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Old 09-21-2005, 05:41 PM   #26
Racer5
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This event has hit very close to home for me. The Mark Lovell / Roger Freeman tragedy happened 25 mins from our house. Teresa and I were actually entered into that event. I think we started like 50th on the road that day. We crashed out that day by glancing off of a stump at about 30 MPH. We learned what happend to Mark and Roger later that night. We were lucky that day.



Now let me tell you folks, the tree in the Michael Park incident looks exactly like the one here in Oregon. I shed tears when I saw the images of it online yesterday. It really hit me hard.

My thoughts are also with Beefs family.


I like the idea of technical discusion and I think we have a good start. In looking at my current rally car, a '95 Impreza Coupe...I'm worried. My car has a helluva cage too that I had custom built to exceed current standards in rally cage design. However the door bars are very similar to the ones in the 307 and most any other modern rally car. I currently have X style door bars and a sill tube. Just like rallykeith my cage sits right next me, my arm rides on it when transiting.

What do I think could improve rally car safety? As an auto safety guru and auto safety product retailer I have watched this very close and given it alot of thought. I think the first thing we all need to do is to think seriously about the nascar style doorbars that extends into the doors as far as is reasonable / possible.

Seats are very important in this type of accident as well.

Charles
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Old 09-21-2005, 05:57 PM   #27
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Depending on where you sit, NASCAR style door bars won't help. Most sit right beside the B-pillar, especially the co-drivers which is futher back from the door opening. Again, you can compare both disiplines of cages , but you think it would really help in this type of accident ?
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Old 09-21-2005, 06:35 PM   #28
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Well, if seating position (which is tuned for performance) has made the cage design ineffective (which is for safety), I'd think that seating positions need to be modified to sit more safely within the compartment.

Recall that up until recently (with the introduction of the SAFER barrier at Indy, and subsequently, other tracks) stock car and open-wheel impacts with barriers were often against hard, cement walls with no energy absorption mechanism. Modern stock car chassis were designed with those sorts of impacts in mind, including such hits to the side of the vehicle.

Now, a cement wall is going to spread the force out, rather than a tree/post (which effectively behaves as a mandrel).

Interesting bit of news that came out, though... since Peugeot is pulling out for next season, they had already planned to work with some labs on new standards for side-impact protection, using the NCAP post test as a starting point, and would be contributing 307 shells for the testing... I think this will redouble their efforts on that front.
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Old 09-21-2005, 06:42 PM   #29
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I should add since most co-drivers sit futher back, they are also closer to the main hoop.
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Old 09-21-2005, 06:52 PM   #30
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Good Job Wagon. Thanks for cleaning up the ther thread.
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Old 09-21-2005, 08:04 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CirrusWRX
My point? We can possibly learn something from this tragic event and somebody like Eurojax asking "what went wrong" deserves more of an answer than "they hit a tree." I disagree it was simply blunt force trauma that killed Park and my reasoning is because Markko wasn't injured. Perhaps there was a weakness in the design of the car or the cage? I don't know, but I would strongly argue that whatever forces that acted upon Park also acted upon Markko. I think the tree intruded into the passenger compartment either wholly or caused the cage to deform into the passenger compartment causing fatal injuries to the codriver. IF that's true (and it's only my wild speculation) then perhaps there could be improvements in cage design better to protect against side impact? Perhaps there should be a minimum separation of inches on all sides between occupant and cage? I don't know, but I bet we could learn something from it. Who knows, maybe if he was wearing a HANS or similar he would have lived. The bottom line is we really DON'T know. Maybe it's too soon for some to talk about this and for that I apologize, perhaps this could be moved to a new thread?


markko traveled a greater distance as he slowed down which is why he survived. Because it was a side impact Michael was much closer the the immovable object and there for he decelerated in and shorter amount of time then Markko did.

(It feels wrong to talk about this right now, but if you must.)
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Old 09-21-2005, 08:41 PM   #32
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Not sure if this helps the tech discussion here, but...

