HONG KONG: Organisers of the Macau Grand Prix on Friday defended the event after a second fatality in two days claimed the life of a driver in the CTM Macau Touring Car Cup, raising questions about track safety.
Organisers identified the victim as 40-year-old Hong Kong driver Phillip Yau but they could provide no details about how the accident happened.
Yau “succumbed to injuries sustained in a racing accident during the qualifying session this afternoon”, the organisers said in a brief statement.
He was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later, they said.
“Unfortunately it is not very pleasant to have two accidents in two days,” Macau Grand Prix committee coordinator Joao Manuel Costa Antunes told a press conference after the incident.
“But every track has challenges and the track of Macau as a street circuit presents challenges that all the drivers have the opportunity to learn,” Antunes said.
“I don’t think there is any question about the track,” he said, adding that it has existed for 60 years and is approved every year by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
“We don’t consider suspending any races,” he said.
The Macau Grand Prix covers four days of events including the 12-lap CTM Macau Touring Car Cup and the 46th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix on Saturday, followed by Sunday’s SJM Formula Three Macau Grand Prix.
Hong Kong television reported that Yau died after after losing control of his Chevrolet Cruze and hitting a wall at more than 200 kilometres an hour.