Alan Jones with his Teddy Yip Ralt RT1 Ford BDA, Macau 1977 (S Weaver)

Sue Weaver worked inside motor racing for decades. In the process she developed a friendship with Teddy Yip which yielded many fun times and trips to the Portuguese colony on China’s doorstep.

On each of those trips she took a swag of photographs. This article features some of them, an ‘Australian contingent mix’, with a focus on the November 20, 1977 weekend.

The Formula Atlantic race was won by young thruster, Riccardo Patrese in the Chevron B40 Ford later purchased and raced with success by Kiwi legend Ken Smith- later still Adelaide’s Peter Whelan restored it, historic-raced it for some years before its acquisition as a Macau Museum exhibit.

Riccardo Patrese during practice, Chevron B40 Ford BDA. It is in this part of the track that Jones spun and was hit by Riccardo during the race
Teddy Yip and Vern Schuppan, Macau. What year folks? Didn’t these fellas have some fun and success in F1, F5000, Indycars and F Atlantic/Pacific? The most important of the South Aussies patrons/sponsors, BRM leg-up duly noted (S Weaver)

That year Patrese and Alan Jones were Shadow F1 teammates. Riccardo was entered in Macau by Bob Harper, Jones by Teddy Yip, both these fellows were the region’s traditional monied entrant protagonists.

Jones ‘tore the place apart’ the year before in the Yip March 722 raced often by Vern Schuppan – he constantly broke the lap record after an early engine cut-out. Jones then fired the engine up, carved his way back through the field, only to have the engine again fail- Vern Schuppan won a Ralt RT1 Ford.

In 1977 Patrese popped his Chevron on pole by a couple of seconds from Jones with Vern Schuppan third in John McDonald’s Ralt RT1. Kiwis Steve Millen, Chevron B35, and Graeme Lawrence, March 76B were fourth and sixth on the grid, Masahiro Hasemi was fifth in a Chevron B40 Nissan, with Kevin Bartlett, March and Andrew Miedecke, March 763/76B seventh and eighth.

1977 Macau GP grid. Patrese, Chevron B40 left on pole, Jones, Ralt RT1 #2 then the nose of Schuppan’s Ralt RT1. #19 Millen, Chevron B35 and #5 Masahiro Hasemi, Chevron B40 Nissan. Row three Graeme Lawrence, March 76B with Bartlett’s red March (?), then Andrew Miedecke #4 March 763/76B. Car #23 is Albert Poon, Chevron B40, with Nakajima’s #7 Nova Honda alongside. And the rest, engines Ford BDA unless specified otherwise (unattributed)

The Jones boy blasted away from the front row, but his lead was short-lived after another engine cut-out resulted in his Ralt spinning into Patrese’s path.

Riccardo vaulted over the hapless Jones, damaging a rear wheel – he pulled into the pits for inspection and was sent on his way. Concerned officials popped out a black-flag, but this was withdrawn after entreaties from the Harper pit that the wheel, whilst bent a tad, would be AOK.

Graeme Lawrence, March 76B Ford BDA (Getty)
Kevin Bartlett and Howden Ganley. Year folks? (S Weaver)

Hasemi then led from Schuppan, just as Vern seemed set to pass his fuel metering belt broke. Millen then led from Bartlett, the 1969 winner, and Lawrence, but Patrese was on a charge and led by lap 15. He drove off into the distance.

Millen, then Bartlett were second for a bit but, but Bartlett and Lawrence both retired with mechanical dramas – Millen was second, Miedecke third and future Lotus F1 driver, Satoru Nakajima fourth in an Nova Honda.

Satoru Nakajima, Nova Honda, ’77 Macau GP
Jones and one of the Yip crew, probably 1978 (S Weaver)

Etcetera…

(S Weaver)

KB tries to decipher the mandarin on the nose of Jones’ Yip March 782 Ford BDA during the 1978 race weekend. Bartlett raced a Chevron, what model KB?

Kevin Cogan’s Flying Tigers Ralt RT1 alongside? Who is the big unit talking to Jones? Yip at far right. Driver in front of the RT1 in the posh Linea-Sport overalls?

Jones started from pole and led until a spark-plug failed. Derek Daly then had a comfortable lead from Keke Rosberg and Patrese, but pitted for tyres, Patrese inherited a lead he kept to the end.

