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Byrneon27
Byrneon27 Reader
6/20/22 9:58 a.m.
Mr_Asa said:
eastsideTim said:

Since I'm not a road racer, can someone else confirm - my assumption is the black Miata should not have tried to reenter  the course at race pace, should have slowed down and gotten back on pavement after the pack went by?

He wasn't.  Pause the video at about 0:12-0:13.  Wheels are pointed towards the grass, he was trying to stay off the track

Conflicting reports but either 71 or 74 cars on track... Cars that are meant to be equal... The "momentum" cars that were going to be the savior of amateur road racing... The bottom rung of the professional sports car racing ladder mixed in with rich dudes, kids, and dudes with an Igloo cooler trying to have a fun time. 

The black car was in his race, he was in the grass, by the time he gathered it up there was no real estate on the track, shortly thereafter he became a passenger and the results were pretty drastic but not nearly as bad as they easily could have been. 

For those of you who pay more attention do we see this behavior/predictable result in other SCCA classes? NASA spec Miata?

Edit: If I came across orange Miata guy in the pits I'd never stop punching him and as crazy rednecks go I'm easy to get along with. The "please don't punch people but sometimes people get punched" way of doing things works in circle track racing we should probably adopt it 

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
6/20/22 10:04 a.m.

That was a hard hit for sure. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how that could have been avoided short of just not racing. 

Soon after the start or restart, in a pack, every car that sees the black car sitting on the track has less time to react than the car before him. A hit is almost unavoidable. There is just no time to react. 

No description available.

This is the disadvantage of a Spec series. The cars are going to be bunched up for that close racing that everyone loves. But when the cars are so equal, to let out of the throttle and lose your momentum, is to basically lose the race. So it comes down to who clanks more when they walk. 

NASCAR has the same problem and has the spectacular crashes to show for it. 

Hoping and praying the people heal fast. 

 

Peabody
Peabody MegaDork
6/20/22 10:28 a.m.
Mr_Asa said:
eastsideTim said:

Since I'm not a road racer, can someone else confirm - my assumption is the black Miata should not have tried to reenter  the course at race pace, should have slowed down and gotten back on pavement after the pack went by?

He wasn't.  Pause the video at about 0:12-0:13.  Wheels are pointed towards the grass, he was trying to stay off the track

And I thought he was counter steering, trying to stop the car from going sideways, because he stayed in it far too long trying not to lose positions. But we're both making assumptions and neither of us really know. Either way, he drove off the track on his own and re-entered the track on his own causing the accident.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/22 10:41 a.m.
Byrneon27 said:
 

Conflicting reports but either 71 or 74 cars on track... Cars that are meant to be equal... The "momentum" cars that were going to be the savior of amateur road racing... 

+70 cars?  Seriously?  Seems that they should put in heats to narrow the field down.  When I watched that video, my impression is if the field was ~1/2 that, the major crash would not have happened- as so many cars were able to get by.  

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/20/22 10:56 a.m.
alfadriver said:
Byrneon27 said:
 

Conflicting reports but either 71 or 74 cars on track... Cars that are meant to be equal... The "momentum" cars that were going to be the savior of amateur road racing... 

+70 cars?  Seriously?  Seems that they should put in heats to narrow the field down.  When I watched that video, my impression is if the field was ~1/2 that, the major crash would not have happened- as so many cars were able to get by.  

It's the most popular class and it's the June sprints.  I suspect that even at 71 cars it probably sold out within a day or two after registration opened.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/22 12:26 p.m.

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

It's great that it's so popular.  But how you fit that many cars on the track?  All in one class?  That's almost 10 more than for the 24 hrs of Le Mans- where the different classes of cars are spread out to even start.

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
6/20/22 12:48 p.m.

It's a four mile track, with cars around 13' long.

So, 21,120' of track for 962' of cars.  Not even 5%.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/22 1:16 p.m.
racerfink said:

It's a four mile track, with cars around 13' long.

So, 21,120' of track for 962' of cars.  Not even 5%.

Which is great for when they get all strung out.  Not so great to start, if there's an issue at the front of the grid.  If this isn't an example of that, I'm not sure what would be.  

Maybe they need to shift to a grid that is separated more?  Having 71 cars going side by side and bumper to bumper is bad for at least half of the track- no space at all to make a mistake.  And then people get blamed for having the "red mist".  

Given how the cars were not spaced out- how many of them could not even see the flag stations that were flagging yellow?  Even if there was enough time to get it out?  Let alone how much concentration it takes to make sure you are not running into the cars near you?

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/22 1:19 p.m.
racerfink said:

It's a four mile track, with cars around 13' long.

So, 21,120' of track for 962' of cars.  Not even 5%.

They are not going to be spread about the track evenly, especially on lap 1.

Seriously, 70+ in a spec class in a single race is absolutely insane.  That is begging for, well... this.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/20/22 1:28 p.m.

As a racer, I was amazed that there weren't waving yellow flags immediately.  That should have slowed the field down.  

 

Perhaps something like mandating the flagtronics system would have possibly prevented this.

