Cesarò, Sicily — Another day, another China-related Ferrari accident, this time at a race in Sicily. Not that China and its citizenry have more Ferrari problems than others, but China is flush with new money. That means Ferrari related incidents are an inevitable facet of life there now.
That's not to say the most recent Sino-Ferrar incident was the fault of a nouveau riche Ferrari owner with an untempered passion for fast cars. The fact is, I can only speculate. That and the offending driver was only Chinese because China took back Hong Kong (and there may be something about a cultural similarity there, too).
A Chinese driver crashed a Ferrari this week at the Targa Florio in Sicily, when 200 or so (mostly) wealthy (mostly) gentlemen assembled to give their fantastic antique cars — Lancias, Ferraris, Maseratis, Porsches, and Peugeots, among others) a go around the island in a manner reminiscent of (albeit much tamer than) the long road races of the same name held throughout the first part of the past century.
A driver with his nationality registered as Hong Kong ripped a sizable chunk off of the front clip of his (or his co-driver's, or his boss') $300,000+ 2012 Ferrari FF. If you've never heard of the FF, it's a beefy-looking shooting brake with a super lightweight all wheel drive system and a 651 hp 6.3-liter V12 that can rocket the car to 60 mph in less than four seconds, and to a top speed of more than 200 mph.
Whether it was Yu Sing (Terrence) Ku or his co-driver, Mei Kiu Pun, I might never know. All I can verify is that the racecourse rumor was that the unfortunate driver was a Ferrari novice. It sounded like he was a little too eager to stomp the prancing stallion, and it ended up trampling him instead. Reports indicate that he punched it a little — no, a lot — too hard, spun the car, and crashed into some stairs (which, because the course ran through all sorts of ancient Sicilian towns, likely had some historical value).
When we all stopped for a time check and a free espresso, I surveyed the damage in person. There was a man with a shock of short gray hair looking at the car with a glum expression. He exhaled dolefully a few times, but didn't say anything to the crowd of silent onlookers. I'm not sure if he's the one who did the crashing, or the guy who has to pay for the repair. It didn't seem prudent to start grilling him about the carnage, much like you wouldn't ask someone how exactly their grandpa died at his funeral.
So I didn't get the guy's name, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that someone from China (Hong Kong's China now, remember?) damaged a new car in a weekend race. At least it went down doing something worthy.
As far as who the driver is, I've already mentioned the possible candidates, but I can confirm neither of them. I can only tell you that I had sincerely hoped it was Man Ching Joseph Chan, because he has a strong name. Unfortunately, Man was driving a 458 Spyder. As a consolation prize, I found out on Google that there's a Yusing Motor Enterprises — a used car emporium that seems to specializein old vans — in New Motor City, China that could belong to Yu Sing Ku. I'll just pretend that it does and enjoy the possibility. Join me!
Photo credit: Benjamin Preston