Zeng Fanren, King of Car Rac­ing in Asia


Special Focus - - Contents - Liu Dongli 刘冬莉

Aman jumps from a speed­ing car, leap­ing through three rings of fire and continuing his stride–that’s a notable ac­tion made by Spi­der Man. A man makes an ag­gres­sive gear shift and nar­rowly es­capes head-on col­li­sion with an­other car– that’s a clas­sic scene in Die An­other Day, a James Bond movie.

Stunts like these have surely im­pressed fans of Spi­der Man and James Bond. Yet prob­a­bly few of them know that the stunt per­former that sub­sti­tutes for the su­per stars in these Hol­ly­wood movies comes from Wuhan, China. For a long time, this man has been the only Asian face on the Hol­ly­wood stunt ac­tor scene.

This man is Zeng Fanren, born in Jiangxia District, Wuhan City, Hubei Prov­ince, in 1962.



The First Im­pres­sion

On March 31st, we drove to his home in Jiangxia District to visit him and found out more about this leg­endary car-rac­ing driver and stunt­man.

When we reached Jiangxia District, we turned off the main street on to a muddy coun­try road. We passed sev­eral blocks and sev­eral lines of houses, and fi­nally ap­proached a slightly worn house. We were per­plexed where to go next when we sud­denly heard dogs bark­ing from the yard of this house. Zeng Fanren, in a rac­ing suit, emerged from be­hind a door, smil­ing and wav­ing to us.

En­ter­ing the yard, we looked around. It is an age-old yard, with a two-story house in the mid­dle. In front of the house, there are sev­eral cus­tom ve­hi­cles. On the wall of the yard, there are var­i­ous li­cense plates and pho­tos of car races. The decor serves as a record of the glory of the owner of the house in his car-rac­ing ca­reer. Over thir­ties years ago in 1981, Zeng Fanren placed sixth in the Asian Mo­tor­car Cross-coun­try Cham­pi­onship in Ja­pan. In 2005, he be­came the cham­pion of China Cir­cuit Cham­pi­onship. In 2013, he got the gold medal in the Mir­a­cle Oil Cup Au­to­mo­bile Rally Race in Korea.

“I have re­built the house by my­self.” Zeng Fanren told us. Sev­eral years ago, he came across this place and felt a strong at­tach­ment to it on first sight, so he bought it and moved here. To­gether with his two pupils, they spent a whole week re­dec­o­rat­ing it. This sim­ple home has hosted many great fig­ures in the mo­tor­sports cir­cle, Michael Schu­macher, Chi­nese car racer Han Han, Jimmy Lin, to name just a few.

As we were talk­ing, a train came ram­bling be­hind the house. He ex­plained the house was lo­cated near the Bei­jing- Guang­dong Rail­way, so there were reg­u­lar roar­ing trains pass­ing by. We won­dered that as Zeng Fanren had ac­cu­mu­lated great wealth as well as fame, he would af­ford an ex­pen­sive house in a down­town area or a lux­u­ri­ous es­tate in the coun­try­side, but why did he pre­fer such a hum­ble lo­ca­tion?

Zeng Fanren didn’t re­spond to our ques­tion im­me­di­ately, in­stead, he showed us his pri­vate col­lec­tions. Among them, there were the hel­met sent by Li Ming, a pop­u­lar Hong



2017 年3月 31日下午,记者根据车神曾凡仁提供的地址,驱车前往武汉江夏,专程拜访这位赛车界的传奇人物。


进入院子,记者仔细端详四周:这是一个古朴的院子,一座两层的木质小楼略显破旧,院里停放着几辆改装过的汽车;两旁的墙上挂满了各式车牌、赛事现场的照片。这一切,都默默地记载着房屋主人曾经的辉煌:1981年,曾凡仁在日本 获得亚洲摩托车越野锦标赛第六名; 2005年,获厦门全国场地锦标赛冠军;2013年,他在韩国奇迹润滑油杯汽车拉力赛揽冠军奖杯入怀……


说话间,一阵轰隆隆的火车声传入耳畔。原来,院子旁边紧邻京广线铁路,不时有往来的火车呼啸而过,不胜其扰。记者不禁疑惑:车神曾凡仁名利兼有,以他的实力,无论是在繁华都市内购置房产,抑或是在清幽之处修建住宅,都并非难事,他为何偏偏选择这样一个地 方定居?



