December 2007—Shanghai Drive
Following the overwhelming success of Shanghai Drive 2005 and 2006, the Club organised its third consecutive drive from Hong Kong to Shanghai. A total of 54 cars participated, and looking at the entrants’ list, a non-Porsche fan should be forgiven for thinking that Porsche only produces Turbos and GT3s because among other Porsches, there were a staggering 19 GT3s, 12 Turbos, 4 GT2s, and 1 Carrera GT participating!!
The Drive took place between 28 November and 3 December, stopping at Xiangtan (湘潭), Wuhan (武漢) and Nanjing (南京) along the way before arriving in Shanghai and spending one and a half days at the world renowned Shanghai Formula One (F1) circuit.
The first day of the Drive was the longest of all (about 760 km). So despite the relatively early start, it was not until past 22:00 when all the cars arrived finally at the hotel in Xiangtan. Everybody found it extremely comforting to be able to arrive safe and sound at the hotel after some quite tiring and fairly exhausting night time driving.
The drive on the second day was much shorter (about 400 km) as the participants were required to reach Wuhan early that afternoon to attend the opening ceremony of the Wuhan Tiandi—a new residential and retail development of Shui On Land Limited in the heart of Wuhan. It was indeed a serious ceremonial event organised by the property developer because all the Porsches were cleaned and parked at Wuhan Tiandi, making a real statement for the evening. Mr. Vincent Lo, as well as the French Ambassador, were present to officiate the opening ceremony which was well covered by the local media.
The third day was also a relatively easy drive to Nanjing (only 580 km). However, before getting onto the highway, all the Porsches were led through Wuhan and had the opportunity to drive through some of the most scenic sights on the east side of Wuhan city.
Shanghai is only 250 km from Nanjing but the Zhejiang police is very serious about enforcing the speed limit. So despite everyone’s anxiousness to get to the Shanghai F1 Circuit as quickly as possible, speed limit was strictly adhered. The cars arrived at the Circuit around noon and after a quick lunch, it was time for drivers to experience and appreciate, once again, Porsches’ excellent agility, supple ride, quick acceleration and, undoubtedly, their extreme precision on the track. Similar to previous years, renowned Porsche racers Darryl O’Young (2007 Carrera Cup Asia—Macau Race Champion) and Kevin Wong were present to give pointers to the drivers. The day rounded off with a banquet dinner hosted by Porsche Centre Shanghai.
The same excitement occurred at the F1 Circuit the following day. However, the day reached its height when a historically momentous and an eye-catching scene happened in the afternoon - 12 997 GT3RS were all lined up together at the pit lane, together with the Carrera GT, for a photographic session. In fact, this was such a rare and stunning sight that even editors from Porsche’s Christophorus magazine came to take pictures and interview the participants. An article on this amazing Drive was featured in issue no. 330 of the Chinese version of Christophorus!!
Please click 'Here' to see pictures of Shanghai Drive 2007.