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GP Week : Issue 143
25 GPWEEK OPINION >> on the champion’s trophy. Phil Read won the first on a factory-backed Honda (the company remains loyal to its racing birthplace to this day); Mike Hailwood made a legendary return to win the second for Ducati. At its height, the series it ran to six events, including road tracks at Dundrod (the Ulster GP) and Vila Real in Portugal, plus Assen; and dropping in and out at other tracks like Misano and Hockenheim, sometimes part of a GP weekend. TT specialist Joey Dunlop took the title five times; and the last three in a row went to Briton Carl Fogarty. By 1990, however, World Superbikes made TT-FI redundant. The Isle of Man TT had long since recovered its unique stature, and needed no further help. TT-FI was largely irrelevant, existing for its own sake. What made it important was the spin-off, especially in Britain, where national and even club events catered for the class, and a whole cottage industry of frame specialists thrived. They knocked up what are nowadays called “prototype” chassis for sundry Japanese four-cylinder engines. Now the parallels become clearer. A CRT bike is simply a modern-day TT-FI bike, whether you call it a prototype or not. FTR is one chassis-maker prospering on new CRT business. So are a hatful of others, from Moriwaki to Suter, to name but two. Can Kalex and co be far behind? The only difference now is that CRT is more international than T T FI. Personally, I am aghast at the dumbing down of MotoGP; but I’m also interested to see what the tide of history washes up this time. In 1990 World Superbikes made the old version irrelevant. Ezpeleta is one among several hoping that this time it will be the other way around. seven metres wide in places and absolutely impossible to pass. The trick is to push like hell in the mountain section either to pull away or catch the car in front. If the car behind is less than six-tenths of a second behind the car ahead as they cross the line he will pass, because at those speeds you can get slipstream and out-brake your rival at the first corner – Lisboa – overlooked by the Casino of the same name that Teddy Yip founded. The race started back in 1954 as a kind of treasure hunt, but quickly caught on with professional racers. It was the baby of Mr Yip, a colour ful Indonesia-born billionaire who ran the casinos and other ‘entertainment’ enterprises in Macau in the 1960s and 70s. He also had his own Formula One team – Theodore Racing – in the 1980s and, when Formula 3 first came to Macau in ’83, he ran a young Brazilian kid named Ayrton Senna. And that ’s when the golden age of Macau motorsport really star ted. Senna was the first F3 winner. Michael Schumacher made his name in Macau in later years, controversially putting Mika Hakkinen in the wall. Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel both came and lost. This year a Spanish driver was added to the list of winners for the first time: 20- year-old Daniel Juncadella. When he realized he could win the race, he nearly binned it out of nerves. "When I was in first place on that lap, I had never made so many mistakes in my life," he explained. "So I pushed really hard in the second sector and I made so many mistakes as I was shaking in the car, honestly. Then the safety car came out and it was all over. On the last lap with the safety car I have never cried that much in my life!" Macau is one of those races – like Monaco and Indianapolis – that can have that effect on a driver. And it’s just as much fun for the spectators. THERE’S NOTHING NEW ABOUT CRT The World’s Greatest Motor Race