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Old 05-07-2017, 04:28 PM
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Very Strange Race Track Expereince

I would appreciate any input on a very strange experience I had this morning at Sonoma Raceway. While going to full throttle about 100 yards pass the apex for turn 6 (the carrousel), the car abruptly spun. It was as if I hit a patch of oil and slammed on the brakes. There was no warning and no traction control activation. This was the first lap of the second session and I was easing into the throttle, probably doing 75-80 mph at the time of the spin. I did a 360+ spin and was able to continue back to the pits. It was as if all 4 tires were locked up….. lots of smoke. I didn’t even get a chance to use the brakes before sliding to a stop.
The red BRAKE light was on, the amber warning light with a diagonal line through CTS came on and code F1-S indicated. These dash waning lights did not come back on after turning the car off and on again. The car was in Sport mode. I just bought the car 3 weeks and 500 miles ago. I had a PPI done and a service.
The manual states: BRAKE Warning: Caution: Danger of rear wheels locking due to malfunction of the electronic brake-force distribution system and possibility of spinning". NO ****!
I called it quits and drove the car home after the spin. Nothing seemed out of sorts on the drive home.
Since acquiring the car the brakes have felt odd and make a scraping noise when coming to a stop. I took in back to the same service tech and they dismantled and cleaned the brakes, saying there was nothing wrong with them. The same noise remained. Unrelated to this track event, the car seems difficult to stop (before and after the track event), requiring an unusual amount of pedal pressure, almost as if the brakes are unassisted and never seem to get a good ‘set’ for lack of better term. This is my first Ferrari and my first car with ceramic brakes. That said, I have been racing a Porsche at Sonoma for the pass 10 yrs. with NASA and PCA.
I’m having the car trailered back to the service tech tomorrow but thought I would see if anyone has any ideas on whats wrong with the car. Thanks

Last edited by ylshih; 05-07-2017 at 04:41 PM. Reason: Circumventing profanity filter
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:45 PM
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If the car has CCB's they do grind a bit, particularly at slow speeds. That could be normal.
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:03 PM
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What model and year Ferrari? How many miles on it? Do you have the previous service records?

Can you complete your profile?

Lots of questions, no answers!
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:30 PM
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The folks asking for more info are right. I'm wondering: did you use the parking brake in the paddock after the first session?
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:56 PM
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I would guess real wheel lockup , either brakes or diff
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:17 PM
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it's almost impossible to do accurate internet diagnosis.....and it sort of depends on which model car, etc etc.

some random thoughts

I've done thousands of laps at Sonoma and, every now and then, Turn 6 bites. The rotation in the car, the desire to get greedy with the throttle and the few "humps" can unsettle a car and then you're going for a ride. Too much power, too much steering lock, car unsettles and around you go. Having video and data usually ends the "it wasn't me, it's the car" debate in most situations there

1) when you loop a car, the tires will toss off a lot of smoke, going sideways does thatt

2) what tires/how old? were they cold? up to pressure? that's a common reason for unplanned spins in long corners

3) CCM brakes are awesome, IF they are bedded in properly. They will also sounds like they are grinding a bit, particularly at low speeds. They also require heat to work best, which sometimes means a few rotations to generate that heat. Last, Ferrari ceramics (eg. the 458) both require more pedal pressure than most folks expect, have (to me) weird pedal feel due to the EBD software (I have 30,000 km on track in 458 platforms) and, if you couple that, make the initial brake feel/action a bit odd until you're used to it.

4) when you spin one of these cars, several things happen - the ESC, CST and ABS gets confused among other things. The car can't compute the differentials in wheel speeds, direction, acceleration vectors et al and "shuts down". In particular, ABS will switch off and you'll lock the brakes without thinking. 99% a restart will clear the codes, worst case do a hard resent. (I've done hard resets on the track during a race....not fun, but it clears the codes)

5) you could have something off in the brakes, but that's probably LESS likely, other than poorly bedded pads. FWIW at Sonoma my pedal pressure entering T7 is about 1200psi and the car is dancing on the edge of ABS; if you're in a street 458 then you should be in ABS there, trailing off and carrying it through that turn (how deep and far depends on which track config you're running)

6) mid-engine Ferraris (360, 430, 458) are very pitch sensitive, so if somehow you accidentally induce pitch when in a high load corner, the car will either push (most are dialed in to push) but will rotate quickly underpower if the rear unloads; less about the onboard systems and more purely about the mechanical grip at the rear losing out to laws of physics

hope this helps
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 400iGuy View Post
What model and year Ferrari? How many miles on it? Do you have the previous service records?

