Pensioners in north Beijing are pleading with the authorities for help after the streets around their homes were transformed into an illegal race track by gangs of wealthy young drivers in super-cars.
A spectacular weekend crash involving a sludge green Lamborghini and a “go fast” red Ferrari has thrown a spotlight on the extreme street racing taking place at the heart of China’s capital.
But residents of Fenglin Luzhou, a neighbourhood next to the boulevard where the crash took place, say they have been living with nightly races for years.
“I feel angry and helpless. Somebody must do something,” said Zhao Lihua, a 64-year-old pensioner whose 11th floor flat gives her a front-row seat to the terrifying high-speed races involving supercars and super-bikes piloted by super-rich Chinese.
Beijing’s boy racers began their contests at around 10 p.m. most nights, locals said. “These racers have no character at all,” said Mrs Zhao. “They are abominable. They cannot be the children of ordinary people.”
Until just a few decades ago the streets of Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai were clogged with bicycles.
But the country’s economic boom means the roads are now peppered with a multicoloured troop of “super luxury” cars, status symbols for a new generation of Chinese capitalists.
Of the 7,318 Ferraris shipped around the world in 2012, 784 went to China. Two hundred and five Lamborghinis came to China in 2013, out of a total of 2,121.
Some of these vehicles have made high-speed trips to the scrapyard. Last February one person was killed when a Ferrari crashed and burst into flames on a motorway near Beijing’s international airport.
Two years earlier, the 23-year-old son of Ling Jihua, a former senior aide to the then president Hu Jintao, died in a 4am crash involving his black Ferrari 458 Spider. Two female passengers were seriously injured.
In the absence of government action, the residents of Fenglin Luzhou were taking measures of their own, according to Mrs Mi. One set of neighbours recently called in the builders. “They installed triple glazing.”
Source: National Post