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Fast, Ferrari and Furious in China

world Updated: Jun 13, 2012 00:22 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times

Ferraris have a flair for getting into the news in China. Last Saturday, in fact, 34 of the super-expensive cars and their drivers were in it for, well, speeding – racing simultaneously at 100 km to 200 km per hour across a highway near Shanghai in eastern China.

Police told local media that fleet of Ferraris were racing their way to take part in a drag race, in which pairs of cars compete with each other.

To race Hollywood-style on that stretch of the highway with multiple curves, tunnels and bridges, probably gave them a sharp adrenalin thrust.

Not so for the policemen. "It's very dangerous to speed on that section which has many curves, tunnels and bridges," a policemen told China Daily, adding that it was the first time he had seen such a large number of cars simultaneously speeding since he joined the force seven years ago.

The city's traffic police said it could stop only eight out of 34 Ferraris caught racing on Saturday on a highway linking Hangzhou, Xin'anjiang and Jingdezhen. The fine

Six other drivers, also sought for speeding, evaded the police by leaving the highway at the nearest exit.

The punishment: 200 Yuan (Rs1660) fine for three and five had their licenses confiscated.

The most expensive Ferrari in the race cost 4 million Yuan or more than Rs 3.5 crore.

Local boy Tang, according to the police, was the fastest: clocking 213 km per hour on a stretch of the highway where the speed limit limit was 100 km per hour. He had a ready excuse for driving fast: had to catch up with his friends.

"They passed me like a gust of wind," China Daily quoted a witness as saying. "These are very powerful vehicles but their owners forgot that they were not on a professional racetrack," he added.

"I was appalled by this group of people risking their own and other people's lives on the highway," said Fang Jianru, a senior officer from the traffic police's highway division.

Luckily, there were no casualties like a few other cases involving racing Ferraris before. In one case in Beijing in March, the young driver of the Ferrari died and his two companions were injured. In May, the Italian sports car maker, according to Global Times, apologised after a publicity stunt left tire marks on the 600-year-old ancient city wall in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province.