1978 年,16岁的曾凡仁参军去了青藏的汽车排,从此爱上了车。1979年,因表现优秀,他被部队推荐前往日本学习摩托车,开始接触汽车特技动作,并痴迷其中。


Kong singer, as a to­ken of friend­ship; an F1 rac­ing suit signed by Michael Schu­macher; a Spi­der­man suit, a James Bond suit, and so on. Each piece of the col­lec­tion had a mem­o­rable story be­hind it.

The First Man Ever Driv­ing through Kekex­ili

In 1978, when he was 16 years old, he joined an au­to­mo­bile pla­toon in the army on the Qing­hai-Ti­bet Road. Quickly he fell in love with the au­to­mo­bile. One year later, he was rec­om­mended by the army to learn ad­vanced mo­tor­car driv­ing in Ja­pan be­cause of his ex­cel­lent per­for­mance in the army. He be­gan to learn car stunt skills and be­came crazy about it.

In 1981, there were some Chi­nese peo­ple who at­tempted to drift by ca­noe from the ori­gin of Changjiang River (in the Three–River-Source Re­gion of Qing­hai) down to the sea. Among them, some were army sol­diers and some were the lo­cal res­i­dents—some of them died due to a lack of pro­tec­tive equip­ment and the res­cue teams even couldn’t find their bod­ies. Their bold and brave ac­tions had greatly in­spired Zeng Fanren. He un­der­stood, they did it be­cause they wanted to con­quer the ori­gin of the Changjiang River be­fore for­eign ex­pe­di­tion teams did so and set the records. In the same prov­ince, there was an­other place that had not yet been con­quered by any hu­man be­ing—Kekex­ili, or Hoh Xil—which then be­came Zeng’s tar­get.

How­ever, Kekex­ili is a world fa­mous area for its wretched weather and harsh en­vi­ron­ment un­fit for sur­vival. There is a say­ing, “In Budongquan (Non-Freez­ing Spring) re­gion (in Kekex­ili), one can see hail in the morn­ing, light­ning in the evening, and snow and storms even in the sun­shine.” It is a vivid de­scrip­tion of Kekex­ili’s dan­ger­ous ge­o­log­i­cal con­di­tions.

The an­nual av­er­age tem­per­a­ture is 4-10 de­grees Cel­sius be­low zero, the low­est recorded tem­per­a­ture is 46 de­grees be­low zero. Be­fore Zeng Fanren, no one had con­quered the Kekex­ili. How­ever fac­ing such ter­ri­fy­ing con­di­tions, Zeng Fanren had a sim­ple plan, “I will bring five tanks of gaso­line, each bucket will last 400 kilo­me­ters, five buck­ets will make 2000 kilo­me­ters, on the con­di­tion that the car is still work­ing, with suf­fi­cient sup­plies, I will make it.”

In 1986, Zeng Fanren started his jour­ney to con­quer Kekex­ili at the age of 24. His equip­ment in­cluded four bar­rels of gaso­line, four boxes of tools, cloth­ing, two clocks, a shot­gun and com­pressed bis­cuits. Be­cause of the high al­ti­tude in Kekex­ili, the lack of oxy­gen in the air, the car can’t be left not run­ning too long, oth­er­wise it won’t start again. Due to the lack of oxy­gen, the mo­tor­car seemed much heav­ier than usual, and it would be hard to lift the mo­tor­car if it were to fall in a ditch. There was one time, when going through the swamp, the mo­tor­car stalled and fell in the mud. He nar­rowly es­caped the death. There were other dan­gers like threats from Ti­betan an­telopes, bears, wolves, and so on. At night, he could not sleep too long, be­cause if he did, the lack of oxy­gen might make him un­able to wake up, so he set two clocks to wake him­self up af­ter 20 min­utes’ nap.

