SYNOPSIS: Sunday morning, and the third race of the programme, Production Car 'B', is about to start.
SYNOPSIS: Sunday morning, and the third race of the programme, Production Car 'B', is about to start. Ford Lotus Cortinas of Paul Chan, No. 101 of which we see much more unfortunately, in this race and Lam Kwok-wai's No. 84.
The field off to a good start and Steve Holland in his Lotus No. 88 straight into the lead with Clinkard in his Cortina G.T. 1594 cc immediately behind him, and Harold Lee in the Prinz Skyline No. 78 hot on his tail.
Out of the eleven cars entered, ten starters and eight will finish the course.
Steve Holland No. 86 closely followed by Albert Poon in his large red Alpha Romeo who motored beautifully throughout the race. Unhappily, as in the earlier Production Car Race the initial leader was not to last, and in good time Albert would be taking his place at the front of the race.
Clinkard's distinctive Cortina No. 95, of whom we shall see more later. No. 86, Steve Holland's Lotus Cortina, which was not to do many more laps before accelerator linkage trouble cropped up.
Albert still is second place and driving immaculately.
And hers is the first of the pit stopes which were to put Steve Holland out of the race.
A small piece of wire has done the trick this time, but will it last?
Ian Dickson-Paterson, No. 81, in his Cortina who was to finish sixth, after a rather eventful race with some very frightening cornering.
Steve Holland's wire is still holding, and with it his first place with Poon right behind, and Clinkard in third position.
At Yacht Club Bend between the two straights it's now Poon who takes over the lead with Steve Holland's Lotus out of the race.
The Thirteenth Macao Grand Prix Meeting, and the city was bustling with life as an estimated 60,000 people flocked in from Hong Kong and elsewhere in the Far East to watch or take part in the four races on the card.
Saturday was a glorious day with bright sunshine but with cool breezes which made conditions perfect, although the heat did soften up the surface of the course slightly in particular the places where rubber from the tyres combined with a little oil and produced somewhat tricky cornering conditions until drivers became used to them.
Everyone, it seemed, was determined to watch the races from the bast vantage point that they could find - so if there didn't happen to be a Grandstand handy, what's wrong with a tree?
As usual speculation, rumours and 'hot tips' were the order of the day with Rodney Seow in his Lotus Elan, car No. 28, Charles Ching in a similar machine, car No. 40, and Yokohama in the Nissan Sylvia Coupe No. 26 being hot favourites, for the A.C.P. Trophy, the first race of the day.
As the twenty-eight cars roared off into their first lap, it was, indeed, in this order that they went into the first corner with the Lotus Elan, No. 37, in fourth place with Keith Payne behind the wheel. This had the makings of an excellent race.
With the seven Lotuses, well tried and proven cars - the Nissan Sylvia, and unknown quantity Harold Lee in his black TR 4 all capable of motoring very fast indeed.
On the eight lap Rodney Seow in first position, pulled into the pits with a broken back axle leaving Charles Ching well out ahead of the rest of the field and opening up the way for his eventual win.
Others, less fortunate, like Cheng Sum-wah were not so lucky, but at least the damage both to car and driver can be repaired, although not immediately, Chong was taken to hospital with a broken leg and facial abrasions.
Charles Ching, meanwhile, still in very good for - driving beautifully.
Tony Mitchell, in the dark green Singer Chamois, who eventually - by sheer good hard driving - brought his car into third place well deserved his position and that such a small engined car is capable of the speeds which Tony got out of it was remarkable.
The chequered flag for Charles Ching, winner of the 1966 A.C.P. Trophy and in second place the metallic gold Nissan Sylvia Coupe of Yokohama.
The next race on the card on Saturday was the production car race 'A' class up to 1500 cc. The cars presented a fairly difficult problem to sort out one from another with 21 starters, many of them driving in the same colours and in particular the Mazda Team all with their white cars with the racing stripe on the roof and a very similar numbers.
Right from the word GO John Tse, who leapt into the lead, had Mauro Bianchi in his Ranault Gordini Rally 10 breathing down his neck.
For the first few laps there was absolutely let-up in the terrific pace of the two leaders who were well clear of the rest of the field, who followed on with Katayama No. 53, Mazda Coupe. S. Y. Tam in his Morris Cooper 'S' No. 63 - another of the Mazda Equipe, Car No. 52 driven by H. Ono.
It seemed obvious to most people that John Tse, a comparatively new driver, and Mauro Bianchi, the professional Renault expert, were driving at such a pace that something was bound to go - either the cars would crack, or one of the two drivers seemed certain to be pushed out at a corner by coming in too fast or spin on one of the trickier bends. But no - they didn't! ... at least, not for some time while spectators enjoyed the spectacle of a Mini-cooper really burning up the track, and followed at no great distance by the Renault.
In third position, now, was M. Katakura in the Mazda Coupe. Still in the race No. 72, David Cheng, in his Austin Cooper 'S'
The leaders still hart at it with Mauro Bianchi taking no chances on his overtaking of tailenders by keeping his hand well down on his Italian-type klaxon. No. 68 the beautiful green Morris Cooper of David Lloyd, one of the largest engines in the race, but never fully extended on this occasion.
Out of luck here is Car No. 69, Hong Kong's LAU Chun-Mo with his Austin Cooper rather nastily bent but, fortunately, the Macao record of never having had a fatality was maintained for yet another year.
