Watch Separate Crashes Claim Two Ferrari 488s This Weekend
The Estoril Experience Day got a little too real for one guest, while the Nürburgring struck yet again at the VLN Endurance Race.
The Ferrari 488 is an incredible machine—as we know firsthand, it's the kind of car that stays with you, that has you dreaming about rocketing around the world's most famous racetracks. And while we don't know how many of these beauties Ferrari will ultimately make, there are sadly two fewer of them in the world after a particularly cruel weekend saw a GTB fly off the first curve during an open track day at Estoril Circuit and a GT3 get spun straight into the wall on the Nürburgring in the second race of the VLN Endurance Championship series. Vai con dio, amicos.
We'll start with the 488 GTB. Yesterday, Estoril Circuit in Portugal hosted their annual Estoril Experience Day, an open track event where the public can come and pay to drive a few laps in between some low-key club races. If you've never seen a map of the track, it starts with a long straight that ends in a very sharp right hand turn. Taken from the end of the straight, the video shows a red McLaren starting to slow down as it enters the curve with the grey Ferrari in hot pursuit. But instead of also slowing down, the GTB shoots inside, misses the McLaren by a foot as it flies straight over the turn and across the gravel runoff before smashing into the tire barrier at an estimated 124 mph.
It's not clear why this happened—the organizers put out a statement blaming an unspecified mechanical issue. It would make sense if the brakes went out, but you can see smoke coming from the tires as the car crosses in front of the McLaren and it's not clear if that's from braking or sliding. It could be they were just carrying too much speed off the straight, too late on the brakes. Still, the good news is the driver escaped with minor injuries and the track day went on. And all things considered, the Ferrari doesn't look too bad.
Moving east to Germany, the Nürburgring played host to the second race in the VLN Endurance Championship series on Saturday. The GT3 is one of the racing variants of the 488, and it's definitely no slouch when it comes to professional racing, winning at Bathurst earlier this year. You can bet Ferrari has high hopes for the VLN series, but things took a turn for the worse yesterday when the driver of their GT3 entry took the inside line to pass a Porsche, clipped the Porsche's front end on the follow through, and spun face first into the wall.
As a bonus, the Ferrari driver quickly hops out and runs over to the Porsche, ripping open the passenger's side door to yell at the other driver. I'm not sure why he thinks it's the other guy's fault—the Porsche never deviated from his line, and the GT3 tried to cut back to the outside too quickly. So perhaps the decision to include footage of the cleanup crew ignominiously dragging the Ferrari onto a flatbed is a commentary on that show of sportsmanship.