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The Rest of the Story... (from Buttonwillow)

Discussion in 'California (Southern)' started by Bmyth-FDC, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. Bmyth-FDC

    Bmyth-FDC F1 Rookie

    Oct 4, 2002
    2,742
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Byron
    Ok guys... you asked for it.

    Special thanks should go out to Rich Barker for fitting the FDC group into the sold-out Buttonwillow event... Almost everyone that went out ate some dirt, but also had a blast. I know personally, I had a wonderful time!

    Ok, so you all know what happened on saturday and sunday. (Check original thread here: http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6161) Other than spinning out on the final lap of the intermediate session #1 (yes, Rich, you can stop laughing now!) my car ran great on saturday. The bus-stop configuration of Buttonwillow was very fun, and very fast. Too bad I really didn't have the tires to keep up with Carl's "slick" 348 with the totally dialed out new suspension and Pirelli's! Dinner was an adventure, as we drove nearly 25 miles down to downtown Bakersfield looking for a decent restaurant, just to find ONE Outback Steakhouse with a 80-90min wait. Carl and Brian were sent on a scouting mission, and found Panda Palace, where we eat ate up a buffet storm for $12 a person! sweet. Sat night was chill... beer and shootin' the breeze at Chateau 6.

    Sunday had an ominous beginning. Not only did my car NOT start in the Motel 6 parking lot, I had issues all day long with my throttle cable getting stuck... nothing major, though, b/c mechanically, the car ran/handled beautifully. A little spray of the secret sauce and we were off the the track... first session out, I get stuck on the back straight after the "Esses"... it was great to get stuck there, though, b/c I got to hear all the car up close and personal as they roared by near the burms.

    2nd session out... awesome!!! Now this was a fun session. Carl and I had the guys from Topspin designs do some wheel to wheel video footage of our cars out on the track... it was awesome. Great session. I still have to contact those guys to get the video clips from them.

    Then I got a ride in the radical SR3. If you want to know what a surreal adrenaline high is all about, jump in a Radical. OMG!! Thanks again, Arnaud for the amazing experience. That bike, I mean car, sticks to the ground!! We are doing 110-115 going straight into Lost Hills/Magic Mtn, and around 120 going into the last turn before every the front straights. WOW!! Everyone was watching as that thing went down the straight shooting flames out the back. I was privileged to ride in it!! :)

    Then it was the last session (for me anyhow)... While taking Arnaud out on the last run, we clear 1 1/3 laps... ouch... there was one part that was fun, as we saw Laurent tailing me going into the last turn... I braked late, matched to 3rd, and threw the 348C around the corner, apexing and going wide to the edge... Laurent (in his stock 330Ci) did the same, went in too hot, and SPLASH! ... good thing only an ego was bruised. After the front straight, and as we round the slow part of the track, turn #2... I bring the car up to speed again, just to downshift and find my throttle stuck wide open in 3rd. I had to shut off and coast off the track at tower 2. It was neat being stuck out there as we watched all the other car come over the crest and taking "different" lines, hehe... I have some great pictures of my car out there - will post later.

    At the end of the day, after the combined beginner session, after several unsuccessful attempts to get my car started again, we tug it back to the paddocks with the RF VW Support vehicle. Cool car! It was getting late... they were closing the gates...couldn't get the car started.

    Time to call AAA.

    Everyone left the track by 5:30-5:45. Arick and I (thanks Arick for sticking it out with me all night... I still owe you that steak dinner, buddy) waited in the cold pitch black night until a big AAA flat bed showed up. We were to tow my car to the shop in LA. After some careful wood block placement and winching, my car is on the flatbed and locked and ready to go... I think.

    Arick and I were starving so we stopped for hot dogs at the local gas station... We figured we'd give the truck a head start and we'd catch up to him. After some dogs and other junk food, we started off. Arick's Tsi is quick and we realized we were doing some fast speeds trying to find the truck... no luck. Every truck we passed had some other car on it. It wasn't until we passed the grapevine, passed Santa Clarita, and got onto 405 south nearing the Sunset pass that we came across the truck. While cruising in 3rd lane, I catch the truck in the corner of my eye pulled over on the side of the road... but something more, I see a red splash of color near the truck, but not on the truck. I knew the worst had happened.

    YES.

