Fast and Furious drivers get Jail time

In a case of real life mimicking art, two Fast and Furious wannabes have made the headlines just as the seventh edition of the film hits the silver screen in China. The latest offering from the Fast and Furious franchise, not so imaginatively entitled Fast and Furious Seven, smashed box office records in China after grossing US$59 million in ticket sales in one day. However, headlines in Beijing were more interested in the spectacular car crash that seemed to happen during a real life sports car drag race that totalled a Lamborghini and Ferrari, and left two other luxury cars needing a bit of time in the repair shop.

The crash occurred in a tunnel close to the Olympic birds nest stadium just ahead of the opening of Furious 7, with witnesses saying that the driver of a green Lamborghini lost control as he jockeyed for position with a red Ferrari, and ended up smashing into a guard rail before careening off and into the tunnel wall. According to the Police, both cars were travelling in excess of 160kph when the accident occurred.

Photos circulating on the internet and news wire services of the crash scene showed the Lamborghini’s entire front end missing, but both drivers got off largely unscathed as Beijing police said the crash resulted in no fatalities and that one person injured.

According to local Police, the driver of the Ferrari was a 20-year-old man from Changchun surnamed Yu and the driver of the Lamborghini was a 21-year-old man from Beijing surnamed Tang. Both were “unemployed”, authorities said; the Beijing News quoted sources saying the drivers were college students. Bet their daddies will have something to say about the loss of the cars.

China’s new rich have an unquenchable thirst for pricey sports cars with constant headlines in the Chinese press outlining their misdeeds in recent years. One of the most scandalous involved the son of a top Communist party official when he crashed his Ferrari in Beijing in 2012. The driver, Ling Gu, was ejected from the car along with his two female passengers. All were said to be naked or partially clothed at the time of the accident. Ling and one of the young ladies died at the scene, and his father was politically sidelined and latter investigated for corruption.

Films such as Fast and Furious have performed very well at the box office in China. Furious 7 has taken in over US$323 million there, breaking the previous record of US$319 million set last summer by Transformers: Age of Extinction.

As a sign of the times, China Movie Channel said it would team up with Dreamworks to film the Need for Speed sequel in China. The original Need for Speed grossed US$65 million in China, more than its North American haul.

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