The Formula Pacific Macau GP era was marvellous…

(S Weaver)

Jones again during the ‘78 weekend above, with British broadcaster, Dickie Davies.

The shot below is during Schuppan’s Rothmans Porsche years, so early eighties- the West End beer logo should assist you detectives as to the year.

Teddy Yip mechanic/helper Ashok Vadgama at left, KB and Vern.

(S Weaver)
(S Weaver)

AJ looks pretty well-nourished here, so perhaps it’s a tad after his single-seater days, with wife Bev and Yip.

And below, KB slightly peeved at Weaver interrupting his choice of main course.

(S Weaver)

Credits…

Susan Weaver, Getty Images, Riccardo Patrese web-page, ‘Colour and Noise: 40 Years of the Macau Grand Prix 1993’ Philip Newsome

Tailpiece…

(S Weaver)

Jones about to mount before the off in 1977, Ralt RT1 Ford BDA- John Chatterton at right, and Julian Randles leaning into the cockpit. Car #71 is the Ian Grey Chevron B20, the Rothmans car behind is Graeme Lawrence’ March 76B.

Finito…

Comments
  1. Rod Callaghan says:

    Is the Murdoch 57C the Henry Dale car that I remember from when I was just a wee slip of a lad, but wouldn’t have seen since the early 60s?
    I fell in love with Bugattis in the 50s and all the old bodied up specials that were running around at the time.
    And I was fortunate to see the Bamford 57SC Atlantic in The Amazing Bugatti’s exhibition at the Royal College of the Arts in London in 1979. Gone to Ralph Lauren now, and now can’t be allowed to get the smallest speck of dust on it. Appalling waste, and a complete lack of understanding of the responsibility of owning such an important car.

    • robert king says:

      Correct Rod Callaghan. Bought from the Dales by me in 1962 and sold in Sydney in 1964 after driving it there for the Tasman races at Warwick Farm – an offer I couldn’t refuse – about 12% more than I had paid for ir – unusual in those days.

  2. prn31 says:

    Ok, here goes. I’m going to say that the photo of Teddy Yip with Vern Schuppan is from 1981. Thomas W Barnett was a sponsor for Vern’s 1981 Indy 500 assault as was Teddy of course and this is the same race suit that Vern wore (complete with a Malboro patch) at the 1981 Sandown 400 where he raced the second string HDT Holden Commodore with John Harvey. The only doubt is that Vern didn’t race for Theodore Racing at Macau in 81, instead racing a March 81B for Equipe 66.

    I reckon the photo of KB with Howden Ganley is also 1981. Ganley would have been there tending John Sheldon’s Tiga FA81. He and Vern were supposed to have fronted up in 82 with a new Tiga FA82 but it never happened.

    Vern did front up at Macau in 1983 in his Rothmans Porsche racesuit to drive a Ralt RT3 for Neil Trundle and would have been blitzed, along with everyone else, by Ayrton Senna in his West Surrey Racing Ralt RT3 that year.

    I suspect after 1983 things became more serious in Macau with up-and-coming F3 whippersnappers showing up en masse in the following years and the annual busman holiday for mature racing drivers was consigned to history…

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks Paul,
      That will do me. The Formula Atlantic/Pacific period was pretty full-on too, have a look at some of those grids! Still on my bucket-list, I really must get around to it.
      Mark

      • Alan says:

        And the ‘big unit’ in the pic with Alan Jones is Lee Seaton…..Melbourne car dealer and team owner of various cars over the years.

      • markbisset says:

        Thanks Alan,
        Oh yes I do remember him especially in the F5000 years. Helped Graham McRae and Jon Davison amongst others .
        Mark

  3. Sue Weaver says:

    For more Macau, go to Autosport Nostalgia Forum, 3 posts: ‘Behind the Scenes with Weaverbird-Macau Grand Prix 1983’ + ‘More Behind the Scenes with Weaverbird-Race of Giants Macau 1978’ + ‘Another Iconic Race-Teddy Yip’s Mazda Race of Champions, Macau 1989’ – I could post these on Mark’s great forum, but they are probably lacking in photos of the actual cars (except Mazda) for this forum – more people!

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