School = open. Class is now in session.
The 2019 Macau Grand Prix took place over the weekend, from November 15 through 17. For those unfamiliar, this annual event brings together bikes, cars, and all manner of talented racers from around the globe to race the incomparable Macau city circuit. If you think the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix is absolutely mad, you’ll want to see this onboard video.
You actually get a pretty cool two-for-one deal with this video. This is two minutes and forty-one seconds on board with Horst Saiger as he follows John McGuinness around Macau ahead of the actual race weekend. They’re not racing in anger, but the sights and especially sounds give you some idea of what this track is like to experience first-hand. Plus, you know, IOMTT legend John McGuinness.
As far as the actual race weekend went, events were pretty jam-packed. The 53rd Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix was scheduled to take place Saturday, November 16. Unfortunately, two separate crashes during the race brought out red flags during the first couple of laps. Resulting delays to clean up the track, when added to an already packed schedule, led the race organizers to simply cancel the race outright.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Initially, because fewer than three laps had been raced, the organizers said they would abandon the race and issue no race result whatsoever. It was even rumored at one point that the organizers would try to move the Motorcycle GP to Sunday’s schedule. However, between the Formula 3 Grand Prix, two World Touring Car Cup races, and the FIA GT World Cup final race, there was simply no room on Sunday’s jam-packed slate.
Tires for the Motorcycle GP competitors were another logistical problem. They’d only planned their rubber needs around practice, qualifying, and one day of racing. If the race was rescheduled for Sunday, riders wouldn’t have had the fresh rubber needed to run the race from zero laps.
After further discussion, race organizers found a clause in the official race rulebook that says the minimum three lap completion stipulation for a race result to be declared is waived in the event of a race being red-flagged and then restarted. Michael Rutter was declared the winner, beating out his teammate Peter Hickman by 0.298 seconds based on just one lap of racing. Third place on the podium was David Johnson. Unfortunately, John McGuinness was not able to take part in the restarted race due to a fueling issue.