Macau: Guia Circuit

Guia Circuit, the home to the Macau Touring Car Race, GP & Moto GP. Background info found here.

Thoughts:

Whether you’re watching Kazuhiro (Osaka JDM), Joe (Car Make Across), Temple, the Sharks of NGR or members of Zero Fighter 555, you can see the kanjozoku spirit in their driving. With no street circuits in Japan, I can only imagine that street circuit racing like this is what the kanjozoku’s dreamed of back in the golden age of Japanese car culture. Of course they eventually made Loop 1 their street circuit.

Seeing that this circuit is in China, I feel that it was these type of races on street circuits that inspired HK movies like Off Track (1991).

When I watch races on Guia circuit, I find very similar mannerisms of a kanjozoku; the erratic and abrupt maneuvers to over take the opponent. Just watching the starting grid is like watching a bunch of fighter planes about to take off, and soon after take off is when the dog fights begin.

Disecting Guia:
The first turn on Guia

Leading onto the first straight away.

Turn 2, Mandarin Corner. Many take this turn at high speed so that they can over take at Lisboa.

The infamous Lisboa corner… Watch any race on this circuit. There will be either spinouts and/or pileups on this turn.

San Francisco Hill, an up hill stretch. I always liked the name because if you ever been to the city of San Francisco, CA, there are many steep hills such as this one (even more steeper actually).

A good exit speed and torque is your best friend here.

A down hill look of San Francisco

After San Francisco is a S-turn that leads to a 90 degree right hand turn

Then it’s a down hill stretch

Which leads to a series of turns that get narrow and as slithery as a snake.

Just wide enough for two cars… Leaving little to no room for mistakes.

Melco hairpin

Rules state, absolutely no passing at this hairpin… But I swore I seen people pass here before πŸ€”

Supposedly it’s only during Moto GP races that passing is allowed at this section.

Fisherman’s Bend, second to the last turn of the track which leads to a medium length straight away.

R- Bend, the last turn before the finish line.

Final Thoughts:

Even though many different divisions race here, I feel this is where Touring Car racing belong. When ever I think of this track I automatically picture cars of the touring races in the late 90′ to early 2000’s battling it out. I see the starting grid and I imagine the Kanjozoku’s lining up at the entrance of Loop 1. You don’t need crazy aero on your car when you race on this course, just skills.

It’s the swarm of noise, violent driving and the car pileups that echos nostalgia. It’s more exciting than the rat race of life and death we witness everyday in traffic and daily commutes.

You can find many videos of these older to current races online. When I watch them, I can almost picture myself there, maybe on of a high rise hotel suite watching from a birds eye view. Sipping on a martini or something haha, one day.

“There aren’t many places that make Monaco look easy, but Macau is one of them.”

[1:55 AM]

A story about an Aswang

Aswang: A shapeshifting evil spirit that is popular in Filipino culture. It is a combination of a vampire, a ghoul, a witch, and a werebeast.

This story takes place in the Philippines in the late 1970’s. My mother gave birth to my oldest brother. Months go by and my brother learns to walk. She wants to visit her friends so that they can all witness him walk all on his own. My father was serving in the US military at that time, he was on duty this day.

My mother and brother leave their house by Jeepney to visit one of her friends a few miles away. My mother’s side of the family is well known in her town, when they board the jeepney, the driver greets her by name and congratulates her for having a baby. It is a cheerful day for my mother.

They get to her friend’s house and it just so happens that other friends are there too, all greeting her and showing love. They’re having a great time, but as you know, time flies when you’re having fun. The sun is about to set soon and she tells them she needs to get back home. They board the last jeepney run of the day, and it’s the same driver as earlier. Eerily, they’re the only ones on the Jeepney, even the driver is somewhat puzzled. To break the silence they start conversing, then they all hear a few popping noises from the front of the jeepney, then the motor shuts off. It is really odd because the driver states he keeps his jeepney up to date on maintenance and he just had it serviced the other day. Luckily, my mother and brother aren’t far from their home. With my mother knowing everyone in her town, she feels safe walking the rest of the way. There’s a little bit of sun still showing on the horizon and it should be enough light to get them home without being left in the dark.

That evening was different according to my mother. It was as if everyone went inside earlier than usual. She felt an unpleasant vibe over her. She feels she’s just freaking herself out and starts to think of something else to get her mind off of fear, suddenly out of nowhere she hears snorting. She grabs my brother’s hand and looks around, nothing. Continuing on their path she hears it again, it sounds like a pig. She’s not so scared anymore because she knows there’s a lot of pigs around that area. Feeling relieved she keeps walking and sees a landmark; a church, signifying they’re almost home, but then she hears the pig once more but louder and closer. She turns around and sees a large black pig, the biggest she has ever seen in her life. She stops in her tracks and stares at it intensively. The pig stops as well and stares right back, she never witnessed a pig behave like that before. Scared, she grabs my brother and begins to walk faster. The pig starts following them. They zig zag back and forth, crossing streets, but the pig continues to follow them. Finally, they maneuver in between some buildings to try to lose the pig, success. Giving a sigh of relief, she takes one more peek over shoulder to make sure it is gone, and she screams. The pig comes walking around a corner of a building sideways, the same way a crab walks sideways. She picks up my brother and runs screaming for help. She can hear the pig snorting and getting closer and closer. She sees the church in the distance and darts towards that direction screaming in fear. The people of the church hears her and she tries to signal to them that something is chasing her. The priests runs toward their direction. Just as she’s trying to point and yell at what is chasing her, she turns to point and sees a very fast blurry object shoot up into the sky a few yards behind her, and the pig is nowhere in sight. By this time they’re at the entrance of the church and the priests are at their side. Shaken in fear she tries to make out the words to describe what happened. Out of breath, my mother manages to say “It chased us… Then it shot up into the sky…”