Af­ter five nights and six days of trekking, he had suc­ceeded in



可可西里的年均温度零下 4 ~ 10℃,最低温度零下46℃。恶劣的环境让人望而生畏,可曾凡仁的计划却简单得惊人:“我带五箱油,一箱能跑400多公里,这就是2000多公里;只要方向不错、车不坏,带足物资,就一定能穿越。”

1986 年,24岁的曾凡仁带上四桶汽油、四个工具箱、衣服、两个闹钟、一把猎枪和压缩饼干就出发了。由于可可西里无人区海拔高,氧气稀少,车子不能熄火太长时间, 在缺氧的环境下,车子显得很重,车子倒下后一个人很难扶起来。在过一个沼泽地时,摩托车倒下熄火了,使他面临很大的危险。还要面临藏羚羊、熊和狼等动物的威胁。第一个晚上,他有点害怕,又不能睡太长时间,因极度缺氧,睡长后就起不来了。困了,他就用两个闹钟定时,一般只休息20分钟。


pass­ing through Kekex­ili. When he showed up at the exit of Kekex­ili, the await­ing me­dia cheered wel­come. Zeng Fanren was very proud to be the first recorded hu­man to con­quer the for­bid­den area of Kekex­ili, home or abroad.

Since then, Zeng Fanren has be­come known for his courage. In 2006, when the Bei­jing Olympic Games se­lected mas­cots, the Qing­hai Pro­vin­cial Gov­ern­ment wanted to ar­range a group of jour­nal­ists to take pho­tos of a Ti­betan an­te­lope in Kekex­ili. As a guide to the group, Zeng Fanren es­corted the 70 jour­nal­ists into Kekex­ili, to start a shoot­ing jour­ney of Ti­betan an­te­lope, which lasted 19 days. Af­ter the shoot­ing, he es­corted the jour­nal­ists out safely.

Asian Mo­tor Racer in Hol­ly­wood

Op­por­tu­nity is al­ways re­served for those who are pre­pared. In 2006, the Hol­ly­wood Fer­mat Stunt Team came to China to give a show—peo­ple were fas­ci­nated by the per­for­mance. Af­ter Zeng Fanren watched the show, he re­al­ized he could also do these stunts. He went to the team man­ager and ex­pressed his will­ing­ness to join the team. The man­ager wasn’t im­pressed by his plain ap­pear­ance and ques­tioned him: “What can you do?”

“I can do all the stunts I saw in the show,” his an­swer sur­prised the team man­ager. He proved him­self with a 540-de­gree high-speed drift in a car that si­lenced the stunt team. Thus, he joined the Hol­ly­wood stunt team.

In Jackie Chan’s movie Rush Hour III, there is one scene where he is fight­ing against an op­po­nent in a car slid­ing along the ground on its side. It was Zeng Fanren who was driv­ing that car. Be­cause of this, he won the ti­tle of “King of car rac­ing in Asia.”

One of his friends told us, when he was in Hol­ly­wood, his su­perb stunt skills aroused many fans’ at­ten­tion, and some asked him: “Are you Ja­panese or Korean?” Zeng Fanren ex­plained po­litely each time: “I am Chi­nese. I am from China.”

He grew tired of ex­plain­ing again and again, so he co­or­di­nated a stunt per­for­mance where he jumped out of a mov­ing car hold­ing the na­tional flag of China in his hands. In this way, he was telling the world “I am from China.”

Even though he only stud­ied in pri­mary school for three years, Zeng Fanren has been to over 70 coun­tries and he is ca­pa­ble of speak­ing five for­eign lan­guages. He shows pro­found love for his mother­land of China.

On the top of his tro­phy shelf, there is a small worn flag that Zeng Fanren cher­ishes dearly. “This is the very flag I had on my car, when I was on my Silk Road Jour­ney three years ago.” This jour­ney tra­versed the en­tire an­cient Silk Road and took two months. Af­ter the jour­ney, he took it from the car and put it here, as a re­minder of

the good mem­ory.” He said proudly.





