If a race track could be called a driver’s spiritual home then for Andy Priaulx it would be the Macau Guia Circuit, and the triple world champion can’t wait to get there for the FIA World Touring Car Cup this coming weekend. The first time the Guernsey driver went there was for the Macau Grand Prix in a Formula 3 car and after two races in this category he went on to visit another eight times from 2003 to 2010 for the touring car race. Perhaps the most memorable was in 2005 when he won the FIA World Touring Car Championship there for the first time before going on to score a hat-trick of titles. Before heading off to China he said: “I just love the track and can’t wait to get there. It might be one of the trickiest on our calendar, but without doubt it is the most rewarding and fun to drive on. Anyone who has been there or watched races there on TV will know how easy it is to make a mistake. There have been some monumental crashes there, so half the trick of doing well is staying out of trouble!” However, Andy has more than just the challenge of the circuit to cope with as he explained: “This year perhaps one of my biggest tasks had been getting used to a front-wheel drive car, but I now think I have mastered my Lynk & Co 03 TCR. My results have improved over this first season with the Lynk & Co Cyan Racing team and I believe that elusive podium and perhaps my first win are in touching distance.” The touring cars will be out on the 6.120 kilometre (3.803 mile) street circuit for the first time on Thursday, 14th November for free practice one from 09.00 to 09.45. This is followed by the second free practice from 13.40 to 14.10.
On Friday it is qualifying for race one from 08.50 to 09.30. Following that qualifying for races two and three will, as usual, be split into three sessions with Q1 from 13.35 to 14.05, Q2 from 14.10 to 14.25 and the first car in Q3 will start at 14.35.
The first race is then on Saturday at 14.55 and is held over eight laps. On Sunday race two is at 08.45, which is also eight laps, then the 11-lap race three starts at 11.25. All these times are local, which is nine hours ahead of GMT.