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Old 07-21-2005, 06:02 PM   #1
STI_05
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Default Auto-x safety

If there is a safety issue at an event Do something about it before this happens. I think we need to address the safety at the South Florida events. We can improve the safety and fun factor by being proactive. Speak up when something is wrong! Find the Safety steward and let him\Her know your views. We owe it to each other. I don't know anything about the video, found it accidentally.
Tim

http://www.idleriot.com/media/videos.../963/undefined
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Old 07-21-2005, 06:12 PM   #2
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Definitely amen to that. Not fun at all for the person you hit, and very annoying to have to pick the fleshy bits out of your grille.
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Old 07-21-2005, 06:29 PM   #3
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I saw that a while back, I believe that the story I read was that it was someone who was new to a Corvette, and new to performance driving as well.

I think that caption is highly inaccurate, b/c the person receiving the bumper was the one that got the lesson. What that lesson is, i'm not so sure....perhaps...don't work on course?

This past weekend was unacceptable as far as safety goes. There's no way that cars should have been released as fast as they were, being that we had multiple near collisions with cars being lost on course.

Good post.
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Old 07-21-2005, 07:01 PM   #4
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I am going to refrain from comment at all because I was not there to get all the details.

However, from looking at the video...a great many things can be inferred.
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Old 07-21-2005, 07:09 PM   #5
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Much may be inferred from the video but the video is not the point of my post. Bumble V hit on it. I have heard and seen things at the auto-x events I have attended at the in SF that I thought to be unsafe practices. I read on other post that the last event at Homestead had issues. I think that as a group we will be heard. Thanks for the replies.
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:24 PM   #6
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I think it was one or 2 seasons ago, I was working out on course when a C5 vette lost control and must have come within 10 feet from where the workers were standing at my station. The countersteer is what brought the vette towards us, as in the video.


And I have to agree that the cars were being sent out way too close to each other at homestead. Three cars on a course is just unnecessary. I remember seeing 2 cars at once on the final segment a number of times.

We also need to be a little smarter as course workers. Too many times I see workers fixing cones when the driver is only one gate away.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STI_05
If there is a safety issue at an event Do something about it before this happens. I think we need to address the safety at the South Florida events. We can improve the safety and fun factor by being proactive. Speak up when something is wrong! Find the Safety steward and let him\Her know your views. We owe it to each other. I don't know anything about the video, found it accidentally.
Tim

http://www.idleriot.com/media/videos.../963/undefined

THIS WAS NOT AT AN AUTOX! I'm tired of the far too frequent proliferation of misinformation.

This was a private GM event and not held to any sanctioning body standards. Furthermore, this happened quite a while ago. The driver made lots of mistakes, hits a spectator/worker. The folks survived quite well and were really not hurt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeballs
We also need to be a little smarter as course workers. Too many times I see workers fixing cones when the driver is only one gate away.
Agreed. Course workers are supposed to run, not saunter leisurely to go out and fix a cone. On most courses, a 15-30 second overlap is all one gets. Folks get too busy chatting away at their worker station and decide to do their best John-Travolta-Saturday-Night-Fever strut out to the cone and guess what? Their is a car coming for them. It's not like they didn't know it was coming as autoxs typically keep cars coming all the time. If it's dangerous, then the event chair and safety steward need to make sure that the overlap is appropriate for the course and conditions. I've not been to an event yet that I thought the amount of overlap was inappropriate (other than being too slow and cars not getting through) so your complaint about Homestead should be brought up for sure.

But as for the video in question it's been discussed thousands of times upon thousands of internet boards. It seems like only 10 people realize that it had nothing to do with an autox because it essentially looked like one.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBiggly
THIS WAS NOT AT AN AUTOX! I'm tired of the far too frequent proliferation of misinformation.

This was a private GM event and not held to any sanctioning body standards. Furthermore, this happened quite a while ago. The driver made lots of mistakes, hits a spectator/worker. The folks survived quite well and were really not hurt.

But as for the video in question it's been discussed thousands of times upon thousands of internet boards. It seems like only 10 people realize that it had nothing to do with an autox because it essentially looked like one.
NWS NWS NWS NWS NWS NWS NWS NWS NWS NWS NWS NWS

Holy crap that link is pretty NWS. Not for the video itself but all the links and terms on the page.

If you work in a place that watches your internet usage, I'd suggest NOT clicking the link. There are terms on that page which could set off alarms to those that watch. Thanks ****head for watching out for NWS sites.

Now I'll comment on that video... It's old... like 4-5 maybe 6-7 years old.. that old. It's made its rounds.

Agreed, this was a corvette day at the GM plant someplace.

How do we know it wasn't an SCCA event? People sitting in freaking lawn chairs right next to the course.

This is one of the many reasons you hear 'No sitting down if you're working course' (unless there's a hold in action).

