$290,000 Ferrari 458 likely a write-off after test drive crash - witness
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A Ferrari test driver must have revved the engine to enjoy a loud booming sound before crashing in Auckland's Victoria Park tunnel, says an expert who witnessed the end of the incident.
Paul Madeley, who builds and races sports cars, drove through the tunnel just as the Ferrari was being loaded on to a tow truck after it crashed into the side of the tunnel about midday on Saturday.
The 2013 Ferrari 458 Italia Coupe was listed for sale at Continental Cars for $289,900. It has a 4.5-litre engine and can go from a standing start to 100 km/h in under 3.4 seconds - with a top speed of 325km/h.
Madeley said he suspected the Ferrari was a write-off: "Based on the broken parts and oil on the ground the damage would have been excessive".
The tyre marks on the road indicated that the driver "spun the tyres up, probably trying to hear the stunning engine note in the tunnel".
"You could see from the damage, from the debris on the road and the amount of oil," he said.
"I would think the rear left hand side must have hit the wall and probably smashed the gearbox.
"You could tell from the tyre marks that the wheels have spun as it was going in a forwards direction, and then it's probably started to turn with the car going to the left, because you can see the tyre marks closer together. It must have hit the side wall of the tunnel.
"Obviously someone tried to rev the engine going through the tunnel and tried to listen to the engine noise.
"You could see where the tyres ran straight into the wall so he must have hit the wall at a fair speed, and he must have bounced off and ended up in the position you can see in the photograph."
Madeley said the big, wide brake marks showed that the driver was braking with the rear wheels, not with the front wheels to avoid crashing into any car in front.
"Because the two tyre lines were parallel [at first], he has obviously turned the traction control off on the car and he's spun the rear wheels," he said.
"He's lost control of the car so the front of the car is now pointing left, and that's why the black tyre lines get closer together.
"He has accelerated, spun the wheels, and lost control of the car to the left. The tyres have gripped and shot him into the wall at a 45-degree angle, and then he has bounced off the wall and come to a stop."
Madeley, who owns Motorsport Fabrications near Silverdale and who won the domestic Arrows race series a few years ago, said he had often seen similar driving in motorsports.
"A lot of people do it - turn the traction control off, open the windows, rev up, the wheels spin and you hear a wonderful noise going through the tunnel," he said.
But he said the driver was crazy to do it on the motorway.
"It's nuts, especially on a Saturday lunchtime when there's a lot of traffic around.
"He was trying to do it in a straight line but obviously he's inexperienced and it's just shot to the left. You'd have to be daft enough to spin the wheels in the first place."
- NZ Herald