The 2021 Macau Grand Prix will go ahead next month but do so without a motorcycle race for the second season in succession as COVID-19 restrictions continue to hamper entry lists.
The iconic race weekend is a multi-discipline event held around the streets of the Portuguese colonial semi-autonomous Chinese state. Though centred largely around an end-of-season non-championship Formula 3 race, it also features GT racing and – unusually for a street venue – a motorcycle race.
Held every since 1967, the 2020 running of the race was scuppered by ongoing quarantine rules applied to anyone arriving from China totalling 21 days. These remain in place for the 21 November period of this year’s race, meaning organisers have been forced to replace the international invitationals with the Chinese F4 Championship.
Considered one of the world’s most demanding races, beyond the fact the undulating Guia Circuit is walled – thus making any accident potentially impactful – it combines long stretches of full throttle acceleration with tight, low-speed hairpins.
If you have never seen a lap of the Macau Grand Prix, then get ready for a treat…
Michael Rutter is the most successful rider to have competed at the Macau Grand Prix with nine wins to his name, the most recent of which came in 2019 in bizarre circumstances. Despite being out-paced comfortably all weekend by Peter Hickman, Rutter’s better start allowed him to lead the opening lap, before Hickman overtook him on the run down to Turn 1.
However, when the red flag was shown for an accident back in the pack, a delay to proceedings placed pressure on organisers to shift focus on the blue riband F3 race. Thus the results was called with just a single lap completed, making Rutter the winner.
Hickman has been the more successful in recent years with three wins from the last five years, while the likes of Carl Fogarty, Glenn Irwin, Steve Hislop and Ron Haslam can also count themselves as winners over the years.