I’m telling you, Circuito de Guia is one of the most insane race tracks anywhere in the world. I wasn’t being hyperbolic when I called it “batshit crazy.” Anything can happen and usually does. That was definitely the case this weekend.
It didn’t take long for things to go, as the British say, “tits up”. At the start of the first race, at Mandarin bend, Target Competion’s Francisco Mora’s Seat Leon lost the rear end of his car on cold tires, hits the outside wall hard and careens back across the track, collecting Craft Bamboo’s Frank Yu and Kenny Lau as well.
But this wasn’t the “big one”. That was to come at the start of the second race. Eight-time Macau winner and World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff was a bit slow off the line (the Hondas have struggled with that all season), allowing Spanish Champion Jordi Gené to get alongside him.
Unfortunately Gené moved right as they were heading through the corner while Huff held his line. The resulting contact took the both of them hard into the outside wall. Huff was okay (judging by the amount of alcohol he and I both consumed at the bar and the fact that he was still headed out for more at 2 a.m.), but Gené was taken to the hospital where he was later treated for broken ribs.
As several of you have said on Stef’s post about this crash, yes, Gené was at fault here and deserved the (small) fine he got. If you re-watch the footage Gené got a better start than Huffy and takes position on the inside lane.
Huffy then moved over to keep Gené pinned to the inside knowing the the next corner is the right hander at Mandarin, which he would have had the inside position for. For some reason Gené moved over to his right at the entrance to the corner (look at the lines in the road for reference). Huffy, having position on the outside, held his ground and once contact is made, it’s all over but the shouting.
Behind them, all hell was braking lose as the crash went unseen by those in the back who arrived on the scene full throttle at 150 kph. As you can see, maximum carnage ensued.
Starting 14th I arrived fashionably late to the party and ended up smack dab in the middle of the scrum. (I’m the white SEAT with Gold trim.)
Using all my
years of experience as a professional race car driver, great situational awareness and cat like reflexes dumb fucking luck I went for a small gap that opened up in front of me and managed to squeeze through without getting punted by the rest of the guys.
You may notice that I backed off the throttle early and went down a gear as I saw Huffy go into the wall before I got into the corner (the video doesn’t pick that up.) Sometimes cars that hit the wall stay to that side and when the rest of the field kept accelerating, I went back to throttle only to have to slam on the brakes a second later as I realized that the entire road was blocked.
Knowing that I still had a dozen or so cars barreling down on me at full speed, I went for a gap the opened up between Gené and the Opel driven by Josh Files. That gap got a bit smaller as Gené’s SEAT was hit by one of the Hondas (thats the squealing tires you hear in the video) but I managed to make it through the carnage with only minor damage to my front splitter. I got off extremely lucky as several cars were written off.
I was able make the best of it and finish up the race in second in TCR Asia (just .8 second behind 1st. See last lap video below) and P6 overall. Not a bad haul for a Macau virgin.
Awesome place. Awesome race. I’m 100 percent sure I’ll be back here next year for more batshit craziness.
Photo Credit: TCR International
Robb Holland races in the British Touring Car Championship for Rotek Racing. He’s a Jalopnik contributor who basically lives at the Nürburgring most of the year and is also the tallest man in Germany.