Lap Time: 1:48.31 min.

At the first international car race in China, Porsche dominates—not only in qualifying.


Listen to the article here

November 13, 1994, is a special date in the history of motorsports. On this day, China held its first international race. At the time, the Communist regime was still striving to bolster its global profile. Spectacular races were expected to help. The historic race was held not in Beijing or Shanghai, but in Zhuhai on the South China Sea. Once a fishing village, the city had been designated a special economic zone and by the 1980s had grown to a population of over one million.

The popular FIA GT Championship series—also known the BPR series after the initials of its initiators, Jürgen Barth, Patrick Peter, and Stéphane Ratel—decided to hold its season finale there. On the street circuit, the field of professional and amateur drivers had to contend with formidable bumps and tightly positioned barrier walls.

The French team of Larbre Compétition was on hand with a special car: a Porsche 911 Turbo S Le Mans GT that had been used the previous year at Sebring and Le Mans by the Porsche factory team with the drivers Hans-Joachim Stuck, Walter Röhrl, and Hurley Haywood. In Zhuhai, the car was driven by three experienced Frenchmen: Jean-Pierre Jarier (48) as the lead driver, Bob Wollek (51), and Jacques Laffite (50). Jarier took the pole position during qualifying with a top time of 1:48.31. 

The thirty-three cars—including twelve Porsches—set off on the ninety-three-lap race with a flying start. Starting driver Wollek defended the lead in the early going. Jarier took over shortly before the halfway mark, before handing off to Laffite with three laps to go. “Frère Jacques” drove the car home to its fourth win in four starts.

November 13, 1994

Qualifying: 3 Hours of Zhuhai 
Zhuhai Street Circuit, China 
Jean-Pierre Jarier / Jacques Laffite / Bob Wollek
4.200-kilometer circuit length
Porsche 911 Turbo S Le Mans GT 

Franz Ponder
Franz Ponder