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Old 09-21-2005, 10:55 PM   #33
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From this screencap, it appears that the X brace failure was only part of the issue. NASCAR style door bars would definitely be an improvement, but the way the roof collapsed would likely have been fatal in any case.

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Old 09-21-2005, 11:03 PM   #34
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Prodrive's David Lapworth had some interesting comments (edited):

Lapworth says major modifications to the car are the only answer.

But this would dilute the traditional link between production cars and their rally equivalents - a key tenet of the sport's popularity.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Lapworth said: "The biggest steps we could do might take time because they involve quite big changes to the technical regulations.

"The whole philosophy of rallying is that the cars should be as close as possible to production cars - it's part of the appeal for most people that the cars they see are similar to those you can buy and drive on the road.

If you travel at such high speeds there's a limit to what we can do

"To make huge steps forward we have to challenge that whole philosophy and say for safety reasons we are prepared to see the cars less close to the production cars on which they are based.

"Because the safety structures need to be built into the doors and the actual structure of the car, we need to create more space for the occupants.

"Maybe the driver and co-driver should be staggered rather than alongside each other. There are lots of things that could be done but that would need a wholesale review."

Lapworth also believes changes must be made to the courses.

"If you hit a tree at 160kph it is very difficult, if not impossible, to design a car which can protect you properly," he said.

"We have to look at the environment and the nature of rallies."

"The survivability of big accidents can only be improved by a small percentage by technical solutions. We have to look at how we can change the stages.

"With less severe accidents, the more common accidents at lower speeds, then there are things we can do technically.

"We can improve the protection for side impact crashes. That's where people get hurt because there's so little distance between the occupants and the scenery.

"We can improve the seats, maybe move them nearer to the centre of the car, we can put more strength into the roll cages."
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:05 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subie Gal
well i thought that i'd already explained that


it's like this.
80mph - into a tree = 160mph impact
- speed doubles when you hit something that abruptly, just like a head on collision -

this is not a rollover. flip. dip off the road.
this was like hitting a brick wall.
the worst kind of rally accident that can be had.

honestly, I am suprised Markko is alive.
I think that had the tree been larger, he'd be gone as well
Horrible stuff this is

want to learn more about physics... maybe take a class or something ???
i'm not being rude. i'm just not sure how else to explain it.

Jamie
I am very surprized that Marko was not even injured...
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Old 09-22-2005, 02:01 AM   #36
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The discussion of the sidebar protection and seating position is of relevance but I don't think we should assume that the car contacted the tree with the side bars first.... It is very possible that the car was angled toward the roof at a fateful angle that may have put his upper body in the least protective position for the impact.

I wonder if anyone has quotes from the safety issues regarding the older GpB cars prior to their bannage. Methinks the underlying message would be quite similar.....


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Old 09-22-2005, 08:04 AM   #37
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edited.

Last edited by RaceComp Engineering; 09-22-2005 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 09-22-2005, 08:21 AM   #38
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Myles, you have a choice to not read this thread.

This thread has nothing to do with not having a heart or not respecting what happened.

It's about seeking knowledge and information about how to make our own race cars safer.

Many of us participate in various grassroots motorsports that involve manufacturing your own safety devices (primarily, cages).

To stick your head in the sand and ignore the technical details of an incident, and fail to learn from the failures of these systems, and forego the knowledge that can be attained and applied to your own race cars, is to do a disservice to the memories of the very people who we miss so sorely.
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Old 09-22-2005, 09:34 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kha0S
Myles, you have a choice to not read this thread.

This thread has nothing to do with not having a heart or not respecting what happened.

It's about seeking knowledge and information about how to make our own race cars safer.

Many of us participate in various grassroots motorsports that involve manufacturing your own safety devices (primarily, cages).