    My Ferrari had fallen off the tow truck. We zip around, take the next exit, and loop back around... when we pull up to the truck, all I saw was my car, facing diagonally downward on the side of the hill, on the mountainside, off the 405 freeway. I'm getting out of the car, Arick is telling me to remain calm... I walk up to see my car in the dirt on the side of the mountain... I start to ask the driver how the heck something like this could happen. He comes over and is ghostly white and tells me he doesn't know what happened. I ask him how fast he was going and if he hit a bump... he claims he was doing 65... WOW. I was livid. My car was on the side of a mountain! Well, he assures me they have good insurance and then makes a request that I punch him in the face... I'm like "What? No, I'm not going to punch you - that's not going to solve anything!"

    It was already past 9pm... so I took some digital photos as he pulled the car off the mountain to take it to the shop. There it lies at the moment, awaiting insurance adjustors to step in and resolve the matter.

    The car is badly damaged... unfortunately, this encounter with the dirt is NOT just a bruised ego...

    And that's the "rest of the story"... Who knows maybe this belongs in the wrecked exotics archive or in a "How on earth could this happen" website... I'm still in shock, as are many that were witness to this catastrophe, I presume. Hopefully, it doesn't show up on eBay as "never been tracked, never seen rain, concours quality, shows like a 100pt car"... LOL. All joking aside - I am truly devastated. For those that had a chance to enjoy the car with me, I think you might agree, that for many reasons, this was truly a one-of-a-kind vehicle and will be difficult, near impossible to replace...

    Well, at least I got a good track weekend in before this happened. Arnaud, too bad you sold the Lotus. I will have to look elsewhere now! :) Thanks for your help Costa - sorry to put you out on a sunday evening. Needless to say, I will be sorting this out in the next few days/weeks... so, no more 348CH car for now, but hopefully, something new to add to the stable soon...

    Just my luck... *sigh*

    Thanks for all the support, everyone. I know I'll get through this one.

    Sadly,
    Byron
     
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  3. Dom

    Dom F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 5, 2002
    8,262
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Dom V.
    Jeez Byron, that's awful.

    I wish you the best of luck with the insurance settlement. You are right, it will be a tough car to replace. The sound of that engine is not something I will forget anytime soon.

    If you start going into Ferrari withdrawal, give me a call, and we can go for a ride in my GT4- It won't be the same, but maybe it will help.

    Dom
     
  4. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast
    holy **** man! that's one of the craziest stories i've ever heard!
    sorry byron.
    -hubert
     
  5. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran

    Nov 2, 2003
    5,614
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Brian
    Byron, very, very sorry this happened. The historical and emotional investment can't be replaced. Keep your chin up, we'll get you through this.
     
  6. acw

    acw Karting

    Nov 3, 2003
    122
    Byron,

    I'm so sorry about your car. Hopefully it will be totaled by the insurance and you'll get top $$ for it. Drop me a mail / give me a call if I do anything to help.

    Arnaud
     
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  8. AJS328

    AJS328 F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Apr 23, 2003
    7,520
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Augustine Staino
    Byron,

    That is a real shame. I wish you the best with whatever settlement that you receive. Good luck! :)

    -Augustine
     
  9. 720

    720 F1 Rookie

    Jul 14, 2003
    2,623
    So. Cal and No. Utah
    Full Name:
    Rick
    noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.....

    this can't be true :( but i know byron and he will come out of this better off.
     
  10. Race_S4

    Race_S4 Rookie

    Jan 20, 2004
    5
    Sorry to hear Byron's car went through this weekend. Those two Ferrari's are the best car to look at on track. Wish I get the chance to drive one.

    My name is Stan and was one of the instructor at the event. I went out behind the Ferrari's and took some video clips. However, I have not process that clip yet. I will post up later today.

    Here is a video clip I have already. Enjoy!

    3 laps
    http://www.topspindesign.com/videos/realcam/2lap_buttonwillow.wmv

    Video -
    2 TopSpin Motorsport RealCam camera used. One mounted on the front bumper (main screen). Second RealCam was mounted inside the front windshield facing both driver and passenger.

    Audio -
    TopSpin 4-channel microphone unit used. The 4-channel microphone has 2 channel sound pickup and 2 channel for the intercome. Only the 2 channel sound input used. One pickup was mounted in the engine bay close the the intake airbox. 2nd pickup was placed in the trunk.

