Audi loyalist eyes Grand Prix city circuit in Hong Kong
Professional racing car driver Marchy Lee, 39, who is also co-owner of Team Phoenix Racing Asia, says he prefers space and comfort in a road car
“I drive an Audi RS Q3 and bought it through Audi Hong Kong last year. I like its overall quality and its [2.5-litre TFSI] engine’s performance; [Audi says it does 100km/h in just 5.5 seconds via an S ironic seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.] It is also a fine [quattro] drive for my family. It is also quick when I need it to be and is very comfortable on a daily basis.
It’s very good on Hong Kong roads as it is not huge and bulky. It’s a fantastic combination of practicality, performance and reliability. Its interior is spacious, but it’s not a big car, so you get plenty of room inside. It has great handling and it’s easy to find a parking space.
I have no complaints about the RS Q3, although I would add the e-tron feature so that I can charge the car when I am not using it.
I am loyal to Audi. This weekend, I’m driving an Audi R8 LMS in the GT Asia Series at Fuji in Japan. My co-driver, Shaun Thong of Hong Kong, and I had a win in the last round, so we’re third in the championship.
When I have the time, I like to go to Shek O. It’s such a pretty part of Hong Kong and I love the roads on the way there. Is my wife a better driver than me? Absolutely not – I would advise my friends to stay off the road when she is driving ... I’m only joking!
My father was also a racing driver and he introduced me to cars. My tastes have changed as I have got older. My best car was the Audi RS4 but I’ve never had a bad car, lucky me.
I was very into sports cars and I admired the NSX Honda when I was younger, but because now I have a family with kids, I prefer cars with space and room.
I like the R8. The second-generation version R8 and the new-generation A4 are the talk of the town at the moment, but then Hong Kong loves its cars. Even Hong Kong people who don’t drive know a lot about cars and are genuinely interested in them. When you see supercars or classic cars on the street, you can see everyone is curious.
I would allow left-hand-drive and mainland-made cars in Hong Kong. It would be great to have even more selection here, but at the same time, Hong Kong’s roads are already congested, so more cars may create more traffic jams.
I know many readers won’t agree, but I think Hong Kong drivers are very patient. The never-ending construction and roadworks mean there are constant traffic jams. Of course, there are exceptions, but I think the majority of drivers are very patient with this congestion and, usually, with other motorists. I’ve driven in many countries, but the hardest place to drive is probably Italy. It can be difficult there as everyone always seems to be in such a rush. Malaysia and Indonesia can be a challenge during tropical downpours, but that’s due to the weather, not the drivers.
Macau is one of the hardest circuits to drive on because there is zero room for error. You’re between a wall and a barrier, and one lapse in concentration can take you and many others out of the race. Should Hong Kong stage a Formula One city circuit Grand Prix like Singapore? Hong Kong can do anything. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Street circuits are good because they are interesting for drivers and spectators, and they are temporary, so don’t use up valuable land on a permanent basis. We should have a race track in Hong Kong.”