Can you complete your profile?

Lots of questions, no answers!
Sorry guys, my bad. The car is an '08 Scud with 13K miles. The PPI indicated 80% remaining on brakes and 75% on the clutch. Yes, I have previous service records I don't remember see anything of note but will look at them again.The car is immaculate.
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
it's almost impossible to do accurate internet diagnosis.....and it sort of depends on which model car, etc etc.

some random thoughts

I've done thousands of laps at Sonoma and, every now and then, Turn 6 bites. The rotation in the car, the desire to get greedy with the throttle and the few "humps" can unsettle a car and then you're going for a ride. Too much power, too much steering lock, car unsettles and around you go. Having video and data usually ends the "it wasn't me, it's the car" debate in most situations there

1) when you loop a car, the tires will toss off a lot of smoke, going sideways does thatt

2) what tires/how old? were they cold? up to pressure? that's a common reason for unplanned spins in long corners

3) CCM brakes are awesome, IF they are bedded in properly. They will also sounds like they are grinding a bit, particularly at low speeds. They also require heat to work best, which sometimes means a few rotations to generate that heat. Last, Ferrari ceramics (eg. the 458) both require more pedal pressure than most folks expect, have (to me) weird pedal feel due to the EBD software (I have 30,000 km on track in 458 platforms) and, if you couple that, make the initial brake feel/action a bit odd until you're used to it.

4) when you spin one of these cars, several things happen - the ESC, CST and ABS gets confused among other things. The car can't compute the differentials in wheel speeds, direction, acceleration vectors et al and "shuts down". In particular, ABS will switch off and you'll lock the brakes without thinking. 99% a restart will clear the codes, worst case do a hard resent. (I've done hard resets on the track during a race....not fun, but it clears the codes)

5) you could have something off in the brakes, but that's probably LESS likely, other than poorly bedded pads. FWIW at Sonoma my pedal pressure entering T7 is about 1200psi and the car is dancing on the edge of ABS; if you're in a street 458 then you should be in ABS there, trailing off and carrying it through that turn (how deep and far depends on which track config you're running)

6) mid-engine Ferraris (360, 430, 458) are very pitch sensitive, so if somehow you accidentally induce pitch when in a high load corner, the car will either push (most are dialed in to push) but will rotate quickly underpower if the rear unloads; less about the onboard systems and more purely about the mechanical grip at the rear losing out to laws of physics

hope this helps
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback and my apologies for not providing specific info on the car, it's an '08 Scud with 13 K mi. with new Trofeo R tires and new alignment set slightly more aggressive for the track. This was the second session so the tires and the car were still warm from the first run 1 hour prior. As I said, I have lots of track time at Sonoma; over 50 races, many test days and dozens of DE events in a Porsche street car so I understand every corner intimately. Since this was my first time on a track with the car I was focused on taking it easy and learning the cars dynamics. I did not "induce pitch" as I was out of the carousel about 100 yards past the apex slowly unwinding the steering wheel as it tracked towards the exit burm several hundred yards down the straight on the right. I was applying throttle carefully, with minimal steering input and all of a sudden it goes into a spin. This spin was very sudden with no chance to correct or catch it with a change in driver input. Why didn't the traction control system activate? I had felt it earlier in the first session a couple of times coming out of T 11 but didn't feel it at all prior to the spin. Also, I never felt ABS engage and I was trying hard several times going into T7 in the first session.
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:24 PM
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Have the mechanic check the brake flex lines at the rear and the tube that bridges the two half's of the callipers. Could be a clog so when you pressed the brakes coming into the turn the brakes came on and did not release hampering the ABS from doing it's job. It also explains the difficulty in braking normally. This was experienced by me from a car that is 5 years older then yours but who is to say the brakes on your car were actually serviced properly.
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by asphaltca View Post
Have the mechanic check the brake flex lines at the rear and the tube that bridges the two half's of the callipers. Could be a clog so when you pressed the brakes coming into the turn the brakes came on and did not release hampering the ABS from doing it's job. It also explains the difficulty in braking normally. This was experienced by me from a car that is 5 years older then yours but who is to say the brakes on your car were actually serviced properly.
Thanks, this makes sense. I'll have it checked out. After further investigation into the services records, I learned the car had been served at a place with a poor reputation.
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by gw32 View Post
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback and my apologies for not providing specific info on the car, it's an '08 Scud with 13 K mi. with new Trofeo R tires and new alignment set slightly more aggressive for the track. This was the second session so the tires and the car were still warm from the first run 1 hour prior. As I said, I have lots of track time at Sonoma; over 50 races, many test days and dozens of DE events in a Porsche street car so I understand every corner intimately. Since this was my first time on a track with the car I was focused on taking it easy and learning the cars dynamics. I did not "induce pitch" as I was out of the carousel about 100 yards past the apex slowly unwinding the steering wheel as it tracked towards the exit burm several hundred yards down the straight on the right. I was applying throttle carefully, with minimal steering input and all of a sudden it goes into a spin. This spin was very sudden with no chance to correct or catch it with a change in driver input. Why didn't the traction control system activate? I had felt it earlier in the first session a couple of times coming out of T 11 but didn't feel it at all prior to the spin. Also, I never felt ABS engage and I was trying hard several times going into T7 in the first session.
good context

