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2012-05-10 11:55

FERRARI STUNT BACKFIRES: If you're going to perform burnouts as part of a promotional stunt, make sure the locals give you the go-ahead or, at the very least, have an excellent cleaning crew on hand for those pesky tyre marks.

SHANGHAI, China - Chinese citizens are up in arms after a Ferrari left tyre tracks on top of Nanjing's ancient city wall, possibly permanently damaging the protected landmark.

In celebration of Ferrari's 20th anniversary in China, the Italian automaker had an event planned to showcase its models. A 458 Italia reportedly left tyre tracks on top of the Ming Dynasty-era monument, which naturally angered locals.

Chinese officials shut down the event and criticised a domestic sales agent who allowed the car to be driven on the 14th century wall for the promotional event.


A crane hoisted the car to the top of the wall and video of the event showed the dragon-themed Ferrari performing burn-outs. Cleaners tried in vain to scrub the black tyre marks from the grey brick wall the following day.

Most of the public anger has been directed at city officials after reports emerged suggesting they had agreed to rent the use of the wall to the Ferrari dealership for about $12 000 (R95 800). Captain Wu Jing from the Nanjing cultural relics bureau said Ferrari did not have approval to perform the stunt: "No enterprise or individual is allowed to use the city ramparts in Nanjing for commercial purposes."

Ferrari has denied the episode was a publicity stunt and blamed a member of staff at a local dealership.


The sports-car maker issued this statement: "Unfortunately, an employee of the dealership - not a Ferrari employee - took it upon himself to drive the car in the way that you will see in the video, with the very regrettable result that tyre marks were left on the ancient monument.

"Ferrari SpA has unreservedly apologised to the Chinese authorities and local community for any damage and offence caused and has promised to work with the necessary officials to repair any damage caused by the negligence of this individual."

Watch the video below:

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