Hong Kong driver killed in Macao car race incident

Updated: 2012-11-17 06:59

By Fan Feifei (HK Edition)

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Hong Kong's rising star on the motor sports circuit, driver Phillip Yau Wing-choi, was killed in a crash on Friday, during the second day of qualifying trials for CTM Macau Touring Car Cup of the 59th Macau Grand Prix.

Yau crashed at about 1 pm on Friday at Mandarin Oriental Bend on the Guia Circuit. Witnesses say Yau's car veered out of control while making a left turn, ran into a crash barrier, and burst into flames.

The car was estimated to have been traveling at a speed in excess of 200 kilometers per hour. Yau, hurt badly, remained in the vehicle. Rescuers reached the crash site in moments and extinguished the fire. Yau was removed from the vehicle and taken to the Conde de Sao Januario Hospital Centre.

A statement from the Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee said, "the incident occurred at 13:11. The qualifying session was immediately red flagged".

"After the incident, two fully equipped rescue cars were at the scene, followed by the extrication car. The position of the racing car required cutting in order to facilitate extrication. At 13:19, the competitor was removed from the car, and at 13:20 Mr Yau was transported by ambulance to hospital where he was admitted at 13:24", the statement said.

The statement added that Yau died of his injuries at 13:51 though continuous cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed. The committee "has contacted his family and the members of the racing team. The committee expresses its sincere condolences".

Yau won the championship in the last year's Macau Road Sport Challenge. He was also the winner of the Touring Car Series in Asia in 2005. He had been lauded as the new "god of racing" in Hong Kong.

Racing commentator Daniel Chan said as there is a straightaway after the bend, many drivers try to use the turn to gain time.

Another Hong Kong driver Darryl O'Young who participated in the race said the Mandarin Oriental Bend, where the incident happened, is one of the most difficult on the circuit.

On Thursday, Portuguese motorcycle rider Luis Carreira died after he crashed on Fisherman's Bend during a motorcycle event of the Macau Grand Prix.

The committee said the race course is safe, and conforms to international safety standards. The cause of the two incidents is still under investigation.

fanfeifei@chinadailyhk.com

(HK Edition 11/17/2012 page1)