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Fontana, Carrera GT hits the wall 170mph Fatal

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Fontana, Carrera GT hits the wall 170mph Fatal

Old 06-03-05, 12:24 PM
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Fontana, Carrera GT hits the wall 170mph Fatal

My condolences to the families and friends involved. As you all know I am forever trying to make my car, and my freinds cars safer. In this instance, it seems a loosely controlled open track event at Fontana cost two people their lives... More, and more we see faster and faster street cars at HPDEs. While such events are relatively rare, it seems we have had alot of fatalities in amatuer motorsports in the last year. I hope everyone reading this takes an extra mioment to consider all ioof their safety gear before the next time the head to the track. Case and point, I recently recieved an invatation from a local HPDE group to instruct a first time driver in their 1200hp Supra. The car is a drag car with R compounds. The jist of the invite was that anyone having a death wish, and qualified to instruct should contact the event organizers. Problem is that is obviously no joke... Not only does the individual endanger himself, but all those on (or near) the track. I know such things will happen, but at some point everyone is going to takle a hard look at safety at these events. Again, be safe, and see you at the track, Carl

http://www.supraforums.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=287682
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Old 06-03-05, 12:38 PM
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You have to be a member to look at the posts... can you post anything of interest here? I've seen two news reports on it, one saying the car caught fire, and another with a picture of the car resting against a guard rail.
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Old 06-03-05, 01:15 PM
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Here is a local news page on the accident!

http://www.nbc4.tv/news/4562562/detail.html
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Old 06-03-05, 01:51 PM
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Here's another account; Below is what I got from another website

Quote:
"The person driving the vehicle who was behind him (Ferrari Stradale) just called us and told us what happened from his view. He was first on the scene. He said the GT past him at over 150mph as they eased onto the straigh a way and was traveling close to 165mph when he saw the car swerve. He got his car stopped and was first on the scene. One person was DOA and the other (driver) passed away in the helicopter enroute to the hospital.

What happened with the pit marshall:

Marshall saw the GT coming and gave the Ferrari owner the "GO" Ferrari guy hesitated.. looked back at the track.. passenger was shouting "GO".. then marshall says "STOP" and the Ferrari guy takes off."

Quote:
"Ben died on the track with a fellow lover of cars Corey as his passenger. He was nearing a the end of a high speed straight away when another car was waived on to the track causing Ben to swerve to avoid the collision striking a concrete retaining wall head on. Corey died instanteously and Ben died as he was being flown to the hospital."
another account of the incident:

"I have tears in my eyes as I write this. I witnessed the whole thing.

IT WAS NOT BEN'S FAULT!!! THE ORGANIZER HAD PICKED THE 150MPH ZONE AS THE ENTRANCE TO THE TRACK AND THE F-CAR DRIVER PULLED IN FRONT OF HIM NEAR THE END OF THE STRAGHT. THERE WERE NO CORNER WORKS AND NO FLAGS!!! HE TRIED TO AVOID HIM AND SPUN OUT AND HIT THE WALL AT NEARLY THAT SPEED. "

Regardless of the cause, a very good guy, healthy contributor to many sites, husband & father to an infant daughter lost his life.

Carl
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Old 06-03-05, 01:52 PM
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Old 06-03-05, 02:56 PM
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What a shame! I actually met the driver in La Jolla about 6 months ago and he let me sit in his car and see the engine. He ever turned it on and revved it for me. He was so nice. About two other people came up too and he let all of us sit in it. Said he probably spent an hour a day just letting folks check his car out.

I'm going to a Porsche Club event this weekend at Buttonwillow. I hope all goes well.
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Old 06-03-05, 03:06 PM
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man that sucks ,but at least he died doing somthing he loved
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Old 06-03-05, 03:43 PM
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As a motorsports safety advocate, like yourself, I don't know how much could have been prevented from a car standpoint. The monocoque is far superior to any space frame design in a crash because of the way the loads are dissapated. I am fairly confident in saying that it wasn't a function on roll bars or the like.

very sad story
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Old 06-03-05, 04:09 PM
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yeah... looking at the pictures the car is in pretty good shape for a 170mph crash. I can see how the passenger got obliderated. Lots less damage to the driver's side. Guess the impact forces were too strong for the driver to survive.
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Old 06-03-05, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by M's
As a motorsports safety advocate, like yourself, I don't know how much could have been prevented from a car standpoint. The monocoque is far superior to any space frame design in a crash because of the way the loads are dissapated. I am fairly confident in saying that it wasn't a function on roll bars or the like.

very sad story

Agreed, my point was mainly that this is a powerful reminder that HPDEs are particularly dangerous. Inexperienced drivers are often on the track, understaffing, and lack of proper saftey measures are not uncommon. Obviously many cars ( my street car included) are traveling at race speeds with little saftey equipment. Safety was a large part of my decision to build a dedicated track car. Again a very sad event. Carl
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Old 06-03-05, 06:51 PM
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Just goes to show how important the quality of the organization putting the HPDE on is. This is why I am very selective as to what organization I run with. Hopefully, the organization who put this event on learned something from this and takes action to prevent this from happening in the future. I seriously question some of the track layouts as far as entering the track -- Buttonwillow has the best setup I've run on with track entrances/exits that occur completely off the driving line and off the front straight.