 

That's a tough one for sure.

kb58
kb58 SuperDork
6/20/22 1:40 p.m.

I never did true wheel-to-wheel racing due to my budget. That wasn't the entire reason though, as I've watched enough racing to see how sometimes the animal side of our nature gets switched on, and you WILL get by that guy ahead no matter what. If that means putting him off, well that's racing - not for me. Even if I did, I'd end up last due to being too much of a gentleman racer - and not cheating, that's whole 'nother rant.

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
6/20/22 1:51 p.m.

When I do some Champcar events, like Sebring and Daytona, it's well over 100 cars starting, with no qualifying and random starting positions.  There is usually a thirty second difference in lap times between the pointy end and the back markers.  
 

The difference is in the amount of people who think they're getting a pro racing contract.

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
6/20/22 1:53 p.m.

If some of you look closely, the black car is being pushed by the car behind it.  That's the reason for going off.  If you lift while being pushed from behind, while in a corner, you go around for sure.

LegacyGTGuy
LegacyGTGuy New Reader
6/20/22 2:30 p.m.

I made an account just to comment on this wreck.

I was at the track at the bottom of turn 8 watching this live. There's some comments here that are pretty disappointing to see that are trying to place blame on the poor kid in the black Miata that got hurt, and just some other flat-out wrong information.

To start out, the black Miata started 7th, and was clearly a well-built and prepared car. The kid driving it seems pretty talented and he did an outstanding job not hitting any other cars during his initial spin. What started the wreck was the black Miata going off into the grass on the driver's left side of the track coming out of turn 7. I don't know what caused him to go off - it could have been contact with another car or simply running too wide out of 7. Once he was in the grass he was fighting to keep control of the car and the back stepped out on him going rear-end first back out onto the track. It looked like he was on the brakes the whole time after the car spun trying to slow it down. 

Once his car stopped moving he was on the driver's right side of the track and was helpless to do anything since the rest of the field still had to pass by him. The caution flags were already waving the moment he spun around but there just wasn't enough time for the rest of the drivers to react. About 15 or 20 cars managed to get around him (in ~3 seconds after the spin stopped) before he got clipped by a silver car which knocked him into the path of a pink Miata. The pink Miata then nailed the black Miata head-on (pink car was at a slight angle) and the pink Miata was hit from behind by another car which launched the pink Miata into the air a good 5-8 ft up. All this happened in roughly 8 seconds.

The moment the wrecked cars stopped moving the safety teams were already hauling ass to the wreck. The guy in the pink car jumped out right away (he thought there was fire, it turned out to just be steam from the radiator) and plopped over the wall, clearly in pain. There's a Facebook post here with several of the drivers talking about the wreck. The guy in the pink car had a compression fracture in his back and a bruised lung but is otherwise okay.

The kid driving the black car is unfortunately badly injured. We knew right away at the track that it was bad and the safety teams had to use the jaws of life to extricate him from the car. He went right to the hospital with lights and sirens and then apparently was airlifted to Milwaukee where he was in the ICU with some really serious injuries including a fractured pelvis, collapsed lung, broken fibula and tibia, compression fracture in his vertebrae, and internal bleeding. Thankfully it sounds as though he is in good spirits, albeit with some pretty bad injuries.

So to the armchair racer trying to blame him multiple times for the wreck, maybe be a little nicer next time you hear about a wreck and don't know what you're talking about. This kid went from having a great day to a terrible day in a matter of seconds and all you cared about before hearing anything about his condition was whether or not he caused the wreck and how you could use that for your own argument.

Here's a spectator's video that does a good job of showing what happened. Fair warning, it was a really bad wreck and the impact was really scary to see.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wf3oUGFyHQ&ab_channel=jasonpackerfan

I'd also like to mention that the cars did an incredible job of keeping the drivers safe. I was able to look at the cars up close after they were taken off the track and the driver compartments were completely untouched. Despite that massive impact the firewall kept the engine out of the cockpit and the car and cage kept the cockpit from folding over into itself. A big takeaway from this should be how important the safety equipment is and how impressive it is that the cars kept the drivers safe. This could have easily been a fatal crash in different cars.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/22 2:53 p.m.
wvumtnbkr said:

As a racer, I was amazed that there weren't waving yellow flags immediately.  That should have slowed the field down.  

 

Perhaps something like mandating the flagtronics system would have possibly prevented this.

 

That's a tough one for sure.

Not sure they were not.  The spectator video can't see the pre-accident corner flag station nor the post accident ones, and the in car view posted has the yellow out when *that* car goes into the corner prior to the accident.  

Are there more in-car videos where you can see when the flag was waived?   Would it have been waived as soon as a car goes off track?

edit- watched the spectator video again- the closest flag station to where the car ended up was at the prior corner.  So every car that passed by that location before it came out never saw it.  So an auto-in car system would be a huge help.  Especially since that flag station is on the outside of the corner, when you are 100% focused on where you are going and all of the cars around you.  Having an in-car system would be a good thing.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/20/22 3:02 p.m.

In reply to LegacyGTGuy :

Without strong evidence showing the opposite, I generally err on the side of "they were doing everything right and it just didn't help." AKA benefit of the doubt.

