Riccardo Patrese


Riccardo Patrese was born on 17 April 1954 in Padua, Veneto, Italy, and began karting at the age of nine. 

In 1977, he drove for Hong Kong businessman Bob Harper and won the 24th Macau Grand Prix with the Chevron B40, Patrese took pole position with a time of 2:21.32. Australian driver Alan Jones had the better start of the pair during the Macau Grand Prix and led Patrese and the field down to Statue Corner (now Lisboa Bend). However, on the opening lap as Jones approached “R” Bend, Jones lost momentum and his Ralt spun into Patrese’s path. Patrese had no choice but to try to squeeze through a too-tight gap and the cars touched, with Jones spinning. Jones hit the sea wall and was forced to retire. Patrese came back to the pits for repairs and re-joined the field in 17th place. He began to work his way up through the field and by lap 15 had taken the lead. So dominant was Patrese that with three laps remaining, he had lapped the entire field, Patrese took the chequered flag comfortably, with Bob Harper ecstatic to taste a Macao victory following a seven-year wait. The car carried a 2-litre Ford engine and ran to what were known, locally, as Formula Pacific regulations, the equivalent of Formula 2 in Europe.

Patrese returned with Team Harper in 1978, taking a second Macao victory this time at the Grand Prix’s Silver Jubilee, and became just the third driver to have won the Macau Grand Prix in consecutive years.