THIS year's Macau Grand Prix, will have the best-ever lineup in its 52-year history. For the first time, the Far East classic, which will be held Nov. 17-20, will include the FIA Intercontinental Cup of Formula 3, the final round of the all-new FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), the WTCC LG-Guia Race of Macau, and the 39th running of the ever-popular Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix-Hotel Fortuna.
The locale will be Macau's legendary Guia street circuit, which is often referred to as the "Monaco of the East.'' The drivers and their cars will go through a very challenging course set against a stunning Macau backdrop, turning the event into a combination of beauty and madness.
The FIA Intercontinental Cup of Formula 3 will be using the new format introduced last year, which will save considerable time, benefiting the teams, television broadcasters and spectators with more on-track action.
"For more than two decades, since Ayrtorn Senna won the Formula 3 Grand Prix in Macau, the event has been the one race every young single seater driver dreams of winning. When it comes to deciding the best of the best in the unofficial "world cup'' in the category each year, the attention of the international motorsports community - as well as the media - is firmly fixed on Macau,'' Joao Manuel Costa Antunes, a top official of the Macau Grand Prix Committee explains.
Also, for the first time this year, not only will Macau host a round of one of only three official FIA World Championships, the WTCC, it will also be the final - and possibly deciding - event of the most prestigious touring car series on earth.
Included in the program is a Motorcycle Grand Prix, attracting all motorcycle racing enthusiasts from all over the world. There will also be support races for international, regional and local competitors - the Hotel Fortuna Trophy, the Macau Cup/Asian Touring Car, the 2005 Asian Formula Renault Challenge, the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia, and the Macau Grand Prix Committee Scooters Cup for Macau residents.
Practice and qualifying sessions for the 52nd Macau Grand Prix will be held on Thursday and Friday (November 17 and 18), with the racing getting underway on Saturday morning.
More information on the 52nd Macau Grand Prix weekend may be obtained from Macau Government Tourist Office - Philippine through tels. 812-2595 and 813-0947 or through the official website of the race at www.macau.grandprix. gov.mo.