My experience

Macau Grand Prix: Unveiling the Charms of the Far East Racetrack

Total area: Approximately 32.9 square kilometres. Population: Around 700,000 people (densely populated). Macao is a Special Administrative Region, with its GDP primarily supported by industries such as gambling and tourism. Despite its relatively small size, Macao hosts large-scale events like the Macau Grand Prix each year, comparable to Monaco, on its streets.

Macau Grand Prix: Unveiling the Charms of the Far East Racetrack

While Macau may not host an F1 event like Singapore yet, the Macau Grand Prix is an eagerly anticipated spectacle. Held at the end of November each year on the Macau Guia Circuit, the 6.2-kilometre street circuit weaves through the city, featuring challenging elements such as inclines, hairpin turns, narrow streets, high-speed curves, and long straights. It stands out as one of the world’s renowned tracks, demanding excellence from racing drivers.

The Macau Grand Prix is a unique event as it simultaneously hosts Formula races, touring cars, and motorcycle events, adding a diverse flavour that attracts drivers and racing enthusiasts from around the globe.

On the track, a series of significant turns stands out for their unique history and origins. The starting and finishing point of the track is near the Macau Grand Prix Building, a central hub for event officials, arbitrators, timekeepers, and media personnel.

1. Reservoir Bend: Located across from the Macau Grand Prix Building, the Macau Reservoir, built in 1938, not only supplies water to Macau for three months but also features a grandstand providing the best view for race starts.

2. Avenida da Amizade and Mandarin Oriental Bend: This is a tight inner bend after a high-speed curve, with the inner side being narrower and more challenging to navigate. Avenida da Amizade leads to the Lisboa Bend, and through extensive land reclamation, the area has seen the construction of numerous hotels and commercial facilities.

3. Lisboa Bend: Considered one of the most dangerous turns and a crucial overtaking point, Lisboa Bend often witnesses dramatic collisions. The grandstand here commands the highest ticket prices. Named after the Lisboa Hotel in the vicinity, built in the 1960s, it remains an iconic structure in Macau.

4. Mandarin Oriental Bend: Named after the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, this turn poses an additional challenge with its narrow inner side. The hotel is part of the overall transformation of Macau’s landscape.

5. Guia Hill Bend: Named after the Guia Fortress, built in 1629 to resist Dutch invasions. Today, this area includes the Macao Security Force Affairs Bureau and the headquarters of the Macau Army Club.

6. Hospital Bend: Named after the nearby mountain-top hospital and the pedestrian bridge connecting to it. The Hospital Conde de São Januário was completed in 1873 and now serves as the location of the United Nations University.

7. San Ma Lo Straight: This area comprises three luxurious residences: Bela Vista, the Headquarters of the Monetary Authority of Macau, and the location of the United Nations University.

8. R Bend: Named after the Moorish community, the area now hosts a mosque. Since the Ming Dynasty, Islamic people have been settling in Macau. The name of this turn brings a sense of nostalgia, intertwining history and modernity in the Macau Grand Prix, adding a deeper layer of charm to the event.

Thank you for your understanding. If there are any further needs or suggested modifications, please let me know.

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Non-professional go-karting in China is like this

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Entertainment go-karting facilities, as the name suggests, are primarily focused on entertainment rather than professionalism. Even if they organize races, achieving basic fairness seems challenging. Those who have participated understand what I’m talking about! For instance, drawing lots to determine which kart your team will use in a race? Here’s the key point: due to different performances, in earlier years, they were hesitant even to uniformly replace old tires before the race. Even ignoring the issue of tire age, noticeable differences persist in each kart’s braking, steering feel, cornering limits, and acceleration out of turns. The gap is not merely a matter of using a new set of tires!

Today’s video is not a complaint. After careful consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that the differences in the karts’ performance can be divided into two main areas. Firstly, in terms of engine horsepower, as these are recreational vehicles, it’s unlikely that all participating kart engines undergo maintenance before a race. The most direct cause of horsepower reduction is engine wear due to working hours. Unlike cars, go-kart engines cannot keep running with just an oil change. Typically, the maintenance cycle for go-kart engines is short, ranging from 8-10 hours to 15 hours for piston and connecting rod replacement, with cylinder wall inspection and even grinding.

Ordinarily operated go-karts are often not repaired unless they are broken. Every day, numerous beginners may damage the engine due to collisions or brake lockups, leading to spins or even reversals. This is definitely harmful to the engine. The problem lies in prolonged, high-intensity operation causing excessive wear, resulting in insufficient cylinder pressure as the main reason for power decay. Don’t forget that the fundamental guarantee of engine power comes from the working condition of the piston connecting rod and engine cylinder pressure.

Now, let’s talk about the handling aspect. I won’t delve into the one-second or more difference in lap times due to tire age. But why do some karts of the same model at the same go-kart facility have different steering feels in corners? Why is one stable when taking a turn at the same speed while another is pushing and sliding? This is due to long-term driving and excessive collisions causing frame deformation. The solution is to pry it back with a lever and simultaneously align the wheels, but this method cannot fundamentally solve the problem as it will deform again after some time.

Of course, short-term kart replacements at go-kart facilities are impossible, so you have to make do with what’s available. If you’ve made it this far, I believe you really love this sport! Finally, let’s talk about the most fundamental reason: rules! Yes, the absence of rules leads to go-karting being treated as bumper cars. Why is the condition of karts relatively uniform overseas? Because their tolerance for collisions is extremely low. Even if you accidentally bump into the front kart, they will immediately display a black flag. Ignoring warnings will result in termination or even being added to their blacklist. I think this is why we often see people intentionally causing accidents in go-kart facilities in China just to overtake, even colliding with others in the repair area without braking, deliberately crashing into the front kart, causing injuries with bloodstains on the safety belts.