So assuming the driving technique was good, and what happened AFTER the spin (warning lights) is all normal, the question is "why did it happen".

I'm going to wager that the systems were operating normally (if not, you'd have a warning code), and since you were on the power at the time of the spin, the brakes had nothing to do with it (though you can/should check the brakes....again, bedding matters...)

A simple guess (which is all I can legitimately offer w/o data or video) is if you were on throttle aggressively (at that point on the track, you would/should be), if somehow the left tire lost grip (water/oil/sand), the torque imbalance even momentarily coupled with even just a bit of lock, and likely some right side load, caused the quick rotation that even the TCS or ESC (in sport mode) could compensate for. Generally speaking, it's hard to spin these cars under power as they just want to squat and push.

believe me, you CAN get wheelspin even with TCS, and you can spin a car with the car in wet mode on a dry track

if you have SD3 access you might be able to find the codes and it could give you some insights if there is an imbalance somewhere, but if it still existed you'd still have alarm codes.

Keep us posted
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:08 AM
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Thanks for the conversation...this is helping me work through what happened. After sleeping on it, if there is nothing wrong with the car I don't think I will ever track it again as I will not have any confidence in the cars handling. That spin was not driver induced. I was not being aggressive with the throttle. I would estimate throttle position at 40-60% at the time of spin and was easing into it...like there was an egg under the throttle pedal. There was a line of cars behind me and no one else spun so I don't think there was anything else on the track.

IMHO I am highly competent with high performance cars on this track. My race car was on par with a 430 Challenge (1:41's).

I'm taking it in this morning and will let you know the outcome.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:50 AM
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There are simple data collection devices, which along with an integrated camera would help. The AiM Solo DL and SmartyCam would help. Let me know if I can help.
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by gw32 View Post
After sleeping on it, if there is nothing wrong with the car I don't think I will ever track it again as I will not have any confidence in the cars handling. That spin was not driver induced. I was not being aggressive with the throttle. I would estimate throttle position at 40-60% at the time of spin and was easing into it...like there was an egg under the throttle pedal. There was a line of cars behind me and no one else spun so I don't think there was anything else on the track.

IMHO I am highly competent with high performance cars on this track. My race car was on par with a 430 Challenge (1:41's).

I'm taking it in this morning and will let you know the outcome.
Let us know what you find out about the cars mechanicals.

The 430 and 458 platforms - whether street or Challenge spec - are a blast on track. I would not let one "mystery spin" dissuade you from the car. These cars are quite docile when handled properly.

I had a "mystery spin" in my GT2 spec Porsche, entering turn 1 at NHIS (off the banking), turn-in was left, somehow I spun to the right....into the wall. Car checked out perfectly, and since I denied fault, we blamed it on the hand of God. It happens. A few overpriced Porsche parts later, I was back at it.

Hell, I spun on cold tires at COTA, backed the car in and destroyed about 15 styrofoam Pirelli signs while on the jumbotron in front of the F1 crowd. Didn't hit anything hard. It happens.
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:52 PM
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I had a similar situation happen to me with the 458 CH at 165 mph in the rain. I found the main problem to be air bubbles in the ABS pump.
You need to bleed the brakes with the Ferrari computer SD3/VCI. If you don't use the computer, air gets trapped in the ABS module. This can cause brake lock up (ABS ICE), TCS error's and Brake error's.
When you change the brake fluid with the factory computer. It will pump the air out of the ABS module.

After you bleed the brakes with the factory computer, do a hard reset with the computer. This will clear the error codes in all the computers/sensors. I have found electrical charged sensors cause issues too.

Last edited by gatorgreg; 05-08-2017 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
Let us know what you find out about the cars mechanicals.

The 430 and 458 platforms - whether street or Challenge spec - are a blast on track. I would not let one "mystery spin" dissuade you from the car. These cars are quite docile when handled properly.

