Watch a Ferrari 458 Set a Record on China’s Terrifying Mountain Road
How do 99 turns in 6.8 miles grab you?
You’ve probably never heard of China’s Tongtien Road. It’s a royal bitch of a drive, 99 turns—most of them hairpins—crammed into a 6.8-mile long stretch of pavement with an elevation change of roughly half a mile. From the air, it looks like the Stelvio Pass, if the Alpine switchbacks had been carved out of New England’s verdant forest.
Not only has Italian driver Fabio Barone heard of this road in the heart of China’s Hunan province, though, he’s also the man who’s driven up it faster than anyone else on the planet. With a little help from his customized Ferrari 458, of course.
On Wednesday, Barone ripped up the road in 10 minutes and 31 seconds, setting a new record on the route up that’s reportedly been dubbed the “Miracle Road.” In order to make his Ferrari 458 Italia even faster, Barone replaced some of the metal pieces of his supercar with carbon fiber ones, reportedly shaving around 180 pounds off the Italian stallion. If that average speed of 39 miles per hour doesn’t seem very high, keep in mind: 99 turns means one tight bend every 364 feet.
Barone, according to New China TV, reportedly described the blast up Tianmen Mountain as the most difficult challenge of his driving career. For his trouble, he earned a trophy that seems to be designed to suggest a winding road but brings to mind nothing so much as Will Ferrell’s ribbon dance from Old School.
(Yeah, we know—it doesn’t look all that impressive in the video. But keep in mind...the fastest line doesn’t always look like the fastest line.)