What a tragedy, and my thoughts go to the family of the driver/passenger of the Porsche.
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Old 06-03-05, 08:31 PM
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Sounding like the guys broke both of their necks!!

thats how the usual person dies in a crash

Last edited by darkphantom; 06-03-05 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 06-03-05, 10:30 PM
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Having seen many high-speed accident trauma patients, I can tell you that at 160 mph there is an awful lot of energy to dissipate during a collision. Of course, much of it depends on the angle of impact, etc. Its possible that full restraints, Hans devices, etc may have helped, but I dunno...

My condolences to their families and loved ones.


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Old 06-03-05, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by darkphantom
Sounding like the guys broke both of their necks!!

thats how the usual person dies in a crash
Not always true. I work in a trauma center and we have frequently seen people come in with not a scratch, and yet internally vessels were literally ripped apart causing massive internal hemorrhage. A lot of these people make it to the hospital because the bleeding staunches itself inside the body (tamponades). Once they are opened up to explore and repair, the bleeding cannot be controlled and it's all over.
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Old 06-04-05, 03:02 AM
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Condolenses to friends and family...

I was thinking about that pit exit on a long straight...
Laguna Seca pit exit it at the exit of the longest part of the track - T1 going into T2.
T1 is a small left, but it makes going down and into T2 blind.
If you got the cajones, you can take T1 at triple digits speeds without lifting.
I've seen entry speeds into T2 approaching 160mph!
You would think putting the pit exit after a blind turn at the end of the longest part of the track would invite disaster, but I've never heard of such within the past couple decades.
So I don't think blaming the design of the pit exit is good enough.

I think the track officials need to be experience enough to handle a V-10(?) breathing Porsche that will FLY down such a long stretch.
If a collision was imminent, I would ran in front of the Ferrari with flags waving just to cut him off before entering the track.
There are usually officials at the pit exit for such safety???

But, this is all heresay, as the consequences have been done...


-Ted
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Old 06-04-05, 03:00 PM
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True, but at Laguna Seca, you are confined on the pit exit to hug the wall all the way around until after the trackout point for T2. As you fly over the hill at T1, there is really no reason for your car to be so far left as to be in the pit exit lane, although you may get pretty close...
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Old 06-04-05, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by weaklink
Not always true. I work in a trauma center and we have frequently seen people come in with not a scratch, and yet internally vessels were literally ripped apart causing massive internal hemorrhage. A lot of these people make it to the hospital because the bleeding staunches itself inside the body (tamponades). Once they are opened up to explore and repair, the bleeding cannot be controlled and it's all over.
"Bleeding out" is nasty, and pretty much always fatal. Specially when your aorta or other blood vessels in your uper torso rupture, you cant stop the bleeding really...and the person usually dies with in minutes. I mean really it doesnt matter how much safety equipment you have, when it comes to pyhsics and human flesh...sadly our bodies are just to fragile to take that abuse. I had a car full of friends almost 2 years ago flip at over a 100, the only person who died was the passenger in the drivers side seat because of his seatbelt, everyone else was ejected from the car. 170... May he rest in peace and my prayers are with his family.
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Old 06-04-05, 08:14 PM
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Having had a good friend killed in a side impact crash at alot lower speed I can guess the likely cause of death. As happened to my friend; ruptured caroded(sp?) artery in the neck and a basal skull fracture(this also killed Dale Earnhardt). This happened to my friend in a fully prepped race car at the slowest corner on the track(less than 80 mph entrance speed). At 100+ with no head restraint and only standard shoulder belts they never had a chance. as far as cars entering and grid control we will likely never have a good idea what happened. All this takes place in the blink of an eye at 100+mph. Driving a car at top speed on a race track is dangerous and you can lose your life. Be careful at all times and don't assume anyone is going to be looking out for you. watch what is going on in the hot pit, are there cars about to enter the track? don't assume the grid marshall will hold them. the infield track at Cal Speedway does not have an official hot pit area, so the entering and exiting of the track is a bit tricky. I feel for the family and I understand what happens in these situations with all the rumors, true and false. Please everyone wait until all the information has been sorted before passing judgement on the organizer or fellow participants. These type of incidents are why I will only run on the track with full safety gear, even in hot lap or "HPDE" type events. I will also recomend everyone who runs at the track have a seat with head restraints and a HANS device. be careful

Last edited by tims; 06-04-05 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 06-04-05, 10:26 PM
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it's been quite a discussion at FerrariChat where Ben was an active participant.
www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=61681


This track day event was put on by FOC
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Old 06-05-05, 12:03 AM
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What a tragedy. Def. is gonna make me think twice about just joining the local HPDE's...I really didn't fully realize the risks before this...

