- make series that initially brought together drivers from Macau, Hong Kong, the mainland and Taiwan in a racing event in which, theoretically, all competitors had an equal chance to win.
This format will this year be presented with an expansion into a Greater Bay Cup. The president of the Sports Bureau (ID) and coordinator of the Grand Prix, Pun Weng Kun, said that this is “an opportunity for more exchange and sharing at technical, mechanical and technological level” among the racers and teams across the Bay area.
The other two racing events will be held in the same format as last year, as seen in the Macau Touring Car Cap; two categories at the qualifying stage (1,600cc Turbo and over 1,950cc engines) that then will race together in a single event, and the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, which this year enters its 52nd edition.
Although there is not yet any information concerning the program schedule, it will be slightly changed from last year’s edition as the new format of the WTCR event is composed of a total of three races per event, as opposed to the two races per event of the previous WTCC and TCR Series.
Seat allocation and ticketing will also remain the same, with the stands able to receive a daily capacity of around 14,000 people and the ticket price ranging from MOP50 (on practice and qualifying days) to MOP350-900 during the race days.
The event this year will take place between November 15 and 18. As on previous occasions, motorsports shows and promotional events will continue to be held over the two weekends prior to the main event.
During the presentation, Pun also noted that the COGPM is “committed to continue to improve [both] pedestrian and vehicles access around the track, cooperating on temporary traffic measures and support around the circuit, having increased the channels through which traffic information is distributed to the public.”
Suncity Group retains GP title sponsorship
The Suncity Group will continue to be the title sponsor of the Macau Grand Prix (GP) event for 2018, Pun Weng Kun announced during a press conference yesterday.
“Today, I am very pleased to announce that Suncity Group will be the title sponsor of the Macau Grand Prix for the fifth consecutive year,” Pun said, while acknowledging the company for their support.
The press conference held at the Macau Science Center was also where the presentation of the cheque and the signage of the agreement between the organizing committee and the company represented by its senior vice president of Public and Social Relations, Gina Lei, took place.
The amount Suncity Group is donating remains unchanged from the 2016 edition, when Suncity first contributed MOP20 million. The total budget of this year’s edition is MOP200 million.
Similarly to last year’s edition of the GP, BMW Concessionaires (Macau) Ltd will continue to provide the safety and rescue services, as well as official cars for this year’s event.
Pun also added that currently the China- Macao Automobile Association is “actively carrying out training courses for track and race staff, and medical and rescue training, including competitor first aid training, to ensure the event proceeds smoothly.”