Wednesday, 12th November 2003 – Macau, Day 5
Today was a very lazy, easy sort of day, preparatory to the first real race day tomorrow. The last things you want is to be too tired to function when there are F3 cars whizzing past your elbow at the Melco Hairpin. We decided to take Glyn around a bit on a sort of meandering self-made tour of Macau, so we just wandered mostly, taking it easy. We went up to the old town and showed him the ruins of Sao Paulo, which everyone should see, and then in the afternoon we headed out to the conference centre/Macau Tower for the “photo opportunity”.
This was something of a misnomer, as it ended up being mostly an opportunity for boys to be boys and behave badly. Perhaps the fundamental error of judgement came in placing thirty or so F3 drivers and a dozen or more motorcycle racers in close proximity to large quantities of water, and – more worryingly – custard. The plan was to break the world record for the most custard tarts baked at one time, and to this end there were dozens of ovens linked up along the lake edge. Each cluster of four ovens had a professional chef, and two or three drivers/bikers. When told to do so, the amateurs were supposed to fill the tart cases already laid out with the custard mixture.
Needless to say, Ernesto Viso was in trouble before they even started, getting shouted at by his chef, and messing with the oven controls when he thought no one was looking. Otherwise, this phase went off relatively smoothly. What happened next involved a lot of waiting around, while the tarts actually baked, and then there was to be a photo shoot proper with everyone lined up, after which the tarts would be taken out of the ovens and everyone was welcome to eat them.
Of course, what happened was that the kiddies got bored waiting around, and a water fight ensued. By the end there were uneaten egg tarts everywhere, including all over young Nico Rosberg, and the bikers were throwing the leftovers at the buses that were meant to take us all back to the paddock!
At one point, Robert Kubica was threatening to steal one of the buses, as the driver seemed to have vanished. In the end, he bottled out…
In the evening we returned for dinner at the Macau Tower for their wonderful buffet dinner in the 360 Cafe on the 61st floor (which revolves through 360 degrees), and so we could enjoy the latest installment in the fireworks competition, which is when we discovered that Jo Bauer, of the FIA, is a very friendly man who really loves fireworks!