On September 15, 1985, many drivers and racing cars which were active in the WRC gathered in front of the New World Hotel in Hong Kong. It was the historic rally event, the Hong Kong-Beijing Rally, was about to start. The stage was set in the People’s Republic of China where has begun to reform and opening-up. 36 Group B rally cars including the latest works rally cars were participated in the first tournament. The Mitsubishi Lancer Turbo, which made its WRC debut in 1981, was one of the entrants. The Group B cars became mainstream in the times. At the Hong Kong-Beijing Rally, the steerings were left to two local Chinese drivers, the pair of Ningjun Lu, and the pair of T. Chan, who ran on the stage of the memorable first race. The car was Mitsubishi Lancer Turbo which was debuted at the WRC Round 6 Acropolis Rally in 1981 and active in WRC. The engine was 1997cc inline 4-cylinder SOHC equipped on the front, and a turbocharger made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was equipped with an intercooler. The intake system employed an electronically controlled injector to finely control the gasoline flow rate, and its power generated 280 horsepower. It adopted a conventional front-engine and rear-wheel-drive system.
Together with the world’s top-class cars and drivers, the first full-scale rally race in China started from Hong Kong. The Mitsubishi Lancer Turbo participated the race with first Chinese drivers. The rally moves across the border to mainland China and continued north to the capital Beijing. The first rally held in China was tough, with many difficulties not only for the participants but also for the supporters and operation staff. Sometimes it spent unexpected time passing through the crowd because many spectators gathered along the road where the rally passed. Some of the highly tuned top cars reportedly had bad conditions due to long low speeds as they passed through the crowds. Overcoming these difficulties and unforeseen incidents, entrants reached to the goal to Beijing on September 19. The 24 cars that completed the race held a parade run in Tiananmen Square, ending the historic event safely. The Mitsubishi Lancer N.J. Lu pair finished in 3rd, and 20th in overall. This step was an important step towards the next development of Motorization in China.