61st Macau Grand Prix organisers hope for 'people-friendly' event

Preparations such as resurfacing of roads has begun to ensure smooth running of November meeting

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 July, 2014, 10:48pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 July, 2014, 10:48pm

Organisers of the 61st Macau Grand Prix have made improvements to ensure this year's event is more "people friendly".

Joao Manuel Costa Antunes, co-ordinator of the Macau Grand Prix, said the event would have less interference with local people's daily lives and it would try to minimise any disturbances.

Antunes said resurfacing road work on the Guia circuit, usually scheduled in mid-August, had already started in early July, meaning no road closures a month earlier to prevent traffic congestion during the event.

In case of unexpected events, like traffic accidents or bad weather ...  we will do small-scale repairs, but no major road closures
Joao Antunes

"In the past, when the schools open in early September, all the parents drive their cars to schools, while we still have construction on the road. So we wanted to avoid this [congestion]," explained Antunes.

"In case of unexpected events, like traffic accidents or bad weather that might damage roads after our work, we will do small-scale repairs, but no major road closures."

He said more gates would be installed and they would open once racing was completed for the day to allow faster traffic flow during the November 13-16 event.

After hosting a double-weekend tournament with 13 races in six days to celebrate its 60th anniversary last year, the Macau Grand Prix is back to a four-day meeting with seven races.

A new touring car event - the Chinese Racing Cup - will be contested by mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau drivers.

About 190 million patacas (HK$181 million) will be spent, a 10 per cent increase from the 2012 edition when the event was last held on a single weekend. Organisers estimate total revenue will top 43 million patacas with Suncity Group as new title sponsor.