But sitting next to the course like that... noooooo bad monkey!
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBiggly
But as for the video in question it's been discussed thousands of times upon thousands of internet boards. It seems like only 10 people realize that it had nothing to do with an autox because it essentially looked like one.
I am pretty sure the intention of the original poster was to show a example of what he does not want to see happen at a autocross event. That is all. Even though the video is not from a auto-x it is something that could happen at one. Except for the people sitting in lawn chairs, but you still see people sitting and not paying attention at many local events.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rankink
I am pretty sure the intention of the original poster was to show a example of what he does not want to see happen at a autocross event. That is all. Even though the video is not from a auto-x it is something that could happen at one. Except for the people sitting in lawn chairs, but you still see people sitting and not paying attention at many local events.
Actually... no. Again this has been hashed and re-hashed. The course was not up to safety standards. Only a lax safety steward or chair would let this course fly.

At non SCCA events that don't follow course setup and safety guidelines... yeah I can see it... but at SCCA sanctioned events (or those that follow their guidelines).... I don't think that something like the video above would or could happen.

Yes.. there are mistakes made out there. And there are instances of shunts at auto-xes... but that video is not a resemblance of what should/could happen at an SCCA event.

--kC
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC
Actually... no. Again this has been hashed and re-hashed. The course was not up to safety standards. Only a lax safety steward or chair would let this course fly.

At non SCCA events that don't follow course setup and safety guidelines... yeah I can see it... but at SCCA sanctioned events (or those that follow their guidelines).... I don't think that something like the video above would or could happen.

Yes.. there are mistakes made out there. And there are instances of shunts at auto-xes... but that video is not a resemblance of what should/could happen at an SCCA event.

--kC

Did I say a SCCA event? I said a autocross that may not be SCCA sanctioned. I have seen near misses very similar to that video in the first post at non-SCCA types of events. I have also seen many cars hit curbs and actually trees at SCCA events as well. So things could happen as you never know what people are going to do and not keep track of.
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rankink
... Even though the video is not from a auto-x it is something that could happen at one.
Except for the part where the person gets hit by the car that barely went off course. There are not folks standing around just barely off course at any normal event. Safety stewards have fits when they see this sort of thing and for good reason.
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Old 07-22-2005, 11:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC
Actually... no. Again this has been hashed and re-hashed. The course was not up to safety standards. Only a lax safety steward or chair would let this course fly.

At non SCCA events that don't follow course setup and safety guidelines... yeah I can see it... but at SCCA sanctioned events (or those that follow their guidelines).... I don't think that something like the video above would or could happen.

Yes.. there are mistakes made out there. And there are instances of shunts at auto-xes... but that video is not a resemblance of what should/could happen at an SCCA event.

--kC
I have questioned both to the safety steward and other competitors the way working the course handled. After reading the stories of the last event I started this thread in the hope that we as a group will be more active in looking out for and voicing safety issues. I again thank everyone for reading this thread and hope it will help in making everyone aware that we will all be safer if we talk about safety in a respectful manner.
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Old 07-22-2005, 01:35 PM   #14
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I was working at the last ER event at station 4 (the most active station) and I noticed that everytime a car was being sent out, one was coming towards the curve facing the start. It was a head on collission waiting to happen. I told my fellow workers and after we had a short brake I was able to run to the control table and talk to the people in charge. They fixed the problem for about 15 min. after that it was back to the same crap.
I have never seen this type of insecurity and lack of organization at an ER event before. I think they should limit the numbers of entries and keep the amount of beginers to no more than 10. When I saw the amount of beginers walking the track, it looked as many as 25 or more. That told me right there that it was going to be a long day.
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Old 07-22-2005, 02:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauro
I was working at the last ER event at station 4 (the most active station) and I noticed that everytime a car was being sent out, one was coming towards the curve facing the start. It was a head on collission waiting to happen. I told my fellow workers and after we had a short brake I was able to run to the control table and talk to the people in charge. They fixed the problem for about 15 min. after that it was back to the same crap.
I have never seen this type of insecurity and lack of organization at an ER event before. I think they should limit the numbers of entries and keep the amount of beginers to no more than 10. When I saw the amount of beginers walking the track, it looked as many as 25 or more. That told me right there that it was going to be a long day.

Try closer to 40+ or so beginners on the novice walk through.
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Old 07-22-2005, 06:16 PM   #16
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^^^Ditto on that. I did the walk through, even though that was my 5th event, because I'll listen to anyone that's got any decent advice to give (and to get a third walk through), but there were a lot of lost souls out there.

The sad part is, some of the people that were there at their first event that were having their own conversations completely unrelated to the event, or the course.

And KC, if you had been at our local SCCA sanctioned event, you wouldn't be so confident in using absolutes. The course design allowed a lot of drivers to get lost. This put them going the wrong way in the lane they had just come from. The timing put them going the wrong way at the same time that another car was coming directly towards them.

We're talking nearly a dozen or more head on collisions avoided by 100 feet or less.