As per ppl guessing the cause of death, 1) Does it matter? and 2) Really...you guys are just totally guessing. There are so many factors that go into it, you have ABSOLUTELY NO WAY of telling by just looking. And you guys haven't even seen the bodies... There's a reason why there's a morgue and autopsies are performed. There are a 1001 ways they could have met their fate, and really, it does no good nor does it show "smarts" by having you guys guess blindly.

Oh and I'm actually quite bothered by how well the driver side held up. From the elementary physics I know, that's bad. The more the car breaks apart, the better your chances are of survival. Death in such situations really becomes a function of momentum, which is force over time. The momentum is ENORMOUS, to say the least, in such an accident. So the longer the impact takes (larger crumple zones, more damage to the structure of the car), the less force the occupants will take. That's why Mercedes crush like tin foil, because w/ such huge multiple crumple zones, the impact is spread over a much longer time period, dissipating the impact the occupants will take. It's also why F1 cars are designed to pretty much break apart into 1001 peices, each absorbing and taking w/ it a part of the impact, thus lessening the overall force applied to the driver. At high enough speeds, however, it's gonna be fatal no matter what...

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Old 06-05-05, 12:16 AM
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this is sad
i hope tracks that hold these events learn greatly from this like this
and i hope they re design a few tracks to better suit/ be safer for the drivers
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Old 06-05-05, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bcty
this is sad
i hope tracks that hold these events learn greatly from this like this
and i hope they re design a few tracks to better suit/ be safer for the drivers
That's not the track's fault, it's the club's fault. Not all track require corner workers for the events and allow the club's to "make their own choice" on that part (which typically just comes down to money). However, a Ferrari club event, you would think they would spring for the corner workers....
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Old 06-05-05, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by FDNewbie
What a tragedy. Def. is gonna make me think twice about just joining the local HPDE's...I really didn't fully realize the risks before this...
I guess you haven't seen this video:
http://www.dariusrudis.com/videos/vipercrash.mpeg



HPDE events are as safe as the club makes them. Just verify that they have corner workers (usually SCCA people) and proper safety equipment on hand. HPDE's are never 100% "safe" as there are just too many variables unlike real sanctioned racing (i.e. no real safety equipment required other than a helmet).
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Old 06-05-05, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by FDNewbie
What a tragedy. Def. is gonna make me think twice about just joining the local HPDE's...I really didn't fully realize the risks before this...
..
Ramy, to add to what Mahjik said, I wouldn't be "nervous" about running an HPDE with a good organization, but yes, you do have to fully realize the risks. To be honest with you though, I feel safer on the track than I do driving on I-5 to get to the track....and I'm not joking.

The key to looking at an HPDE club is too see how long they've been doing it, what is their safely record, ask for local opinion on the club, etc. There are a few Cali clubs I would NOT run with. The final point is if you get to the track and you don't feel comfortable with how it is being run...LEAVE! Tell them why you are leaving and try to get as much of your money back as you can. It's not worth the couple hundred dollar entry fee to run in an unsafe environment, IMO.
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Old 06-05-05, 07:05 PM
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Tyler, I hate you lol. I just wet my pants watching that video...OMG. I definitely believe the tech inspection is important...but wow... that's a wakeup call.

There are some guys I know here (like Ptrhahn) who goes to Summit Point and VIR on a regular basis. I'm sure he's got a leg up on who's good at organizing a fun yet safe HPDE, and who isn't. It's scary cuz this crash (the Porsche) was w/ the Ferrari Club, right? I was just looking at the upcoming Ferrari Club of Washington HDPE...

Originally Posted by rynberg
To be honest with you though, I feel safer on the track than I do driving on I-5 to get to the track....and I'm not joking.
That's hilarious...but I totally understand. My friend and I were just commenting as such the other day...we went to get something to eat (we're in DC), and I swear, it's EXACTLY as if I'm playing that old 80's game "Paperboy." There are obstacles on every single turn, corner, block, light, you name it. As for the track, I'm still niaeve in the sense that I think the car will do what it's supposed to do. I don't realize the 1001 things that can go wrong like a tire blowout, brakes going, suspension part failing, etc etc. Which reminds me...I gotta get my cage and extinguisher in
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