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October 3, 2002 - Motorsport fans can look forward to an action-packed 49th Macau Grand Prix this year, with one of the most spectacular racing programmes ever - a feast of high-speed thrills. The Grand Prix will be held on November 16 and 17, with practice and qualifying sessions on November 14 and 15.

The non-stop racing spectacular includes the world finals of Formula Three, the only time champions from the national F3 series' in Britain, Germany, France and Japan meet to do battle for the ultimate prize, the FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup.

The Macau Formula 3 event has long been recognised as the testing ground for future racing superstars, and all but two on the current Formula One grid have tested their mettle on Macau's unique Guia street circuit. Ever since the legendary Ayrton Senna won the first F3 race at Macau in 1983, a host of famous names have followed him to Asia's premier event, including Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard, Eddie Irvine, Damon Hill and rising F1 star Juan Pablo Montoya.

Macau's Guia Race for Touring Cars is also a unique event where leading European drivers compete against Asia's finest "tin top" specialists. The competition is fierce, and the Macau's testing Guia Circuit is always guaranteed to provide some unexpected surprises.

The Macau Grand Prix is the world's only street circuit meeting which includes races for both cars and motorcycles, and the Motorcycle Grand Prix, featuring some of the best road racing specialists from around the globe, has often been described as one of the most breathtaking motorcycle events staged anywhere.

The Grand Prix weekend also includes a wide variety of local and regional races, and for the first time ever boasts three single seater races. In addition to the Formula 3 Grand Prix, the Asian Formula 2000 (AF2000) race has become a popular and regular fixture, and this year the Formula Renault cars will compete at Macau for the first time. In Europe, Formula Renault is considered a sound training ground for talented young drivers, and in Asia, like AF2000, it is grooming young drivers for future international motor racing stardom.

As it approaches its landmark 50th anniversary, the organisation of the Macau Grand Prix has undergone significant changes this year. A full-time, permanent Grand Prix Committee was established at the start of the year, dedicated to working continuously on all aspects of the event. Chaired by Macau's Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Dr. Chui Sai On, and with Macau Grand Prix veteran Engineer Joao Manuel Costa Antunes as Co-ordinator, the establishment of the new committee reflects the growing importance of Asia's premier motor racing event.

All arrangements are well underway for this year, and race director for the FIA Formula One World Championship, Charlie Whiting, has already carried out an inspection of the Guia Circuit and held meetings with the new committee.

October 3, 2002

Issued on behalf of the Macau Grand Prix Committee by PR Plus Limited

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