Alright, I hope this video provides some insights for go-kart facilities and karting enthusiasts. Follow me. Until next time!

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Do you want to become the king of go-kart lap times?

You may have heard many versions guiding you on how to become a racer, how to improve your lap times to be the fastest on the lap time chart. For this, you need to prepare a certain amount of money and spend a significant amount of time immersing yourself in focused practice on the racetrack. Many people are discouraged by this approach. In reality, if you don’t find joy in the essence of racing, no one should waste their youth, time, and money on it. Unlike sports like soccer where someone might pay you a high salary, this activity doesn’t offer that kind of financial support. However, this straightforwardly filters out those who are genuine enthusiasts.

In the initial stages, most people engage in go-karting primarily at entertainment go-kart facilities. The karts there, compared to more professional ones, have a higher tolerance level. If you want to perform well, just follow these points I’ve summarized:

1. Wear thin-soled athletic shoes before getting in the kart. This is crucial for enhancing the feel of your feet on the pedals, especially the brake pedal. Thick-soled shoes can cause a vague sensation, leading to unintentional heavy braking. The result might be the kart spinning or colliding head-on with another, which is very dangerous.

2. Adjust the seat properly to ensure stability. Wear your protective gear and make sure you are securely seated, minimizing unnecessary movement. Press both the accelerator and brake pedals; if your knee joints have a slight bend, that’s adequate. This doesn’t mean having one leg longer than the other, but some karts have the brake pedal positioned higher than the accelerator, so it’s worth checking.

3. Familiarize yourself with the track layout before entering. Understand the best racing line through turns, the angles of the corners, and approximate braking points. If there are consecutive combinations of turns, calculate the ideal exit trajectory to ensure consistent speed through consecutive turns. Even though the perspective from inside the kart might differ from what you see trackside, observation is crucial.

4. If you feel confident in controlling the kart, try braking later. Enter the turns at a faster speed following the optimal racing line. This is the key to improving lap times. It takes time for newcomers to achieve this because a slight mistake when pushing the kart to its limits can result in a loss of lap time. For instance, missing the brake point slightly, causing the kart to take a wider racing line, or forcefully throwing the kart into a turn despite locked tires, leading to a spin. Therefore, precise and smooth actions are essential to avoid unnecessary movements. Often, you’ll observe skilled drivers at the go-kart track making seemingly slow and deliberate movements. It’s about finesse, not appearing busier than anyone else from an external perspective.

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The Karting Era in the Soviet Union

In our previous discussion, we explored the origin of go-karts. Now, let’s delve into the glorious days of the former Soviet Union in the last century. The Soviet Union, known as CCCP in Russian (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), was more accustomed to using longer names even for commonplace entities, such as referring to department stores during the Soviet era as department store (universal store). Speaking of which, let’s briefly introduce the two countries that have been in the global spotlight today: Ukraine and Russia.

During the Soviet era, Ukraine was known as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic or USSR). As for Russia, its name was the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic or RSFSR). After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia adopted its current name, the Russian Federation.

During the heyday of the Soviet Union, it was indeed a period of prosperity. I’ve had conversations with older Russians who reminisced that participation in motorsports, including kart racing, was not limited to the nobility; it was a state-sponsored endeavor to nurture talent, provided free of charge. They describe it casually, akin to having sports facilities provided downstairs in a residential complex, indicating the high level of happiness among the Soviet people at that time.

Returning to the topic, go-karts entered the Soviet Union in 1961, roughly four years later than in Western countries. However, their first kart race in the same year deviated from the norm by choosing not an asphalt track but the ice rink of Moscow’s Central Lenin Stadium, perhaps due to seasonal considerations. In May of the same year, a race with only 10 participants drew an astonishing 35,000 spectators, creating an incredibly lively atmosphere. In that era, the leader of this sport in the Soviet Union was not Moscow but Latvia. Therefore, in September 1962, national karting drivers decided to start a national tour from Riga, Latvia. The venues sometimes included parks or even borrowed bicycle tracks, including elements from bicycle racing events.

Notably, by that year, the competition had already been divided into two engine displacement categories: 125cc and 175cc. The number of drivers exceeded 80, representing regions such as Belarus, Moscow, Leningrad, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Uzbekistan, and Krasnoyarsk. The scale had already crossed the Eurasian continent. The championship that year was won by a driver from Moscow.

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About Go-Kart

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Friends who have played go-karts are aware of the different levels of karts, including two-stroke and four-stroke engines, as well as varying displacements such as 100cc, 125cc, and 175cc. However, the core difference lies not just in the horsepower but in the construction of the kart itself. Regardless of the type, go-karting provides immense enjoyment. But how did go-karting originate?

This sport traces its roots back to the 1950s, a time when go-karts were far from the sophisticated welding processes and diverse displacements we have today. The handling and safety aspects were also incomparable to the present. Go-kart racing emerged several decades after other motor racing sports, and its origin story, while not particularly elegant, can be considered quite legendary.

The creation of go-karts wasn’t born out of a work focused on the cat-and-mouse game between law enforcement and criminals. Instead, it was the creative idea of a military pilot after World War II. Initially, he turned hand-pushed carts transporting aerial explosives into small-scale races. Surprisingly, this idea spread unintentionally. According to records, in 1956, the pilot installed an engine on one of these carts and showcased it during a race – the birth of what we now call go-karts.

With media involvement and orders from British businessmen, around 100 companies quickly emerged to produce and design go-kart components. In May 1960, the International Automobile Federation officially recognized go-karting as a motorsport. In 1962, the International Karting Commission was established, and in 1964, the first World Karting Championship took place in Rome. At that time, the price of a go-kart was between $100 and $200 – sounding cheap now, but in that era, it wasn’t something everyone could afford.

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