Today’s South China Morning Post offers the following letter to the editor:
Build car circuit near the airport
Regarding Hong Kong losing out to Singapore to host the V8 Supercars race, as an Aussie expat and long-time motor racing competitor I see this in two lights. Hong Kong does need a motor sport facility that hosts international races, but not a street race featuring cars that are irrelevant to the local market.
As in most developed societies there is locally a testosterone-induced culture of hot cars involving younger males which is clearly dangerous. This could be addressed by the building of a dedicated motor sport facility. It could be for professionals and amateurs.
Someone will always be inconvenienced by the presence of a race circuit, but why inconvenience hundreds of thousands of locals with a street circuit costing millions that is used once a year?
Invest that money in building a permanent facility near the airport where noise is already a fact of life, maybe even on reclaimed land as part of the Macau bridge project.
Then bring the FIA World GT Championship to the venue. The Aston Martins, Ferraris et al are far more relevant to our market.
Richard Warland, Sai Wan Ho
The human flesh search engine whirs into operation and reveals a world jam-packed full of Richard Warlands, from a disgruntled and semi-literate British youth to someone who died in 1753 in one Parish of Almer. The Sai Wan Ho one appears to be this gentleman, a self-confessed car-racing enthusiast, Antipodean and Business Development Director at something called U-Marketing.
Whatever it is, the mental disease that compels some people to demand a car-racing circuit in Hong Kong is less rare than you would think. The pastime of watching cars go whizzing round and round is surprisingly popular, as anyone who has the misfortune to be in Macau during the mini-grand prix will notice when they find themselves surrounded by slightly creepy but basically dull-looking people wearing gaudily coloured nylon jackets and caps emblazoned with advertising. Many of these people are over from the Big Lychee, and a fair proportion would probably think it an excellent idea to dedicate 100 hectares of land in a polluted city where the average family has 400 square feet of space to occasional tournaments between ultra-loud gas-guzzlers.
Where I agree with Dick, as his friends may well call him, is that something needs to be done about the younger-males-with-hot-cars problem – the sort who mount late-night races on public highways in parts of Kowloon and the New Territories. But inflicting something called the FIA World GT-whatever on all of us is not the answer. I would suggest a tyre-deflating spike strip stretched across the road. And, when the testosterone-victim concerned comes out of hospital, prison. And branding of the forehead. It would, as the man says, be “far more relevant to our market”.