To stick your head in the sand and ignore the technical details of an incident, and fail to learn from the failures of these systems, and forego the knowledge that can be attained and applied to your own race cars, is to do a disservice to the memories of the very people who we miss so sorely.
Yep , I know I kow I didnt have to say anything, but again, until you are airlifted away and or have a period of your life , even if as short as 1 daya that you dont remember. To not remember the morning before you even got into the car, until then most dont get it. Iam not sticking my head in the sand about technical. AGAIN the issue here is really more about the TIMING of the thread. ITs not like anyone is going to FORGET ABOUT it. I know a very well know Grand-Am/Speed cage builder on the east coast. We only deal with him because he was in a very bad accident, and his cages helped save his life. So its not that we dont care about , or that we stick our heads in the sand.

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Old 09-22-2005, 10:16 AM   #40
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Here's a quick sketch of three possible side impact locations (read bottom to top):



If the object that is being hit (tree) is right in the middle of the car the car will come to a sudden stop. All the energy will be dissipated immediately. If the tree is a fore or aft of center the car will spin around the object and more of the energy will be dissipated with the spin. It looks like the Peugeot hit just slightly off centre but not enough to save Beef.
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Old 09-22-2005, 10:27 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaceComp Engineering
AGAIN the issue here is really more about the TIMING of the thread.
Myles
While I understand fully the point you are trying to make, I just want it to be known that I have personally gotten involved in this conversation because 8 days from now I will be in this position. International Rally NY is sept. 30th, and I would rather have some understanding of things before I get in the passangers seat. As a co-driver it takes a lot to put your life in someone else's hands, and at a time like this I worry. Being able to talk out these things is helping me. It doesn't mean I respect the situation any less, in many respects I feel I respect it more.
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Old 09-22-2005, 10:29 AM   #42
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With all due respect to Miles, and while I tend to agree about the timing of this thread, I deeply disagree with the premise that ignorance is bliss and that if one races, one doesn't want to know about the possible effects of crashes.

I think that's absolutely wrong. Before you decide to get in a race car, you should have the insight to know what really might happen, the fortitude to accept it, and the foresight to ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken.

My insights into what might happen were certainly sharpened by the incidents of the past weekend, but I'll still be back in a rally car at the next event. And I'll do it with a fuller knowledge of the risks posed. If I can also do it with a better insight into safety equipment, that's a plus.

- Christian
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Old 09-22-2005, 10:36 AM   #43
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As an example, and many of you probably all ready know this, but if you’re sliding sideway and are inevitably going to hit an object, do what ever you can to hit the object in your front or rear wheel area, not smack in the middle of the door. Lock up the brakes or hit the gas to guide the car into the object, if at all possible.

I was T-boned by a drunk driver once and my last memory before waking up in hospital was seeing him out of the corner of my eye and thinking stomp on the gas so he doesn't hit you broadside full force.
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Old 09-22-2005, 10:48 AM   #44
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Myles,

Your attiude sucks. If you don't like the thread don't "follow it for a while." It is a REQUIREMENT that rally drivers think about these things before they go out, any competitior who does not want to think about the possibility of death (or the previous death of others in the sport) is selling him/herself short. That includes having an intelegent discussion on the cause of the death of someone else in the rally family. There is no disrespect in that.

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Originally Posted by RaceComp Engineering
With rally drivers dropping like flys, I think there has to be a line drawn, YES even in a "FORUM" for useless talk about how someone DIED in a rallycar.
Excuse me? Exactly how do you define "dropping like flies?" I don't have the statistics on me, but I'm very sure that you are still more likely to die on the highway in your street car than in a rally car. I'm sure that if you take the total number of people who compete in a rally car every year versus the number who are killed in them and compare it to the number of people on the road in street cars versus the number who are killed in them the percentage of deaths will be higher in street cars. But we talk about safety in street cars all the time, manufacturers even show crash tests on commercials. Do you find that offensive too?

