Chengdu Drive 2010
Members wanted to repeat the Chengdu Drive because their track time was forcibly cut short last year due to extremely heavy fog. As such, the Club brought to its members Chengdu Drive 2010 which took place between 29th October (Friday) and 3rd November (Wednesday). Members were arranged to stop at Chenzhou (郴州), Kaili (凱裏) and Chongqing (重慶) along the way before arriving at Chengdu and spending one and a half days at the Chengdu International Circuit. 31 Porsches participated in this year’s event, represented, as always, by a full range of Porsches, including, several Mk II 997 GT3s, GT2s, Turbos, Carreras, and Caymans etc. Interestingly, things went extremely smoothly this year and even the weather cooperated. Participants arrived at destination on time everyday and night driving was not required of at all!!
Day 1: Participants gathered at the United Services Recreation Club for breakfast before heading to Shenzhen Bay Control Point. The Drive got off with a good start as all the cars were cleared quickly and efficiently at the Chinese Custom. The first day of the drive was only about 500 km. Basically, drivers could take it easy throughout the day, took plenty of breaks and still arrived at the hotel around 5 p.m. Members could relax before an early dinner at the hotel, leaving still ample time for a relaxing foot massage before calling it a day.
Day 2: The drive on the second day was the longest of all (about 900 km). Participants were repeatedly warned in advance of the numerous speeding cameras along the highway in Hunan province. So, all participants started very early but took it easy for the first several hundred kilometres. Except for an unfortunate incident where a wolf ran out on the highway and hit one of the participants’ car and damaging it, the drive was considered successful; all cars arrived in Kaili before nightfall. The banquet of local delicacies prepared by the hotel was highly anticipated (especially by those who had savoured it last year) and immensely appreciated after a long day of driving.
Day 3: The drive on the third day was only 550 km but participants were expected to reach Chongqing early that afternoon to attend a reception party at the Chongqing Tiandi—a residential and retail development of Shui On Land Limited located in the heart of Chongqing. Same as the previous year, as soon as the Porsches exited the highway and arrived in Chongqing, the local media was already all over them. The Porsches paraded through the heart of Chongqing where the locals could admire the seldom-seen sports cars before finally reaching Chongqing Tiandi. What was different this year was Chongqing Tiandi. One year makes a lot of difference!! Last year, the site was still mostly under construction but this year, it was all beautifully completed with most of the shops and restaurants already opened. A sumptuous Sichuan banquet was prepared for the participants. Afterwards, a brief ceremony was held followed by the performance of a local band. Participants were then invited to relax at the newly opened Shark bar, which has a huge tank with several large sharks swimming inside. A free flow of drinks kept everybody happy and staying late.
Day 4: Chengdu is only 315 km away from Chongqing, though participants were all impatient in trying their best to get to the track as quickly as possible. They finally arrived at the Chengdu International Circuit just around midday. After a quick lunch at the circuit, participants were all eager to go out on the track. Their fun continued until 5:00 pm when a coach took them back to the recently opened Inter-Continental hotel. Although no official group dinner was planned, many members decided to get together and tried out some delicious (and hot) Sichuan cuisine at one of the beautifully decorated restaurants near the hotel.
Day 5: Even though the sky was still a bit cloudy, there was definitely no fog that morning, unlike the previous year. After the previous half day of re-familiarising themselves with the circuit, members were all keen to experience fully their Porsches on the 3.33 km Chengdu Circuit. The series of tight corners on the latter part of the circuit continued to be difficult for some participants but that’s what made the circuit exciting and interesting and leaving members striving to come back again!!
Day 6: Members had arranged for their individual departure back to Hong Kong. A few of them, however, stayed behind for a few extra days to visit the interesting sites in Chengdu, such as the Chengdu Panda Base and the Chengdu Wuhou Shrine etc.
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