Macau Grand Prix rocked by two deaths in two days
HONG KONG - Agence France-Presse
Luis Filipe de Sousa Carreira was the first of two casualties during the Macau GP qualifying sessions. AP photoA driver in the CTM Macau Touring Car Cup was killed on Nov. 16 in the second fatality to mar the Macau Grand Prix in two days, officials said.
Organizers identified the victim as 40-year-old Hong Kong driver Phillip Yau.
Yau “succumbed to injuries sustained in a racing accident during the qualifying session this afternoon”, the organizers said in a brief statement.
He was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later, they 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 Nov. 17, followed by the SJM Formula Three Macau Grand Prix on Nov. 18.
Hong Kong television reported that Yau died after after losing control of his Chevrolet Cruze and hitting a wall at more than 200 kilometers an hour.
Portuguese motorcycle rider Luis Filipe de Sousa Carreira was killed in an accident during a qualifying session for the Macau Grand Prix on Nov. 15.
The 35-year-old from Lisbon lost control of his bike and died of his injuries in hospital.
Macau Grand Prix committee coordinator Joao Manuel Costa Antunes defended the event’s safety record.
“Unfortunately it is not very pleasant to have two accidents in two days,” Antunes told a press conference. “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.”
“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), the governing body for world motor sport.
None of the events scheduled over the weekend will be cancelled in light of the fatalities, Antunes added.
Footage of the incident showed his car slam into a wall at high speed and burst into flames before rolling to a halt. Yau was still in the car by the time rescue crews arrived and started trying to put out the blaze.
The Carreira incident was the second death of a motorbike rider at the track in seven years. Italian rider Stefano Bonetti was admitted to hospital after suffering multiple fractures when he crashed during qualifying, said the SCMP.
Celebrated Italian motorbike rider, 24-year-old Marco Simoncelli, died last year in a crash that resulted in the cancellation of the Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang.