The head of the International Motorcycling Federation Asia (FIM Asia) gave a “very positive feedback” after inspecting the city’s Guia Circuit early this year, describing it as a “good street circuit”, Pun Weng Kun, president of the Sports Bureau and coordinator of the Macau Grand Prix Organising Committee, said Wednesday.
Pun made the remarks when he was asked by a reporter about possible safety concerns over the Guia Circuit, on the sidelines of a press conference about the 65th Macau Grand Prix, at the Macau Science Centre.
Pun did not identify the FIM Asia president by name, nor did he say when exactly he visited Macau. According to the FIM website, Manila-based Stephan Carapiet heads FIM Asia.
Last November, 31-year-old British motorcyclist Daniel Hegarty lost his life in a crash on the Guia Circuit.
Hegarty crashed against the barrier at Fishermen’s Bend during his sixth lap on the 6.2-km Guia Circuit. The race was stopped after the accident with the British rider dying of his injuries.
“After every year’s Grand Prix, the [Macau Grand Prix Organising] committee has a review on every part of the event, including the circuit…aiming to improve every year,” Pun remarked.
Pun said that the president of FIM Asia came to inspect the city’s circuit at the beginning of this year. According to Pun, the president gave a “very positive feedback”, and said that it was a “very challenging” but also a “very good street circuit”. Pun noted that FIM ASia also gave some suggestions to the local Grand Prix Committee.
When asked what the suggestions were, Pun didn’t reveal any details, saying that his committee was only given verbal suggestions, but not written one. Referring to what the FIM Asia president noted, Pun said that “accidents are accidents, and it is hard to totally avoid them”.
According to the a report by the UK’s Nottingham Post, Hegarty’s fatal accident was not covered by his life insurance as it happened outside of Europe. Hegarty’s brother hence has started an online fund-raising campaign, aiming to raise £20,000 (218,400 patacas) for a trust fund for Hegarty’s two sons, aged 10 and three. Up to yesterday, the fund had already exceeded its goal and raised more than £32,000.
When asked by The Macau Post Daily about how the committee had assisted Hegarty’s family after the accident, Pun said that for each Grand Prix the committee provided specific insurance for all drivers and riders. Pun underlined that after the fatal crash, the insurance company paid damages to Hegarty’s legal beneficiary. However, he didn’t reveal the amount.
This year’s Grand Prix will be held between November 15 and 18. According to Pun, this year has a total budget of about 220 million patacas, unchanged from the two previous years.
Meanwhile, this year’s motor-racing event for the first time will include the Greater Bay Area (GBA) Cup for drivers from the region comprising Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.