Truck racers show their mettle off-road

Updated: 2013-11-05 11:28

By Shi Xi (China Daily)

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Truck racers show their mettle off-road

Trucks compete at the Juma River in Laishui county, Hebei province, during the fourth leg of the 2013 Shaanqi Cup China Super Truck Race. Provided to China Daily

Hou Hongning, racer on the Huaxia Bank ETC team, was a truck driver before he opened up his own logistic company, Beijing Wan Yu, in 2002.

In 2004, Hou learned about the race from an auto magazine. "I have been interested in cars ever since I was a child," says Hou, who is in his late 30s.

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"Thanks to this game, my dream of being a racer has come true. At first, my family was concerned about my safety, but since I have always come back in one piece, they understand and support me."

Hou made it into top three spots in 2007 and 2008.

Compared to other vehicle races, it's a grassroots-friendly competition. The participation fee for all five legs of the game is 6,000 yuan ($985), and 1,500 yuan for racers who attend only one leg.

"I think this competition is fair for every racer, because we use the same truck sponsored by Shaanqi Group," Hou says. "It would cost me a huge fortune to buy a racing car."

For truck racers like Hou, racing is more than competing with others. It is a reunion of friends.

Ever since the first China Super Truck Race took place in 2003, a total of 840 racers have participated, including 16 from abroad.

"We hope the game can make truck drivers feel proud of their daily work, and more people will get to know about truck racing," says Jiang Mingzhu, spokesman for the China Super Truck Race.

"In the past five years, there have been more than 900,000 spectators who showed up for our racing and related events," Jiang says. "Our racing has also boosted local tourism."

The final contest this year is scheduled for Nov 8 in Zhaoyuan county, Shandong province. Jiang says they will invite truck racers from Europe to compete in the final leg.

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