From today’s news category of people caught on video behaving badly with cars, we give you this: Ferrari executives are scrambling today to minimize the damage after a dealership employee was caught on camera doing donuts with a Ferrari 458 Italia…on top of a 600-year-old Chinese city wall.
The wall in question was initially reported as the Great Wall of China but was actually the City Wall of Nanjing, a 600-year-old historical icon located some 3.5 hours west of Shanghai. Ferrari had reportedly rented a section of the wall (at a cost of $12,670) to host a party celebrating its 20th anniversary of selling cars in China, and as a second unveiling of its 20-unit special edition 458 Italia.
As part of the celebration, workers hoisted one of the 20 cars atop the wall using a crane. That’s when one of the car’s handlers did two consecutive donuts on top of the wall, which was caught on camera and disseminated to both Chinese state-run television and video-sharing website Youku. In one other video, workers were spotted trying to mop up the rubber treadmarks, which was unsuccessful.
While the Ferrari did no significant damage to the wall, there was some predictable outrage. Chinese citizens took to Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, to blast the driver’s actions as “shameful.” The manager in charge of the gate was also fired, according to Chinese news service Xinhua.
Officials in Maranello scrambled to smooth over relations with the Chinese people, and has since cancelled the event and apologized, adding that the burnout was done by a rogue employee of Ferrari’s Chinese importer.
As for the fate of Ferrari’s 20-unit special edition 458 Italia, we can’t imagine sales of the Marco Polo Red supercar will slow or stop after this blunder. Considering that Chinese elites have a well documented, heavy appetite for supercars, we’d imagine this car’s run is already sold out, burnouts be damned.