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Old September 21st, 2002, 09:59 AM   #1
HP in SF
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Driving Events...sober reminder

I was instructing at the Thunderhill Street School yesterday and witnessed a single car incident. I was in the car with a student in the B group and the red flag came out while we were on the front straight and everyone came to a quick stop.

A Mitsubishi 3000GT with an instructor as the passenger, went through the cone chicanes going into Turn 1 too fast, lost control of the car and went straight into a concrete wall that was off the track after the pit exit. The impact completely smashed the front of the car and both driver and instructor, although conscious, were sent to the hospital for further observation. According to track officials, this was the hardest hit, race or non-race, they had seen in years.

Being involved in high performance driving events in various roles, I can't remind everyone enough how important it is that we're out there to have fun and that no one should be driving much beyond 7/10ths of their ability at these events. The chicane was placed there to slow people going into Turn 1, itself a very high speed turn which could be an invitation to disaster if not negotiated properly. Yet, many drivers, tried to drive through the chicane faster than they should.

The right thing to do in the case of the 3000GT driver, was to have gone straight and take out a few cones knowing his speed was probably too high to properly and safely negotiate the chicane. Not only did he total his car, he may have caused his instructor to think twice about his role.

I hope the next time you take your car to the track that you'd be reminded of this post. Just remember that at some point, going faster could have disastrously unintented results. Have fun but be safe.

Hunpin
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Old September 21st, 2002, 10:05 AM   #2
Catalog Guy
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Sorry to hear

Important thing is it sounds like there were no serious injuries... let's hope that's the case. I don't recall a wall past turn 1. I thought it just went straight up the hill.
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Old September 21st, 2002, 10:59 AM   #3
Tom M (Sunol, CA)
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Sounds like the student lost control navigating the

chicane and wound up going into the wall that separates the track from the hot pit area or just past that.
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Old September 21st, 2002, 05:28 PM   #4
Trygve Isaacson
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the wall

At the street school they place a chicane of cones just past the end of the pit wall, to force students to slow down before turn 1. However, I can see how, by royally screwing up that chicane, out of control and way too fast, one could end up going off to the right (the outside) on the straight at about where the normal turn 1 brake zone is, where the paddock wall continues. That sounds like what happened.

Personally, I'm not sure that the temporary chicane there is even a good idea to begin with. It is very rare for anyone to go off in turn 1, and those who do almost always go off to the inside (no wall, no hill). Even the outside and exit of the turn have safe runoff. Because turn 1 is at the end of the longest straight (fastest speed at brake zone), and yet can be taken a lot faster than you think at first (slightly banked, significantly uphill, only a 75 degree turn), every driver starts out braking way more than they need to, slowing down plenty, and thus don't get into trouble. The chicane cones may simply induce an extremely high speed slalom maneuver that is actually more dangerous.

So after considering it, I think TracQuest and Unlimited Laps (and every other group than the SCCA street school) are doing well to not put the temporary chicane before turn 1.


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Old September 21st, 2002, 08:21 PM   #5
HP in SF
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Re: Sorry to hear

There wasn't much information on the condition of both driver and instructor except we were told they were stablized at the track and taken to the hospital for further observation.

I agree with Trygve regarding the use of the chicane. With it in place, drivers tend to treat it as another technical hurdle on the track. At UnlimitedLaps events, I've seen how things are much better without the chicane and we just remind everyone to start out the day being more conservative with Turn 1 and build up their speed through it progressively.

High speed driving events can only survive on good safety record at such events. Litigation resulting from increased property and personal injury incidents at these events will either cause the costs to go up or kill the few avenues we have for high performance driving.
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Old September 22nd, 2002, 10:37 PM   #6
Scott Fisher (Redwood Shores)
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Yeah saw this car in the paddock all weekend.

A very sober reminder. You can see the front end it is totally smushed. Glad the driver/passenger were ok.
A great guy named Fabian put his yellow RX7 off in 1 today right behind me.....but he did it the right way...corrected and went off straight...no harm no foul, just some excitement!


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Old September 23rd, 2002, 08:57 AM   #7
Trygve Isaacson
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club photo is blocking images

The image http://a7.cpimg.com/image/8B/90/13027467-9746-02000155-.jpg appears as an ad for club photo. I've seen this happen for several images posted here in the last couple of days.
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Old September 23rd, 2002, 11:01 AM   #8
Rick Jiloty
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(info re:) club photo is blocking images

Club Photo has made linking a feature available only to paid members. This email has gone out to basic members doing linking (or it was earlier this month).
.
Dear Club Photo Member,
You are being sent this e-mail because our logs have indicated that you
are currently deep linking images from our site. "Deep linking" refers
to the process of linking directly to an image from the Club Photo site
to show up on another web site.
Unfortunately, our bandwidth costs have skyrocketed as some users have
abused this feature to host images for large or adult sites. Because of
this we have been forced to remove deep linking as a free basic member
feature and move it to a premium member only feature. If you are not a
premium member and wish to continue deep linking you can become a
premium member at:
www.clubphoto.com/members...m_info.php
(try this link:
http://www.clubphoto.com/_cgi-bin/members/sign_up.pl?r=cp_join_homepage )
Thank you for your understanding and I apologize for any inconvenience
this may cause. We will not make the switch of deep linking to premium
for another two weeks to give you time to sign up or remove the links.
Please note that deep linking is intended for personal use on low
traffic pages. If the bandwidth associated with deep linking your images
passes a certain level we have the right to freeze your account.
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Old September 23rd, 2002, 02:52 PM   #9
Catalog Guy
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Time to pay up Dr. Fisher *NM*

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Old September 23rd, 2002, 03:56 PM   #10
Scott Fisher (Redwood Shores)
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OH NO! They caught me "deep linking"

"Unfortunately, our bandwidth costs have skyrocketed as some users have abused this feature to host images for large or adult sites". Andrew...you said this was OK
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