I may sound jaded or insensitive about Park's death, but 5 minutes after I found out I was directing our rally car out of the service area at COG, watching two of my good friends drive off in a Group N monster of a car. I cried then, and I still get worked up thinking about it. Go deal with it in your own way, and stop reading this thread if it bothers you...
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Old 09-22-2005, 10:52 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howl
As an example, and many of you probably all ready know this, but if you’re sliding sideway and are inevitably going to hit an object, do what ever you can to hit the object in your front or rear wheel area, not smack in the middle of the door. Lock up the brakes or hit the gas to guide the car into the object, if at all possible.
And Martin pulled that off really well when he went backwards off the road last year by yanking the handbrake before the car left the road. Unfortunately it's not going to work every time.
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Old 09-22-2005, 10:55 AM   #46
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I don't have the statistics on me, but I'm very sure that you are still more likely to die on the highway in your street car than in a rally car.
We ran the numbers on this after the Lovell/Freeman accident. In terms of fatalities per mile, SCCA ProRally is approximately as dangerous as driving in New Jersey.
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Old 09-22-2005, 11:00 AM   #47
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Default Discussion like this improves the sport

Look at how much safer a sport NASCAR is now, after the uproar following the Earnhardt accident.

I'm certain that those were VERY trying times for the family, friends , and team, but the payoff has been huge!

Even if no other changes had come about following that tragedy, the fact that HANS device use went from just a couple of drivers, to nearly ALL of them choosing to use them (on their own, before they were made mandatory), is a GIANT step forward.
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Old 09-22-2005, 11:13 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Car #187
I may sound jaded or insensitive about Park's death, but 5 minutes after I found out I was directing our rally car out of the service area at COG, watching two of my good friends drive off in a Group N monster of a car. I cried then, and I still get worked up thinking about it. Go deal with it in your own way, and stop reading this thread if it bothers you...
I agree totally. 5 minutes after hearing about the accident I was climbing into the co-drivers seat at Cog to head out for another day of rallying. It definitely made me think a little but I'm not going to let that stop me from doing the sport I love. I've been thinking a lot about him the last couple days though and trying to think of any thing I can to better prepare a car and its occupants for an impact like that.
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Old 09-22-2005, 11:23 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by bjorn240
With all due respect to Miles, and while I tend to agree about the timing of this thread, I deeply disagree with the premise that ignorance is bliss and that if one races, one doesn't want to know about the possible effects of crashes.

I think that's absolutely wrong. Before you decide to get in a race car, you should have the insight to know what really might happen, the fortitude to accept it, and the foresight to ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken.

My insights into what might happen were certainly sharpened by the incidents of the past weekend, but I'll still be back in a rally car at the next event. And I'll do it with a fuller knowledge of the risks posed. If I can also do it with a better insight into safety equipment, that's a plus.

- Christian
Thanks Christian, I do(EDITED) want to know about the effects,...I KNOW about the effects, and make the necc upgrades and take the precautions.

I see most of the people flaming me are involved in the sport, so then why are you guys flaming me, my anger was towards the guy who after Jamie explained things, still kept asking the same question.

I DO want to know, I guess it just seems bad, or un-timely as its so sooon afterwards. Call me a wus , but it always gets me worked up when someone looses their life in racing.

CAR 187.....

dropping like flys would be Lovell/Freeman and now Park. I am sure there are alot others who are not famous who dont get the press, but in Sportscar racing it doesnt seem to happen ( seem) as much as of late.

I knew in responding I would get flamed, and thats kool. Dont think I dont want to know about the details, I DO. I guess I have had my fill of seeing some bad things and felt like.."WOW"..it hasnt been that long.

mw

Last edited by RaceComp Engineering; 09-22-2005 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 09-22-2005, 11:30 AM   #50
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Besides, a lot of people deal with tragedy by taking their minds off the emotional aspects and concentrating on the technical aspects. When there's a major plane crash one of the first things people do is look at why it happened. It's not out of disrespect for those who died, but to gain some useful insight so that their death is not in vain. People remember Earnhardt, not because he just becasue he was a great driver but because his death inspired changes.
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