I had a "mystery spin" in my GT2 spec Porsche, entering turn 1 at NHIS (off the banking), turn-in was left, somehow I spun to the right....into the wall. Car checked out perfectly, and since I denied fault, we blamed it on the hand of God. It happens. A few overpriced Porsche parts later, I was back at it.

Hell, I spun on cold tires at COTA, backed the car in and destroyed about 15 styrofoam Pirelli signs while on the jumbotron in front of the F1 crowd. Didn't hit anything hard. It happens.
What had you done that made God unhappy with you?? I like that term...Hand of God. That's what this seemed like. I have spun my GT3 class 911 several times, alway debris, fluid or a bone head move by me. Them most 'exciting' was going to 2nd in stead of 4th on a down shift from 6th while on the back straight at Portland. Had a wild agricultural excursion and made quite a mess, otherwise no damage except a curious brown stain??
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:38 PM
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I've been on that track many times, too, and based on your description, the only thing that makes sense is some sort of mechanical or electronics failure. I don't blame you for lacking confidence in the car after what happened to you.

From the sound of it, it seems likely there was some lockup of the rear brakes or the e-diff that induced the sudden spin. You say you were on throttle, not brake, but even still, the side slip sensors could apply rear brakes if they were confused although I've never seen any instance of over-application like it sounds happened to you. The e-diff also locks/unlocks based on sensor input.

Was your CST turned off? Regardless, I'd look into the systems that apply the rear brakes and that apply e-diff lockup, and get it resolved. This is not normal and could even happen in spirited street driving based on your description of the events, so it's a safety factor even if you never track it again. Good luck.
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Old 05-08-2017, 05:40 PM
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I've been on that track many times, too, and based on your description, the only thing that makes sense is some sort of mechanical or electronics failure. I don't blame you for lacking confidence in the car after what happened to you.

From the sound of it, it seems likely there was some lockup of the rear brakes or the e-diff that induced the sudden spin. You say you were on throttle, not brake, but even still, the side slip sensors could apply rear brakes if they were confused although I've never seen any instance of over-application like it sounds happened to you. The e-diff also locks/unlocks based on sensor input.

Was your CST turned off? Regardless, I'd look into the systems that apply the rear brakes and that apply e-diff lockup, and get it resolved. This is not normal and could even happen in spirited street driving based on your description of the events, so it's a safety factor even if you never track it again. Good luck.
Thanks for the suggestions. I will mention these to the tech. The manettino was in Sport mode both sessions. I never touched it. So I should have had benefit of all the electronic stability control systems. I've gone through that corner probably a thousand times, most of them flat out, racing at 10 10th. The only issues I ever had was occasionally I had to lift because I was going to run out of track at the exit burm.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:38 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will mention these to the tech. The manettino was in Sport mode both sessions. I never touched it. So I should have had benefit of all the electronic stability control systems. I've gone through that corner probably a thousand times, most of them flat out, racing at 10 10th. The only issues I ever had was occasionally I had to lift because I was going to run out of track at the exit burm.

So with sport mode on, the electronics will try to mediate what the sensors tell it is an out of control or threshold loss of grip condition. It will do so by causing the car's rear brakes to be applied or the e-diff to lock up, or both. It seems likely that the sensors were giving the electronics false input, that the electronics malfunctioned by misinterpreting good sensor input, or both.

I can't otherwise explain how the car would have suddenly applied either or both brakes or e-diff lockup with only your foot's throttle input. If it were a mechanical problem, you likely would see it manifest when you put your foot on the brake pedal.

Is it possible your foot was on both the brake and accelerator pedal at the same time? That might confuse the electronics.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:48 PM
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So with sport mode on, the electronics will try to mediate what the sensors tell it is an out of control or threshold loss of grip condition. It will do so by causing the car's rear brakes to be applied or the e-diff to lock up, or both. It seems likely that the sensors were giving the electronics false input, that the electronics malfunctioned by misinterpreting good sensor input, or both.

I can't otherwise explain how the car would have suddenly applied either or both brakes or e-diff lockup with only your foot's throttle input. If it were a mechanical problem, you likely would see it manifest when you put your foot on the brake pedal.

Is it possible your foot was on both the brake and accelerator pedal at the same time? That might confuse the electronics.
No way was I on the brake and accelerator at the same time. My feet aren't that big. Some sort of problem with the electronics seems to make the most sense. The only possible mechanical issue is that the car seems to require a lot of pedal pressure to stop and I was never able to activate ABS even though I tried several times to do so going into turn 7. Another poster mentioned a possible problem with air in the brake lines if they were improperly bled.
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