“他们做的这些我都会。”曾 凡仁的回答让对方不可思议,然而,随后他的一招“飞车空中旋转”一圈半彻底征服表演队。就这样,曾凡仁被吸纳成为队员。

在成龙电影《尖峰时刻3》中,有一个镜头是成龙和搭档坐在右侧着地、左侧腾空的面包车中和对手对打。这个和地面呈45度角的汽车特技镜头,就是曾凡仁表演的。“亚 洲车神”名号从此不胫而走。






In 2015, the Chi­nese Min­istry of Cul­ture launched the One Silk Road One Eco­nomic Belt Ex­pe­di­tion.” It was spon­sored by the Chi­nese So­ci­ety of So­cial Art, CCTV, Cen­tral New Group, the Devon Lida Group, and the Belt and Road Con­struc­tion and Co­op­er­a­tion Com­mit­tee. It is the largest and most in­flu­en­tial cul­tural ex­change and eco­nomic and trade pro­mo­tion ac­tiv­ity cov­er­ing the most coun­tries and last­ing longer than any other event of its kind, and in­volves al­most ev­ery as­pect of life in the coun­tries along the Silk Road.

On Au­gust 8th, Zeng Fanren, lead­ing the team, started the ex­pe­di­tion from Shang­hai, left China from Hor­gos, passed through over ten nations, such as Ge­or­gia, Rus­sia, Turkey, Greece, and oth­ers. Af­ter 73 days, cov­er­ing 16,000 kilo­me­ters, they reached the Mi­lan World Expo on Oc­to­ber 19th, the fi­nal des­ti­na­tion of the jour­ney.

With rac­ing suits, car mod­els, cal­lig­ra­phy scrolls, paint­ings, and var­i­ous tea sets col­lected from all over the world, Zeng Fanren’s house is like a small mu­seum, packed with pre­cious trea­sures and fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries, arous­ing our cu­rios­ity and at­ten­tion, so much so that we com­pletely lost track of time...

At sun­set, we bid our farewells. A train was roar­ing through. Zeng Fanren ex­plained fi­nally, “When I was young, I lived by the rail­road, at that time, I lived a very poor life, starv­ing ev­ery­day. Now, I am rich, but I will not for­get my past life. So liv­ing by the rail­road re­minds me of the past con­stantly.”

Zeng Fanren said this peace­fully, but with great force.

The road ahead is long and has no end­ing, yet Zeng Fanren will per­sue his pas­sion for car rac­ing with an un­bend­ing will. Now, he is en­gag­ing him­self in turn­ing his car rac­ing ca­reer into a busi­ness model and estab­lish­ing a club named Celebrity Car Rac­ing (Hubei). It is a cul­tural and tourism in­vest­ment club. In com­bi­na­tion with many top sports­men, celebri­ties, and car rac­ing fans from all walks of life, Zeng Fan­gren wants to share his love for cars, his car rac­ing sto­ries, and ex­plore car rac­ing with more en­thu­si­asts.

If you take more in­ter­est in the stunt video "Zeng Fanren, King of Car Rac­ing in Asia", please scan the two-di­men­sional code.


2015年,由中国文化部主管,中国社会艺术协会、中央电视台中央新影集团、德丰利达集团、“一带一路”项目建设合作跨国圆桌会组委会共同举办“一带一路”万里行。这是国家“一带一路”建设倡议下行程最长、跨度最大、涉及领域最广的一项大型丝绸之路沿线文化交流经贸推广活动。作为领队,曾凡仁带领队友于8月8日从上海出发,经霍尔果斯出关,途经格鲁吉亚、俄罗斯、土耳其、希腊等十余个国家,历经73天,行程逾16000 公里,于10 月 19日到达米兰世博会。


夕阳西下。临别时,又一辆火车呼啸而过。伴着列车的轰鸣,曾凡仁终于向记者揭开那个关于铁路的谜底: “我小时候家就住在铁路旁。那个时候家里穷,连饭都吃不饱,现在条件富裕了,但我不能忘记自己的根本。所以,我特地选了这个靠近铁路的地方,让轰鸣的火车 声时刻提醒我,不能忘本。”曾凡仁的话很朴实,但铿锵有力。




(本文图片除署名外,均由曾凡仁本人提供) 想看车神曾凡仁精彩特技视频,请扫描下方二维码。

● Photo by Zheng Guang­song郑光松摄

● Photo by Zheng Guang­song郑光松摄

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