It was a fully sanctioned SCCA event, and so unsafe, and poorly organized, that a lot of us won't be returning.
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:31 PM   #17
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Indeed ^^^

This was my first ER event and I was not pleased. I also did not like the fact that workers had to reach their stations while the course was hot...or wait, I think they starting dude held the car for less than a minute. It was poorly organized...it took me about 35-40 minutes to find a helment and it wasn't even a loaner, it was some nice guy that loaned it to me. Is there a place were one can suggest changes to the event, that is, provide some constructive criticism?

Sorry to hijack the thread man.
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:56 PM   #18
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Hey, hijack the thread away. Go ahead and talk about your event; hopefully some folks will hear the comments and changes can begin. The video that was posted is WTLY news.

-Biggly
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Old 07-23-2005, 02:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauro
I was working at the last ER event at station 4 (the most active station) and I noticed that everytime a car was being sent out, one was coming towards the curve facing the start.
I was at station 3 and noticed this also. They should have sent them out smart (waited till they were at the gate before the salom) but then they started doing that crap. And even though this was my first AutoX event, I've been to others and I see this was not a very nice one. Every 30 seconds station 4 was like "off course, off course, off course" and there were so many near collisions and I didnt enjoy diving "WRC-style" out of the way when red-flagging cars.

-Cool-
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Old 07-23-2005, 07:14 AM   #20
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Yikes. Do you all do safety steward training? We have a class every 2-3 years to bring new folks in and keep everyone up to standards. Also we discourage newbies from running the start and make sure they know where the first car on course has to be before we can release the next one. Safety steward(s) arrive early enough to check the course and suggest/mandate changes if course looks likely to create confusion or unsafe situations. Novice walk through addresses confusing points on course so we do all we can to try and make sure everyone knows where they're going.

Also one of our worker positions is spectator checks--we have someone whose sole job is to make sure spectators don't start leaking into areas we've taped off in case a car goes off. Safety steward or deputy will also get on the radio to address any workers getting lax about shagging cones before the next car comes.

Not that something still couldn't go wrong, heaven forbid, but we all try to work together to make sure it doesn't.
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Old 07-23-2005, 08:40 AM   #21
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^^^We don't have newbies running the start. They might be physically there, but they don't release a driver until given the command from Timing, which is where the people that organize the event are. That's why we're all so upset, b/c they are more concerned with getting out early, than getting everyone home safely.

They took their $6000-$7000 for the day, robbed us blind, angered us, and laughed all the way to the bank.
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Old 07-23-2005, 08:53 AM   #22
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Ack. Not good. Move to NC and come a-x with us!
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Old 07-23-2005, 10:43 AM   #23
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Going to worker stations while the course is "hot"

We have been practicing this for a while when we can in South Carolina Region, and I have seen many other regions do it. Commonly refered to as "worker changes on the fly"

With proper attentiveness, this is probably slightly less dangerous than running out to get a cone. (which requires out and back, change of direction, and a focus on something other than the car on course)

It also will save close to an hour in the course of the day, which in SC means less time in the sun, maybe more runs, or some fun runs... etc.

As far as the other safety stuff, remember if you see something unsafe, tell someone about it, Safety Stweards (even visiting ones) are required to do so, and can even shut an event down if they dont feel their concerns are addressed. (though, this has never had to happen..)

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Old 07-23-2005, 05:07 PM   #24
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Thanks agian for your replies,

I think your posts are to the point of why I started the thread. I wanted to have a discussion on Auto-X safety.
I am not convinced that changing workers on the fly is a good idea. At Hialeah Park you have to walk with your back to oncoming cars. The first rule I was taught at a race track was NEVER turn your back on a moving car.
The walk down the lot with your back to cars is a bad idea. I donít know who nit worked at Homestead may have worked just fine.
The speed of the courses has bothered me also. I think 3rd gear in an STI is to fast for that lot. After watching the hard time some of the cars where having dealing with the bumps I was convinced.
The next ER club meeting is Monday the 1st. We should attend. It would be the best place to address our concerns. I think boycotting the events is the wrong thing to do. I don't have a lot of answers to speeding up the events but I think that if we are better off working with the event organizers to make the events run smother. I am going to try and make it. If someone that was at this event from the Subaru community would go they could lend voice to their concerns from the last event and in general.
Tim
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Old 07-24-2005, 12:14 PM   #25
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This thread is a good one. I agree that the key is for everyone to step up and be involved.

I have experience with ER on-and-off, since the 80's, and there have always been some small underlying issues - which shouldn' matter but they do. There was always a group of "big motor" guys that did not like losing FTD to smaller "rice-burners" due to tight technical course design. As a consequence, many of the events that I have attended (on-and-off) since that time, have speeds that are fairly significant (3rd gear rev limit in an '86 MR2 is pushing 90! and there have been a number where I was deep in 3rd in my WRX). At the same time, some of the open venues have disappeared so you don't have the room to spread things out. You also have an explosion in entries - many of which are new drivers. It takes SUPERLATIVE organization to successfully run a one-day event with nearly 150 cars. I would hate to see the number of entries (and the rush to get things done) be the biggest determining factor in overall safety. If it is the biggest issue, then I thing the answer is pretty evident - limit entries and slow the pace of everything down.

JD
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