At last the inevitable has happened - the car of one of the two leaders has called it a day, and No. 60, Bianchi, comes round on his own. Poor John Tse, having had to retire with ignition trouble which was, almost certainly, brought on by overheating. With Mauro still lapping up the field, the man in second place now in his Mazda Coupe, H. Ono, and behind him the rest of the Mazda Equipe with their numbers in almost consecutive order. Ono himself, No. 52, in third place, M. Katakura No. 53, in fourth place K. Miho, No. 54 both driving similar coupes and the rest of the stable, 66, 57 and 55 occupying 6th, 7th and 8th position.
Round "R" Bend on his own for the last time, Mauro Bianchi Car No. 60, well in the lead. In fact, this is his last lap and he will be coming up to take the chequered flag any moment now. Mauro's first race here, and first win, but he promises to be back again another year and hopes to have the same luck next time.
Clinkard motoring very fast throughout the race to come in a well-deserved second position.
Harold Lee, car No. 78, the Prinz Skyline who drove an excellent race to finish third.
And Albert Poon has won the Production Car 'B' Race. A worthy winner, and a lovely car.
No sign of Albert after Statue Corner because he ran out of petrol, and here he comes back to the Grandstand in Harold Lee's car. A rather narrow squeak, or should we say, perhaps, good estimation of requirements. A quick word with the Press and he's off for a much needed drink and rest.
At last it was time for the Fourth and most important race of the meeting, the Grand Prix itself. The cars were marshalled on to the starting gird. No. 22, the much fancied lotus Ford formula Macao of Tony Goodwin from Singapore - Car No. 66 the green Lotus 23 Sports of Albert Poon, very elegant with its golden markings and an obvious favourite after his mornings triumphy in the Production Car race ... but then so was No. 6, the very striking bright blue Renault Alpine of Mauro Bianchi, widely fancied after his win in the Production Car Race of Saturday.
All the drivers were presented to His Excellency The Governor of Macao before the start of the race, and then came that nerve racking period when, with engines revving, they were keyed to near breaking point with all eyes on the light to signal the start of the race.
And they're off ! All twenty-nine cars got away to a good start and as they rounded Yacht Club bend for the first time it was Phillipe Nogueira who took an early lead closely followed by Mauro Bianchi in the Renault Alpine No. 6. Unfortunately Phillipe Nogueria was not destined to stay in the race for very long ... that initial burst of speed had overstrained the engine and after one lap of glory he was out of the race, having come all the way from Portugal for the occasion. This left Mauro Bianchi in first position, and he kept this up for, virtually, the rest of the race.
Lee Hang-seng, No. 8 in his Brabham Formula Macao was also unlucky and it was his cooling system which was to force him to retire very shortly.
Albert Poon and Shintaro Taki of Japan in his Porsche Carrera starting a battle that was to continue almost unabated up to the end of the race. Taki, No. 150, an unknown driver at the Guia Circuit, in alternately second and third positions with Albert drove a very steady race although never really pushing his car to the maximum of its capabilities.
A sad moment for Stave Holland driving a Lotus 23 B Sports when he was out of the race with gear-box trouble. Steve, who had been driving very well and motoring really hard,
deserved a better fate than this,. There always a a great number of 'it's' and 'buts' in motor racing, and I suppose it is these that make it so compelling.
The order of the leaders unchanged, Mauro Bianchi, No6, second Shintaro Taki No. 105 which he had slipped into Holland's position.
The Melco Hairpin which, although probably the tightest turn on any motor racing circuit, has not been any really serious accidents in that it's just not possible to take this corner anything but slowly.
Not so "R" Bend, a little further round the courses where Henkie Oei-heng managed to get into a spot of bother with his E-type Jag but without serious consequences.
A very quick pit stop for Bianchi, thirty-five seconds to re-fuel, check plugs and whip back onto the circuit. Mauro still had one more pit-stop to go, purely for petrol, but not all his fans were aware of this and feared the worst each of the two times he went in.
A change in the order with Taki in the lead but only temporarily - Bianchi slipped past and re-established his supremacy after cutting down the gap between them by ten seconds a lap ... a fairly convincing drive for this professional Renault driver from Europe - if one needed to be further impressed after the knowledge that he had already shattered the three-minute lap barrier in his fifth time round. The new record now stands at 2.69 point 8 ...
Hardie Burmeister seemed quite unaware, to begin with, that he was in a hot seat. His Lotus Super-seven, car No. 1, was still circulating with flames pouring out of the back. The track marshalls, however, managed to flat him down before the fire could get at his petrol tank which was immediately above. It was a very disconsolate Hardie who sadly walked away from his smouldering machine: the circuit had gained yet another victim.
And whilst Burmeister had been the centre of attention for the last two laps there had been no alteration in the first three places. Bianchi was still working his way back to first position and really pushing his car along to do it.
Back in the lead once more, and from now on there was to be no change in first position - Mauro Bianchi in his brilliant blue Renault Alpine No. 6. But for the second place it was still a battle between Albert Poon in his green and gold Lotus 23 No. 60 and the white Porsche Carrera No. 105 of Shintaro Taki.
Tailendere can, sometimes, be a nuisance, and although Bianchi had experienced difficulty in practice in passing them he had not trouble at all in the race itself.
The order in which they were to finish - and ever really in doubt from now on with Poon opening up a wider gap on Taki with each succeeding lap.
His foot still hard down, Mauro, by now the idol of Macao never let up for a moment.
The thirteenth Grand Prix, the three-minute lap barrier broken, and Mauro Bianchi sweeps across the line to take the chequered flag.
It was a very popular win, judging by spectators reaction.
The winning car, the Renault Alpine Sports 1298 c.c.
The photographers, as usual, descend on the winning car and driver, though it's an open question whether or not they manage to use all the pictures they take.
Three tired but happy men, and the end of the Macao Grand Prix for this year.