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Auckland McLaren crash guilty plea

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/05/2017

The driver of a McLaren supercar that crashed at high speed while on a test drive in Auckland in April has pleaded guilty to careless driving.

Businessman Heng Loon Chee, 56, entered his plea during an appearance at the Auckland District Court on Wednesday after prosecutors downgraded the charge from dangerous driving.

He was fined $500 and ordered to undertake a defensive driving course.

Chee rolled the supercar on April 22 after taking it out for a test drive, according to a summary of facts read to the court.

The crash occurred at a sharp left hand bend on the Northwestern Motorway, which had an advisory signpost recommending motorists travel 55km/h around it.

Instead, a passenger in the McLaren reported Chee entered the bend at between 110km/h and 120km/h.

He subsequently lost control and crashed under a safety barrier before rolling down an embankment on the side of the road where the supercar ended on its roof.

Chee suffered minor injuries and his passenger was uninjured.

The sentencing judge took into account Chee's early guilty plea and the fact he had no prior convictions.

Chee's lawyer said his client had already endured media publicity as a result of the crash and would experience ongoing financial costs related to it.

It is the second crash of a McLaren in New Zealand to be followed by a court appearance.

Last December, businessman Barry Leigh Fitzgerald, 63, from Melbourne, was given diversion after crashing a multimillion-dollar McLaren on the Glenorchy-Queenstown Road.

He was taking part in a tour of New Zealand by 31 McLaren cars honouring the late Bruce McLaren, the manufacturer's Kiwi founder.

McLaren cars have sold for as much as $US13.5 million at auction.

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