Some 230 million patacas will be spent on staging the Macau Grand Prix this year to mark its diamond jubilee with 13 races over two weekends in November, João Manuel Costa Antunes, co-ordinator of the Macau Grand Prix Committee, announced on Friday.
During a press conference at the Tourism Activities Centre (CAT) in Zape, Costa Antunes said that the races and side activities of the carnival-style event would be held from November 9 to 10 and November 14 to 17. The budget for this year’s nine-day event is 230 million patacas, while last year’s budget for the usual four-day event was 160 million patacas.
According to the former director of the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO), construction of the new Grand Prix Centre began last month. Phase 1, which includes a Race Control Tower, which will cost 70 million patacas to build, will be twice the size of the current one when completed by November. Construction of Phase 2 will start early next year.
Costa Antunes said that the development of motor racing had helped turn Macau into a global tourism and leisure centre. “Tourism diversity is important, and sports tourism is a priority for Macau,” he was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying.
According to the presentation, six races will take place in the first weekend with the Audi R8 LMS Cup, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, the Lamborghini Super Trofeo that will bring its Asian series to Macau for the first time, and the Formula Masters China Series, designed to foster young Chinese and Asian talent, which will open its inaugural season next month and will make its debut in Macau with the season finale.
In addition, the first weekend will also feature the Macau Touring Car Cup and the annual showdown of the MAC/HKG Interport Race.
The headline races for the second part of the festival include the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix (the official FIA F3 Intercontinental Cup), the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, and the final rounds of the 2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship, the Macau GT Cup and the Macau Road Sport Challenge, in addition to two new races – the Lotus Greater China Race and the Master Challenge.
Side activities, which began at the end of last year, include poster and souvenir design competitions, as well as a contest for residents to create a racing theme tune for the Grand Prix, the deadline of which is Wednesday.
A set of commemorative stamps will be issued for the diamond jubilee in conjunction with the Macau Post Office, and a book written by Philip Newsome chronicling the last six decades of the Macau Grand Prix will also be published.
There will also be special exhibitions of classic cars to be held over both weekends at a variety of venues, such as a major hotels and open areas across the city. A photography competition will be held in conjunction with the Macau Photographic Society.(macaunews)