With a new title sponsor on board, luxury residential development Windsor Arch, the Grand Prix has announced an exciting new race programme for the 55th edition, to be held from November 13-16 this year.
Topping the bill for the Windsor Arch 55th Grand Prix are: The Windsor Arch Formula 3 Grand Prix, which is also the official FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup; the final round of the prestigious 2008 FIA World Touring Car Championship (FIA WTCC), the Guia Race of ; and the unique Motorcycle Grand Prix.
The Windsor Arch Formula 3 Grand Prix will be the 26th running of the Blue Riband event, which was first held in 1983. No fewer than 16 of this year’s 20 FIA Formula One World Championship drivers have raced on ’s famous Guia street circuit, and former champions include Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, reports .
This year will mark the fourth time the final round of the FIA WTCC will be held at . Each year the Championship has come down to the wire at the SAR, and Briton Andy Priaulx has taken the title on all three occasions.
The Motorcycle Grand Prix, dubbed by many one of the greatest road races in the world and now in its 42nd year, was won for the second time last year in breath-taking fashion by Steve Plater.
In keeping with the high calibre of the blue riband event, the support programme has undergone major enhancements for 2008, with no fewer than four new races.
The Windsor Arch GT Cup is a 10-lap invitational race for popular grand touring racing cars. Thirty six of these impressive machines will line up on the grid to take the start on the Sunday of the Grand Prix week.
The Windsor Arch Road Sport Challenge is another new addition to the programme. Also an invitational race, the event is open to modified road cars which comply with relevant safety regulations. The field will be divided into classes A, B and C, depending on cylinder capacity.
Each of the new additions will have an international field, and invited drivers with International Class C racing licenses will be eligible to compete.
The neighbouring SAR’s leading touring car drivers will go head-to-head with ’s finest in a thrilling racing season-closer, the Hotel Fortuna and Hong Kong Interport Race. A large number of talented drivers are emerging from who hone their skills throughout the year at nearby Zhuhai International Circuit, as well as further afield on tracks such as Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Touring Car Championship ensures the city’s racers have plenty of track-time throughout the season before tackling the Guia street circuit once a year. The 10-lap showdown is scheduled for Saturday, November 15th, and will see up to 36 drivers, 18 from each city, compete in a variety of Group N 2000cc racing cars.
The ever-popular CTM Touring Car Race (previously the CTM Cup) returns once again as part of the Windsor Arch 55th Grand Prix. Open to up to 36 drivers from across the Asian region, the 12-lap sprint is for Super Production racing cars.
Making its debut on the demanding Guia Circuit this year will be Formula BMW Pacific, designed specifically to help young karters, some as young as 15, make the transition to single seater racing. The racing car, the FB02, reaches speeds of up to 230kph and exceeds the FIA safety requirements for its class.This formula for success, which also runs in Europe and the Americas as well as in the Pacific, has already proven effective, with current Formula One drivers Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Timo Glock and Adrian Sutil amongst the most famous Formula BMW graduates. Formula BMW Pacific, although only established in 2003, has already seen its drivers graduate to GP2, European and Asian Formula 3, A1GP and Speed Car, and several are well on the ladder to the highest echelons of the sport.
In addition to an action-packed programme of races, long-time Grand Prix partner Yokohama will be putting on a display of the enormously-popular drifting, featuring Japan’s Nobuteru Taniguchi and Manabu Orito, both of whom have competed in ’s Guia Race in the past, and Hong Kong’s James Tang and Raymond Mak.
Tickets for the Windsor Arch 55th Grand Prix are already being snapped up fast. Places in the most popular grandstand, at the famous Lisboa Bend, are going fast as racing aficionados from the USA, the UK, Korea and Japan, as well as many local fans, grab the hottest seats in the house for the November spectacular.
Tickets are available from the organisers on +(853) 87962242 / 87962268, and via Ticket on +(852) 28 555555/Hong Kong +(852) 2380 5083/Mainland China +(86) 139 269 11111.
The Official Grand Prix website is at www..grandprix.gov.mo