Meet the race car drivers
Andy Yan and William Lok
The phrase ‘Car Racing’ has long carried negative connotations in Hong Kong, conjuring images of dangerous street racing and criminal activity. Andy Yan and William Lok, two of the most prominent Hong Kong-based race car drivers, fell the need to clear up straight away the misconceptions surrounding their sport. ‘Our car racing is an absolutely serious activity – we aren’t punks!’ says Lok.
Despite – or perhaps because of – the bad rap and other obstacles, Hong Kong’s fraternity of professional race car drivers sticks together. Between Yan and Lok, there is only a friendly vibe. ‘The racing circle may be small but we are supportive,’says Yan.
‘This is because any success from and driver will only contribute to the community.’
Lok was the first Chinese ever to take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, an annual race in France. For him, it was a dream come true to see the Hong Kong SAR flag flying at the French circuit. But all race car drivers inf Hong Kong share one frustration: the lack os facilities. ‘Like all sports, car racing is about practice.’says Lok.’Sadly, there isn’t a decent track or institutional support, let alone sponsorship. Car racing also costs a lot to train. this makes the sport all the more difficult to develop in Hong Kong.’
Yan has been able to realise his childhood dream of becoming a race care driver by training in other places such as mainland China. Macau’s close proximity has also mad it a feasible training ground and competition site. ‘The Macau Grand Prix is well known in Hong Kong,’says Yan.’It took me 11years to win the race and I had tears in my eyes standing on that podium.’
Hong Kong’s motorheads haven’t had a race to call their own – untill this year. For the first time, Formula E will hold its all-electric racing event in Hong Kong, turning the Central Harbour front streets into a two-kilometre track. Perhaps the race will dispel some of the old notions, too, and build greater interest in the sport. ‘If the event is successful, it will strengthen us well,’ says Lok.