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Old 04-24-2007, 06:22 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PARKINGLOT View Post


ouch.....that blows..
To respond only to your signature...

Yes, I have fired 2 guns while leaping through the air, but only while playing HALO 2...

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Old 04-24-2007, 10:04 PM   #32
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well weeasp, you got a decent discussion going on here, and yes, we shouldn't focus on placing blame, but rather take this as an oppurtunity to learn. There is a Chinese saying, "When a mistake is made, do not gather and hunt down those at fault, but rather strive to fix the mistake together." Now granted this is a mistake we cant exactly fix, but we should definately be better prepared for such things.
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:31 AM   #33
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well weeasp, you got a decent discussion going on here, and yes, we shouldn't focus on placing blame, but rather take this as an oppurtunity to learn. There is a Chinese saying, "When a mistake is made, do not gather and hunt down those at fault, but rather strive to fix the mistake together." Now granted this is a mistake we cant exactly fix, but we should definately be better prepared for such things.
I like the quote...

I am curious to know how other regions handle course design, safety and the regulation of novice drivers. I know that the SCCA provides guidelines, but at the same time, that's just what they are - guidelines. They don't fit every lot that's used.

All of these things are a challenge. You want to make a course fun and challenging, but at the same time, safe.

Here in NOVA, for the local Benz club, we require that gates be at least 10 feet wide and not be any closer than 30 feet to a curb. Obviously, judgement is used when laying these out so that a high speed straight doesn't end at a curb. The other is the stop garage. Ours are always place away from start and funnel the cars to run off areas that do not have traffic or standing cars.

Other than those guidelines, the course designers have carte blanche. We have 3 safety stewards then evaluate the course. During set up, walk through and then one is designated to drive the course with the other 2 riding for a final assessment. Sounds like a lot, but we have it pretty well down to a science. Also, the chief safety steward reserves the right to alter the course at anytime if something was overlooked and represents a safety issue.

Just curious how other AX groups handle their events. Where appropriate, I think it would be good to take those different techniques and apply them here locally.

Hopefully, through an exchange of ideas, we can make our courses safer and not be subject to the horrible incident posted originally.

Thoughts and comments welcome, so please chime in.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:24 AM   #34
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I've only run two seasons, and haven't been involved with course design, or functioned as a safety steward. I do know that our local SCCA club empowers all of the autocross participants to call a halt if they observe unsafe practices. I know that the SS has final responsibility, but I wonder how many participants at this event are feeling some level of responsibility for not calling a halt when they saw a potential for a problem that actually occured?
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:31 AM   #35
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I've only run two seasons, and haven't been involved with course design, or functioned as a safety steward. I do know that our local SCCA club empowers all of the autocross participants to call a halt if they observe unsafe practices. I know that the SS has final responsibility, but I wonder how many participants at this event are feeling some level of responsibility for not calling a halt when they saw a potential for a problem that actually occured?
I had the same question.

Speculating here, but to have wreaked that much havoc, I would have thought there were other signs while the guy was on course that might have been a signal to flag his run.

Don't know, but I have this feeling that he was way beyond 10/10ths even before the crash...

Interesting note that all participants are empowered. I'm not sure about our club. I think that the safety stewards, the organizer and the course workers are the only ones that can call a halt.

I'll have to check into that.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:38 AM   #36
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I very much doubt that Insurance companies as a whole (except for perhaps small specialty carriers who do things like exotics) aren't going to take the time and expense to monitor this sort of thing. In all honesty, unless it's an extremely expensive Liability loss, it isn't worth the employee (especially Legal department) time to really fight it in this sort of circumstance. Especially since there is plenty of case law supporting SCCA autocrosses as covered events.

Racing implies that you are;

A - In a speed contest with another vehicle
B - At a venue specifically built for racing. IE track and not a lot.

As you are niether at a specific racing facility nor are you specifically in a speed contest with another vehicle you would almost certainly be covered. Now that's still up to that specific claims rep, their manager, and the company, but in general that's the way it will go. That's not to say that they wouldn't cancel your insurance immediately afterwards
Even at a track for a track day or driving school we would likely pay the claim, but then cancel your insurance with us after the claim was paid. And with that sort of accident and a cancellation on your record, you are going to have quite a time getting insurance afterwards, and you'll have to pay quite a bit for years afterwards.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:43 AM   #37
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Found some video's of the finish of the course where the porsche crashed...

http://s48.photobucket.com/albums/f228/bandit027/

He must have froze up or something b/c it looks like there's plenty of room to stop, or even turn if the brakes went out...
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:50 AM   #38
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a couple posts back someone was relating a few stories about how experienced drivers have over corrected and lost it into a curb/berm/fence, etc.

IN my experience driving I have almost lost it many times, But when things start to go bad, I focus on saving the car (and myself), not on saving the run. Its when people who end up at 11/10ths try to save their run, by major steering corrections to get back on course, that they end up over correcting and totally screwing up. I've had many DNF where I save my self and the run be damned. As much as there MAY have been a problem with course design (i wasnt there, and sometimes its not balck and white). I still lean toward gross driver error for this accident.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:59 AM   #39
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my region does pretty much the exact same thing but also we try to make use of permanent structures, like placing worker stations near light poles with cement bases. grid and just about every paddock are either located on a different surface or have a permanent barrier protecting them. and yes the course exit should always run off into wide open space if avaliable, if not avaliable, then something that will at least (as a minimum) protect all others not in the car, hopefully the driver has his seat belt on. We have one course located on an abadoned airstrip that has cement barriers at both ends and large expanses of grass along the sides. Obviously we park the timing truck,grid, and paddock behind the cement wall. only once or twice a year do I see someone lose it and spin into the grass with no damage except a need for a carwash. oh and the fact that that almost fast run won't count. We also enact a rule that if a driver seems to spin, or be out of control consistently, we pull them out of the event. also if a wheel touches the grass, your pulled out too. we run a 30ft buffer between any course element and the grass. as for those with the authority to stop the event, I am the assistant grid chief and two weeks ago i found an oil slick in grid, radioed it in and the SS pulled the car, not the driver out of the event, he was allowed to run another car should someone offer. Anyone is allowed to stop an event, but only the chiefs have the power to actually remove a car/driver from an event. We actually depend on everybody keeping watch for unsafe conditions such as a biker wanting to ride through, opps I never saw him ride through grid. We run about 200 per event so its tough to keep track of everyone.
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:05 AM   #40
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Quote:
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a couple posts back someone was relating a few stories about how experienced drivers have over corrected and lost it into a curb/berm/fence, etc.

IN my experience driving I have almost lost it many times, But when things start to go bad, I focus on saving the car (and myself), not on saving the run. Its when people who end up at 11/10ths try to save their run, by major steering corrections to get back on course, that they end up over correcting and totally screwing up. I've had many DNF where I save my self and the run be damned. As much as there MAY have been a problem with course design (i wasnt there, and sometimes its not balck and white). I still lean toward gross driver error for this accident.
This is something only fixed with experience, and thats another reason why a novice shouldn't change cars, he doesn't know how to correct it in a new car, who would? Andretti?

Two weeks ago I had an event in the pooring rain and during a slalom my back end came around and i found my car pointed at a course worker oblivious to me out of control, this was a familar situation for me to have the back slipping excessively so all i did was minor countersteer and took my feet off the pedals until i was able to regain control, steer away from the worker and come to a stop. Luckily I hit only one cone too and they didnt even bother red flagging me as I just made my way off course 6/10ths the speed so as not to hold up the event. Only seat time can really prepare you for these type of situations and thats why I love AutoX, you really do become a better driver.
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