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Discussion Starter #1
My father recently purchased a 2001 360 Spyder, which we took to a SCCA event this past weekend. I was driving the car on the track when the right rear tire blew (at about 120 mph) and sent us into a spin that resulted in us getting into the wall at about 80 mph causing significant damage to the car.

My questions are the following:
1. We had only owned the car for about 3 months and hadn't driven much more than 200 miles. We had not checked or adjusted the air pressure until the day of the event - when we adjusted the air pressure, both front tires and the back left all had 24.5 psi; but the right rear had 39 (!!) psi. The right rear is the tire that blew; could the dealer have been covering something up by putting more air into the right rear? I guess it just seemed rather fishy to me that the right rear had so much more air than the others, and ended up being the tire that blew.

2. The airbags didn't deploy upon impact. The car was careening backwards when it collided with the wall, but shouldn't both airbags have deployed, regardless of direction?

Any insight would be much appreciated, as we're still trying to figure out if there may have been some history to the car we're unaware of.

Thanks!
 

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Why are you asking?

First and above all, thank goodness no one was seriously hurt.

1. With absolutely no offense intended, it sounds a bit like you’re looking for a scapegoat to pay for your misfortune. You knew before you drove onto the track that your insurance would not cover any damage so it appears you may be fishing to try and make the dealer somehow responsible. I do not believe he is, either morally or under the law. Responsibility for the general condition of the tires (including how much air was in them) passed to your father the instant he became the legal owner. He clearly acknowledged that responsibility by checking the pressure (and by inference, their condition) before getting on the track.

Why does your misfortune have to be somebody else’s fault? What does it matter what “history” the car has? The minute you guys drove onto the track for the purpose of racing you accepted all the consequence which might accrue regardless of any “history”. Unfortunately a tire blew resulting in a messed up car. Everyone is relieved you and your dad were not seriously hurt but it seems you guys need to take responsibility for your own choices. Sorry but no sympathy from me.

2. Airbags are designed to protect you from front-end collisions and will generally only deploy when the sensors mounted in the front of the car are whacked. Sounds like they behaved exactly as designed and intended.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
re: Why are you asking?

I realize now that my original post might have come across like I'm looking for a scapegoat; this couldn't be further from the truth. The only reason I ask is that there were two things (tire pressure and airbags) that struck me as odd and wanted to gain some insight into the situation. We're not seeking any reparations from the dealership, or anything of that nature - just asking based on a few perceived oddities.

We have every intention of paying for the damage, and will not even bother contacting the insurance company in all likelihood (Hagerty policy is pretty explicit in stating that they do not cover any on-track events). The car is already in the shop and we'll have a better understanding of the overall damage today.

Attached is a pic of the car post-wreck
 

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Sorry about that!

Ouch! I mean really OUCH!!!

Many thanks for the clarification and picture. Please accept my apology for the mistaken inference. Again, I’m just glad you and your dad are Ok.
 

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You sir are a very lucky man to be walking away from that and double lucky that you didn't smack the front end.

Hope all gets fixed well good luck.
 

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Very sorry to hear about your misfortune. This is not meant as a criticism, but seeing what happened I guess if you have tire pressures that high you should have the tire replaced as there may have been internal damage because of it. I do wonder why the pressure was that high - personally, I'm not in the habit of checking my pressures often. I guess that has changed now! So thank you very much for posting and I hope everything works out.

Best of luck, and I'm glad you and your dad are ok!


Onno



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Oh my, glad to hear you and your father are alright. Good luck with the repairs.

Chris
 

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Lucky you got away unbruised, Ferraris are good cars and built tough.

From my personal experience, a street car, if driven often, will tend to lose tire pressure. I check my Ferrari's tire pressures before going on a trip, and following that, when out for a drive. There is usually a small loss that occurred after a long drive on a couple of tires.

But if the car sits in the garage for a week or two, and is then briefly driven, it usually holds the cold numbers.

Driving a car (any car) at high speeds with the wrong tire pressure may affect its attitude heavily.

Now with regards to driving fast on a track with a street Ferrari, you should keep in mind that it is not a racer, and at very high speeds you can't really say you're safe.

Of course, if you keep that in mind, you can still drive the hell out of it, but perhaps you will look out and won't go as fast as if it were a full blown racer.

Good luck repairing, and continue to enjoy...:cool:
 
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