Even withholding that, you can tell he had some serious yaw rotation going before he got on the grass.  The car's weight hadn't shifted back after the turn, so of course he was going to have the ass end kick around.

If you don't see that you aren't paying attention. 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
6/20/22 3:31 p.m.

The field size and how hard people push to get ahead is a pretty good summation of why spec pinata scares me. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
6/20/22 9:03 p.m.

In reply to LegacyGTGuy :

First thank you for updating us on the young driver; he has a long road ahead.

Before I comment further I will give you some background; I started SCCA racing 30+ years ago. I came to the SCCA from motorcyle road racing as such had seen more than one fellow rider killed and becuase of that I'm all to aware of how quickly things go wrong. 

Also note anyone who's raced with or seen me race knows I'm not timid behind the wheel.

So with all the said I watched the video and the car was already well offline before it went in the grass, he may or may not have been punted, this is not a recrimination of the driver but of the general level of aggression in the class. Driving 4 wheels of on a regular basis, as the class does, is not OK.......this accident is a glaring example of why. It's not an individual driver issue it's an overall attitude toward what level of aggression is acceptable.

The class was nicknamed spec pinata years ago this is nothing new in the class.

In my time with SCCA I've found them slow to react. The original Sports Renault was known as Sports Rambo  & Spec RX-7 got coined Wreck RX7. 

Drivers are typically not known for restraint. This is why we have stewards.

As for the size of the field; as pointed out, other groups have as many or more cars on track without issue.

The whole point of this thread was do we think SCCA has become to rough........the answer is yes.

The solution is for SCCA leadership to step in.....end of story.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/22 9:09 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

Thank you Tom.  That was a very eloquent way of putting the vibe down.

 

Also, as horrific as the collision was, as destroyed as the car is, I am happy to see that the passenger compartment looks largely undamaged, in that the footwell visible does not appear to have been significantly shifted rearward.  I consider this to be a triumph of modern car design and well specified roll cage design.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/20/22 9:11 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Huh. When I used to do TSDs, getting caught speeding/driving recklessly was an expulsion from the event.

The problem was that a lot of times the people running the event were also competitors and they had a big cup of IDGAF.  This led to people at the back of the field getting roadblocked or shot at by irate locals.

See also: the past tenseness of my TSD career

Nobody is going to expel Travis Pastrana or the other "big ticket" drivers for speeding on recce. nor are they going to give them time penalties. So they fine them, and they just pay and keep doing it. Not calling out Pastrana as the culprit necessarily, just throwing a name out there. 

OTOH, title sponsors won't be mad if some TSD dude gets booted from competition lol.....

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
6/20/22 9:15 p.m.

I wanted to comment on this separate post:

As for racing with SCCA or road racing in general I wouldn't hesitate to do either.

There is plenty of safe wreck free racing out there. They key is you need to go to the events near you and check out the various classes and see which one fits.

While I like the fact the contact at vintage racing is a giant no no, as are 4 wheel offs, my main reason for vintage racing was I like old cars and accessibility. 

The incidents we've seen in the videos are not typical of most peoples racing experiences but sadly we've had to many of them of late.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
6/20/22 9:23 p.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

Nobody is going to expel Travis Pastrana or the other "big ticket" drivers for speeding on recce. nor are they going to give them time penalties. So they fine them, and they just pay and keep doing it. Not calling out Pastrana as the culprit necessarily, just throwing a name out there. 

I would. I had a very stern conversation with a SCCA National Champion about the manner in which they drove on one of the transits.  My exact words "I can't have you driving that way on transits, it jeopardizes the event" the reply was "OK".   Also note their sponsor was our sponsor as well. We had no problem after that.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/22 9:27 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

Theory of broken windows as applied to motorsports?  You see one person, two people doing something, you assume it is okay.

What if a top driver guzzled a fifth of bourbon before setting off in the car?  "LOL boys will be boys, we can't do anything because 90% of the people are here to see him"

I also peripherally see this in pro ball sports.  Players get suspended for things, fans complain not that Their Guy was doing things, but that Their Guy can't play and they should let him play because... why?

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/20/22 9:31 p.m.

I have done about 70 cheap car races (wrl, lemons, champcar, etc...).

 

I have been in 1 vehicle totalling incident.

 

I would not, and do not, fear driving with tons of cars on track with varying car speeds and driver abilities.

 

If you want to get into wheel to wheel, you should.  You can get 4 hours of track time for 1k if you aren't running with a front running team.  Not cheap, but worth it to cross off the bucket list.

 

That being said, listen to that voice in your head that says "dont".  Just back off for a second.

 

I drove in 2 sprints in all of those races.  Sprint drivers are berkeleying crazy.  They go for any gap, any size, any speed differential.  All the major incidents I have been close to have been from scca or NASA or IMSA sprint racers.  They think you can win the race by making that 1 pass on the first lap.

 

In other words, do it.  Just be crazy aware.  It will stretch your "bandwidth".

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/22 9:35 p.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

I think the important thing here is that the cars are NOT at wildly different speeds.  Tight racing leads to, well... this.

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