Motorsport: Venetian Macao sponsors Chinese star Ma Qinghua
- Updated: July 19, 2014
July 18, 2014: The Venetian Macao announced its sponsorship of Chinese driver Ma Qinghua at a press conference on Friday afternoon. The Shanghai-born 26-year-old, who last month became the first Chinese to win an FIA World Touring Car Championship race, will wear The Venetian Macao logo on his racing helmet and suit.
Ma wrote motorsport history on June 8 when he won the second race in the WTCC Race of Russia, having finished sixth on his debut in the first race. The Chinese was driving the fourth car for the series-leading Citroen Total WTCC team, which features nine-time World Rally Championship winner Sebastian Loeb.
Ma, who also raced in Belgium last month, will again drive for Citroen Total in upcoming WTCC races in Beijing (October 4-5), Shanghai (October 11-12) and Macau (November 14-16), where he will make his Macau Grand Prix debut.
“I am honoured to be supported by such a highly acclaimed integrated resort. With the support of The Venetian Macao, I am able to participate in a world-renowned car racing event,” Ma said. “This is not only a rare experience in my career but also a good chance to show fans in mainland China what car racing is like in Macau.”
Earlier on Friday, Ma paid a visit to Macao’s Grand Prix Museum, learning more about the history of the prestigious event, which will enter its seventh decade with the 61st edition in November.
Ma, who has raced professionally since 2005, also participated in a hand printing ceremony at the press conference, where he was joined by Olaf Gueldner, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Sands China, and Li Sheng, CEO of SECA, Ma’s management team.
“The Venetian Macao is very proud to sponsor Ma Qinghua, China’s next sports hero, joining the ranks of athletes like China’s favourite boxer Zou Shiming, who we’ve been honoured to support in his transition from amateur to professional fighter,” Gueldner said on Friday, a day ahead of Zou’s fifth successive pro bout at The Venetian Macao.
“For our company, it’s really important to help develop and promote Chinese athletes around the world and we’re so glad to be able to extend that support to Ma.”
Li also hoped that the driver’s latest sponsorship – which he said began “a couple of weeks” before Ma’s victory in Russia – would help raise the profile of motorsport in China.
“Acting as the management team of Ma Qinghua, we hope to help him showcase his talent, presenting to more Chinese audiences the charm of car racing,” said Li, who also represents Zou. “With the support of The Venetian Macao, we believe that Ma will continue to attain new heights on the racing track.”
Inaugurated in 1987, the FIA WTCC is a global race series sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The 2014 WTCC started on April 12 in Marrakesh, Morocco and will end with the series’ 12th leg in Macau on November 16.
Source: The Venetian Macao (www.venetianmacao.com); Editing by SportAsia