The priests look at her, then at each other. They all do a prayer and bring my mother and brother into the church. After she calmed down and comforted my brother from all the crying, she contacted my father who is already at the house worried about them. My father drives to the church and hugs them. They all discuss what she experienced, and even the priests explained how they also saw something blurry “fly” up into the sky very fast, but that’s all they saw, none of them saw a pig. My mom, being exhausted and still shaken in fear, tells my father she just wants to go home. As they are saying good-byes and thanking the priests, an old elderly priest who happen to hear everything that was going on, steps out from the shadows and grabs my father by his shoulder. The elderly priests whispers to my father “it was an aswang…”

A story of a Kapre

Kapre: A tree elemental spirit that looks like a great mixture of human and ape. It is generally a giant, 8 feet tall, with black or brown, long course hair including a beard and eyes that burn like a cigar tip. Its favorite activities include smoking cigars, misleading travelers, tricking people, gambling, and drinking.

But to some, they can be very friendly and can actually be a companion…

This story takes place in the Philippines. My friend’s dad Willy, was a well known biker and gun enthusiast in his province. One day he was cut off by a Jeepney causing him to be thrown off his motorcycle. In anger he pulls out his hand gun, ready to shoot at the Jeepney. But he knows how irrational that is and calmly puts it away.

Looking at his motorcycle, it’s not as bad as he thought, it can be fixed. That night he gathers some of his friends to come over and have a night dedicated to fix his bike, along with some drinks and smokes of course. He lives deeper into the province, away from the city. The area where they are all kicking it has a tree near them. The night goes on and they’re shooting the shit, drinking, smoking and cracking jokes. One of his friends who is a prankster says a funny joke and they all bust up laughing, but then they all hear a laugh that’s distinctly different. Things get quiet for a second and they all looked around. Nothing. They all thought maybe they’re all tripping and it’s probably the alcohol fuckin with their heads or something. They paid no attention and went along with their night.

A few hours pass and the bike gets fully repaired. Another friend cracks a joke about how he hopes the bike doesn’t take another fall since it’s fixed now. They all laugh and then they hear the distinctive laughter again. They all look at his prankster friend and ask if he’s pulling some prank on them, but he’s just as shook as the rest of them. They all grab their guns and yell if anyone is there. No answer. Suddenly the tree which is a few yards away from them shakes violently. Confused and scared they all aim at the tree. They give a fair warning saying they will light up the tree with gun fire if anything is there. Taking consideration that it is pretty late and waking up the rest of their province with gun fire will be very startling for the residents. Willy signals to his friends that he’ll do one shot at the tree as a fair warning. He aims and pulls the trigger, nothing fires. He’s bugging out because as a gun enthusiast, along with the rest of his friends, they always keep their guns clean and up to par. Willy aims again and pulls the trigger, nothing happens. The tree shakes violently and they all hear a loud laughter coming from it. Willy aims away from the tree and pulls the trigger and the gun fires. Scared and shook he aims back at the tree and the gun doesn’t shoot. He looks at his friends and they’re all backed up against the house and look scared as fuck. One friend breaks out in a prayer and starts apologizing, that’s when they all realize they’re dealing with a supernatural presence. Willy puts the gun down and starts apologizing too. He starts saying he meant no harm and his actions were due to him being in fear. They hear some movement in the tree, then it’s quiet. Willy’s dad then peeks outside and walks out asking wtf is going on. They all turn to Willy’s dad in silence. Willy’s dad then says “All your eyes are bloodshot! Wtf are you guys doing?! Go home everyone!”

The next morning Willy wakes up with his chest feeling heavy and with a cough, like he’s been smoking all night long. If you’re a smoker, you know how it is when you’re hanging out with your friends on a night of drinking, you chain smoke. But his chest feels like he was chain smoking Swisher’s all night, like he was smoking something heavy and thick like a backwood cigar. Willy gets up and goes to the kitchen and sees his dad sitting on the porch looking towards the tree. He goes up to his dad and apologizes about last night. His dad sits there quietly then points at the tree. “That tree was there way before we built this house. I wonder what’s the age of that tree…” His dad then turns and looks at Willy, his eyes are bloodshot. Willy gasps and asks if he’s ok. Willy’s dad tells him “the day we moved in, I made a friend. He lives in that tree, don’t fuck with him.” His dad hands him a fatty cigar and tells Willy to leave it under the tree. The day goes on and they both run to the city together for some errands. As they return to the house Willy and his dad smell cigar smoke. He looks over at the tree and there he sees a little smoke coming from the trunk of the tree. He walks up and sees that it’s the butt of the cigar as if it just got done being smoked. Near the cigar there are big foot prints all around the tree, bigger than any humans feet.