    In the video, you can see me (driving) and Joe (passenger). You can see how Joe is strapped on with the 4-pt harness and really see how it works during the high corner-G. I am strapped with 4-pt harness onto the TopSpin syn suede sport seat.
     
  11. costa

    costa Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    372
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Costantino Bertuzzi
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  13. costa

    costa Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    372
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Costantino Bertuzzi
    2
     
  14. costa

    costa Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    372
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Costantino Bertuzzi
    3
     
  15. costa

    costa Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    372
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Costantino Bertuzzi
    4
     
  16. costa

    costa Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    372
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Costantino Bertuzzi
    5
     
  17. costa

    costa Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    372
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Costantino Bertuzzi
    6
     
  18. tifosi

    tifosi F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Sep 5, 2001
    5,382
    texas
    Full Name:
    Tom D
    ouch - Byron sorry to hear about this man - too bad you can't blame martin for this :) Anyway - be careful with the insurance - ie I would not mention the car was at a track day hours before. They are liable to claim that voids any insurance etc etc. good luck


    Tom
     
  19. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    9,842
    Orange County, CA
    Wow, that sucks Byron. I'm sure you'll do your due dilligence prior to your dealings with the insurance folks. Keep in mind that they will try to weasel out of stuff if they can. Good luck!

    Scott
     
  20. gezuvor

    gezuvor Rookie

    Jan 19, 2004
    8
    Ladera Ranch, CA
    Full Name:
    Richard Barker
    Byron, this is indeed a sad ending to a great weekend. I guess you can take solace in the fact that it died doing what it it was bred for... :(

    ~Rich | RacerFactory.com
     
  21. Cavallino Motors

    Cavallino Motors F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    May 31, 2001
    14,143
    Florida or Argentina
    Full Name:
    Martin W.
    Byron,
    after you called me yesterday to tell me I could not stop laughing. I mean this is the craziest story that is out there. You have to admit that.

    I guess you can drive me 308 for a few weeks if you want.

    Keep thinking of it, you start to become a good customer LOL. I need more Byrons :) Maybe I will start to make some money after all.

    Change your avatoar to a tow truck please :)

    Sorry I am still chuckling....it is sad and funny at the same time :)
     
  22. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    7,731
    CA
    Full Name:
    Jerry
    arrrrggghhh

    That is terrible - How does a car fall off a tow truck???

    Terrible news Byron - Hope it works out for the best.
     
  23. Cavallino Motors

    Cavallino Motors F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    May 31, 2001
    14,143
    Florida or Argentina
    Full Name:
    Martin W.
    Lets call Bob the previous owner and have some fun with him....


    Byron's car has an interesting history. It had during a practice session in Road Atlanta an incident with a deer. Now how many racecar incidents with deer do you hear of? Now if fell of the tow truck LOL

    Supersticious?
     
  24. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran

    Nov 2, 2003
    5,614
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Brian
    Not at all.

    Being on the track and falling off of a flat bed truck doesn't have anything to do with one another. The insurance of the towing company is 100% liable all the way. The tow truck driver was either negligent (very likely) or just bad luck/freak accident (very unlikely).

    Besides, the 'track' was 'drivers training' and not a race.
     
  25. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 9, 2002
    6,928
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Jordan
    Oh man Byron that is horrible! I would have NEVER guessed this after talking to you last night. Falling off of the tow truck...my god! I always loved your car and it is a real shame to see it go like this :(

    Good luck. If you ever need any help just let me know!
     
  26. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
    Global Moderator Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
    25,837
    E ' ' '/ F
    Full Name:
    Pikop Andropof
    Sorry to hear about this. I had a blast riding in that car when I came to LA.

    The pics don't look horribly bad, unless I'm missing something obvious -- any chance of a repair?
     
  27. Verruckt

    Verruckt Rookie

    Jan 19, 2004
    4
    SoCal
    Full Name:
    Stephen Miller
    Damn Byron... really sorry to see that. :(
     
  28. SAF1

    SAF1 Karting

    Jun 26, 2003
    247
    OC CA & Bangkok
    Full Name:
    Steve
    I can not believe it! Sorry about your lost and congratulations on your new car (on the way, I hope)
     

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