Fer­rari clocked at 210kmh

Waikato Times Weekend - - NEWS - MIKE MATHER

A Fer­rari-driv­ing busi­ness­man hit 210kmh on the Waikato Ex­press­way with a cop on his tail.

Hui Zhang, 37, of Taupo, ap­peared in the Hamil­ton Dis­trict Court yes­ter­day, where he was fined $1400 and dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing for eight months.

On June 18, with heavy traf­fic trav­el­ling in both lanes of the ex­press­way, Zhang was spot­ted do­ing 178kmh by an of­fi­cer sit­ting in an un­marked po­lice car near the Lake Road over­bridge.

A pur­suit en­sued. The of­fi­cer ac­ti­vated his lights and sirens in an ef­fort to get the driver to slow down.

In­stead of pulling over, Zhang hit the ac­cel­er­a­tor and the late model Fer­rari Cal­i­for­nia roared on.

He zoomed un­der the River Road over­bridge at 210kmh, pass­ing sev­eral other ve­hi­cles.

Dur­ing the pur­suit Zhang trav­elled at vary­ing speeds, all well in ex­cess of 100kmh. Slow­ing to 180kmh, Zhang braked heav­ily and even­tu­ally pulled over near the Te Rapa on-ramp at Horotiu, where he was ar­rested.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Steve Bell said it was un­der­stood the Fer­rari was val­ued around $400,000 and Zhang was be­lieved to have pur­chased the pow­er­ful car in Auck­land ear­lier that day.

Zhang ap­peared in court with an in­ter­preter. His coun­sel Shayne Lawrey said he had had a ‘‘good con­ver­sa­tion’’ with him about his driv­ing.

‘‘He ac­cepts he wasn’t re­ally aware of the speed limit.

‘‘As soon as he be­came aware that he needed to pull over, he pulled over im­me­di­ately.’’

Com­mu­nity mag­is­trate Kathryn Wil­son scolded Zhang when pass­ing sen­tence.

‘‘You may have a beau­ti­ful car, but our roads are not de­signed for cars to go over 100kmh.

‘‘You may think you are a good driver, but just one thing,’’ Wil­son said as she clapped her hands to­gether to demon­strate an im­pact, ‘‘and you would have been killed or you would have killed some­one.’’

As Wil­son an­nounced the fine Zhang had to pay, a low whis­tle was heard com­ing from the pub­lic gallery.

Zhang is the sec­ond speed­ster to ap­pear in the Hamil­ton Dis­trict Court in a week. Last Fri­day, Brazil­ian car­di­ol­o­gist Marco Filho, 28, a tourist, was fined $1100 af­ter he was clocked trav­el­ling at 202kmh on the ex­press­way in a rented Mercedes GLC.

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