Teddy Yip Jr. might be the son of mythical local businessman Theodore “Teddy” Yip, one of the most important people in the development of the Macau gaming industry and one of the grandfathers of the Macau Grand Prix, but he hasn’t rested on his father’s laurels.
In 2013, when he announced he was resurrecting his father’s legendary team Theodore Racing, with the support of local gaming operator SJM – 10 years after Teddy Yip Sr. passed away at 93 and on the 30th anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s victory in the competition’s first Formula 3 Grand Prix – whether it would be a successful comeback or not was up in the air.
However an immediate victory in 2014 and another win in 2015 made SJM Theodore Racing the record holder of wins at the Macau F3 championship, with a total of eight victories.
Although the team’s champion, Felix Rosenqvist didn’t manage a third consecutive win at this year’s F3 Grand Prix, the Swedish racer still managed to move up from sixth position on the starting grid to second place in the final race, at least assuring Theodore Racing another presence on the podium.
Teddy however, was also positive about the other team drivers’ performances over the weekend.
“Our rookie driver Maximilian (Gunther) showed great pace all weekend, but luck was not on his side. The same can be said for Nick Cassidy whose performance in today’s race was remarkable.
He made up 17 places and who knows how high he could have finished if his race had not been cut short when he clipped the wall. Still, second place tastes pretty sweet,” Teddy Yip Jr. tells Business Daily regarding the past weekend’s results at the 63rd Macau Grand Prix.
A successful marriage
Despite this year’s lack of luck, the team owner expressed his content about partnering with Italian motorsport team Prema Powerteam for the races.
“Team Manager Rene Rosin and the entire team were also really keen to work with us and it seemed like the perfect fit. The partnership has exceeded all expectations with so far two out of three wins in Macau and four out of four teams’ championships in 2016. Things just don’t get much better than that,” says Teddy Yip Jr.
Bringing his father’s team back to the Guia track and to the world of motorsport is a “dream come true”, especially with the positive results obtained, pushing Yip Jr. to pursue further opportunities abroad, through partnerships such as that with the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and travel and lifestyle social media agency Beautiful Destinations, in a campaign to promote the city and the Macau Grand Prix overseas.
Resurrecting the legacy abroad
Branching out has been the team’s strategy over the past few years, marking their presence at the Formula 3 European Championship, the German Formula 4 Championship, and Formula One support series GP2 and GP3 championships.
The team’s founder, Teddy Yip Sr., was extremely influential within IndyCar racing in the United States, entering or sponsoring races between 1977 and 1984 and helping to create the Toyota Grand Prix, held in Long Beach, California.
Teddy Yip Jr. is happy to see his team return this year to the IndyCar Series races in the U.S. in a partnership with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team founded by his father’s former partner Bobby Rahal.
“There’s a certain sense of style there that doesn’t really exist elsewhere in the world. That, paired with top class racing, is something that certainly makes me want to continue in the U.S.,” Teddy Yip Jr. tells Business Daily.
However, despite Theodore Racing’s historical presence in the Macau Grand Prix, their influence hasn’t yet reached the rest of Asia. But that is about to change. Teddy Yip Jr. tells Business Daily that the team is planning to compete in the Japanese championship Super Formula championship for the first time.
“They’re the quickest cars I’ve ever seen through corners and the level of competition is so high that it would be a great championship for Theodore Racing to compete in,” he states.
Although Theodore Racing started as an F1 manufacturer, the team hasn’t competed in the category since 1983, and Teddy Yip Jr. still considers a return to the category as a far off reality, for now.
“I think Formula 1 is still quite a way off as it would take a great number of jigsaw pieces to come together to make it happen. It’s certainly an aspiration, but a step too far at the moment. That said, never say never,” he states.