The sensational Macau street circuit is the scene for the penultimate round of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup this weekend as Honda Civic Type R TCR teams continue their push for the championship.
Esteban Guerrieri’s victory for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport on the fabled 6.2-km course last year means the Civic has triumphed at Macau in each of the last three seasons a race for TCR machinery has been run.
The Argentinian; three times a WTCR race winner in 2019, holds a six-point advantage at the head of the Drivers’ Championship and could clinch the title in the former Portuguese enclave.
But with six races remaining and 170 points still up for grabs, the identity of the champion is unlikely to be known until the season finale at Sepang, Malaysia, in December.
Team-mate Nestor Girolami was a points-finisher on his last visit to Macau in 2017, but has never raced a TCR car there.
However, with experience gained by racing at street circuits in Argentina and on the WTCR calendar in Morocco and Portugal, he is fully prepared for the weekend and aims to improve on his current sixth place in the Drivers’ points.
An addition to his three 2019 wins would also help the cause of Münnich Motorsport, who lie just four points off the lead of the Teams’ standings and second overall with 306 to play for.
Like Esteban, KCMG’s Tiago Monteiro is a previous winner at the Macau Guia race; the Portuguese triumphing in a Civic Type R TCR in 2016, when the event was part of the TCR International Series.
Significantly, this year marks Tiago’s first appearance on the street circuit – where he also claimed the Civic’s first World Touring Car podium finish in 2012 – since that success three years ago.
But coming off an excellent event at Honda’s home circuit of Suzuka, where he scored his first WTCR pole position and his highest weekend points total of the season, he is full of confidence.
Team-mate Attila Tassi became the youngest polesitter in WTCR history at Vila Real and, having narrowly missed out on another front-row start at Suzuka, is chasing more points in Macau.
That Vila Real pole was the last time the 19-year-old Hungarian competed at a street circuit, and he has prior experience of racing at Macau in TCR machinery from 2016.
A record eight Civic Type R TCRs will be present in Macau with the usual quartet being joined by four wildcard entries.
Jim Ka To, who debuted at Suzuka with KC Motorgroup, continues for a second event with the team.
Team TRC will run three more Hong Kong racers; James Tang, Arthur Law and Terence Tse. All are regular competitors this year in the Zhuhai-based Pan-Delta Track Hero series with a number of starts in Macau GP support races between them.