When driving 5500km with 7 cars it would be a miracle if nothing happened to one of the cars. Unfortunately for us we weren’t that lucky. In the second week of our trip we left Monaco and continued our journey towards Italy. The winding highway down the coast was a lovely road to drive, especially when accompanied by a GT3 RS, Carrera S, another 488, an M4 and an A45 AMG.
After a good day of driving on winding roads combined with mouthwatering backdrops in the heating sun well over 30 degrees, the sun started to descend. And as it did, we found a minor problem with the GT3 RS. The right rear tire was completely destroyed, but still drivable (we thought) so we decided to continue our journey and drive to the nearest Porsche dealer. As we were driving, the tire left marks on the ground, meaning it was trying to hold itself together at all cost. We slowed down to 60km/h to try and make it to the Porsche Centre in Parma and turned our on hazards. But soon enough we found out Italians don’t really give a drit since they still blasted past with 140km/h. Then our worst fear happened: The tire popped and we were stuck on the Italian highway in a corner slightly bent to the right, which meant they could only see us at the very last moment.
The first thing that popped up in my mind was to grab the emergency triangle and get it on the ground as soon as possible before anyone could crash into us. While I ran down the highway to put them on the ground, I could hear tire noises behind me. When I looked around I saw a truck slamming the brakes, locking all tires to come to standstill. The white smoke coming off the tires made it hard to see what actually happened and I was prepared for the worst, but luckily the 23 ton lorry came to a standstill a few inches away from the M4. I could literally feel my heart in my throat. That could have ended up really bad!
I finally managed to put the triangles on the ground to warn other drivers. But if you thought that would help, you are wrong. It seemed that Italians had never seen an emergency triangle before. At least that’s what I’m thinking, since they just swerved around the triangle and continued in the same lane approaching us at 140km/h. When they finally opened their eyes and saw us blocking their lane, they tried to swerve left to prevent a collision. It didn’t take long until both emergency triangles were absolutely destroyed by Italy’s brutal drivers. In fact, it took longer to unfold the triangle than it could do its work standing on the road. We all agreed we were risking our lives if we stayed on the highway, especially since it was getting darker. Luckily I found an emergency place down the road and we moved all the cars to that place.
We were finally off the highway. But it didn’t mean we wouldn’t stumble upon any more problems. A few hours later when it was pitch black someone arrived who could help us with the tire. He looked at the car, turned around to us and said: “Centre bolt? I have never seen this before!” We told him to bring the right tools and a 2 meter bar to open the bolt, since you need at least 50nm to open it. But instead he brought the tiniest wringe I have ever seen before. They tried to open it with brutal force by jumping on it, but ended up breaking their own tools. The Italians left and we were stuck alone on the highway again. It looked like we had to spend the whole night on the highway so I tried to turn the 488 into a bed. Worst decision ever. I tried to sleep, but the bucket seats totally destroyed my back. I decided to jump out of the car again and walk around like an old grandpa with a broken back.
After being stranded on the highway for eight hours and four visits by the police, the tow truck finally arrived to pick up the car. It felt so sketchy that I had the feeling it would be the last time seeing the Porsche while the tow truck drove away. We continued our way and at 6:30 in the morning we finally arrived at a hotel in Parma. After a long long day I crashed into bed and fell asleep immediately. A long sleep? Nope, we had to be at the Porsche dealer in the early morning to get back on the road as soon as possible. Only if the Porsche dealer would cooperate….