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Old 12-05-2012, 07:46 PM   #1
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Boxster Racing Incident Video

Here is a video from last weekend's Boxster Spec race at Willow Springs big track. The point of the video is to remind drivers to invest in the best safety equipment - you never know when you'll need it. I talked to the driver who spun and hit Dave's car today and he said that he either got into the marbles or put the left rear off the track and the car slid and came around to the right and hit Dave. Speed at impact was around 90mph. Both drivers are ok. One car totaled, one car medium damage.

Willow Springs Raceway Porsche BSR Incident 12-1-12 POC Cup Race - YouTube
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:27 PM   #2
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Yeowzzza!! I saw this on another Boxster site and I'm really glad everyone walked away ok. The Boxster with a full cage is one tough car. If this had happened on GP bikes they would have been picking up body parts with a shovel.

About 12 years ago I was T-boned at an intersection and my truck tripped and rolled 3 times and left me inverted, hanging from the straps. I was only going 1/2 as fast as these guys. Whew!
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:17 AM   #3
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Here's a video of the dearh of my Boxster (and tracking days). It's amazing how quickly things can get away from you when pushed to the limit Luckily, no one insured - even without cage or rollbar.

Rolling a Porsche Boxster S at the Track - YouTube
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:26 AM   #4
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Word on the street is that Dave's full roll cage actually cracked and deformed from this incident, but the deformation was not to the extent that the cage failed to provide full protection to the driver. This is bringing a heightened awareness not only to Boxster roll cage design, but material selection and quality of the build also. Your roll cage may only be as good as the person who designed, built, and installed it, so select a builder carefully as your life might be dependent on the skill/quality of their welds.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:17 PM   #5
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Wow maybe smacking a wall is not too bad after all....what went on there? Is the run off area a sand dune?

You want deformation and some bending so that less energy is absorbed by your body
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:09 PM   #6
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Very glad the driver is A-OK.

I remember talking with my indy shop (Fischer Motors) owner about doing some performance mods to my 993 Turbo a couple years ago. When we got done tallking about 'this mod' and 'that mod', he asked me, "so, how much are you going to spend on safety improvements?". I was like, "ah, good point!". Spent the money on preventive maintenance (always plenty to do on an air cooled 911) and driver education, instead.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:00 PM   #7
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Word on the street is that Dave's full roll cage actually cracked and deformed from this incident, but the deformation was not to the extent that the cage failed to provide full protection to the driver. This is bringing a heightened awareness not only to Boxster roll cage design, but material selection and quality of the build also. Your roll cage may only be as good as the person who designed, built, and installed it, so select a builder carefully as your life might be dependent on the skill/quality of their welds.
From what I've gathered, the main hoop failed right above the drivers head. LUCKILY, the failure happened late in the roll sequence and one more roll over might have been a disaster.

I talked with Dave this morning and will be driving up to inspect the car next week.

I think a bullet was dodged with this one. Luckily everyone was OK but this was very close to being a serious problem. Hopefully this will open some eyes about safety, roll cage design, materials, and put costs in perspective.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:06 PM   #8
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Wow maybe smacking a wall is not too bad after all....what went on there? Is the run off area a sand dune?

You want deformation and some bending so that less energy is absorbed by your body
The track has some elevation change and this car went backwards up a slope. The slope sent the car into a quite a tumble. Most of the ground at this track is fairly hard dirt.

Some deformation maybe OK, but this was a sheered tube from what I understand. That is truly scary and not designed into any roll cage. Ideally, the stock steel exterior panels will take care of energy absorption and deformation, but the roll cage should stay put as best as possible. The Boxster cabin is small enough as it is and we can't afford much intrusion into that area. Luckily the seat had been lowered and this driver was around 5'7" and 140lbs or so.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:22 AM   #9
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Wow maybe smacking a wall is not too bad after all....what went on there? Is the run off area a sand dune?

You want deformation and some bending so that less energy is absorbed by your body
Yes, deformation and bending of the body panels and crush zones is desired to absorb energy, but the roll cage is the drivers last barrier of protection and should remain intact and not intrude into the drivers compartment.

Of course, there is the perfect world where roll cages never bend and there is the real world where weight, materials, complexity, build quality, and cost have to taken into account; but the point remains the same - if the roll cage bends inward, the drivers safety is compromised.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:54 AM   #10
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Yes for sure. I am extremely happy that the fellow was in hurt. Yes of course one does not want the drivers protection zone compromised; one would be hard pressed to design this at the proper threshold.

I was merely saying that this bending would have likely helped energy absorption on top where you have nothing. The stuff in your head does not like rapid deceleration
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:45 PM   #11
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I will whole heartedly agree that safety equipment design is very important, and we should have the best equipment we can find when going on a race track.

Still, the race track needs to take some responsibility too, and unfortunately almost every track in the US is sorely lacking. It looks to me like the lack of a good track edge design at Willow Springs started this fiasco, and the dirt embankment finished it off.

That new F1 track in Austin seems to be the only track we have that makes a serious attempt at safety.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:47 PM   #12
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If you don't like the track don't drive on it. Inability to assume responsibility for your actions like this resulted in no Porsche 930 and no Cessna 150. I would hate to not have a local track because of someone with attitudes like that got it shut down due to litigation and increased insurance costs.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:59 AM   #13
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If you don't like the track don't drive on it. Inability to assume responsibility for your actions like this resulted in no Porsche 930 and no Cessna 150. I would hate to not have a local track because of someone with attitudes like that got it shut down due to litigation and increased insurance costs.
Chill dude - I didn't advocate taking any legal action against any track.

I take full responsibility for risks on track, and rightly all track owners require signed waivers of liability so that everyone has to do the same.

I've had my share of racing incidents: crashing in the rain at Turn 5 on drivers left at Road Atlanta while leading a a race, taken out by a competitor entering turn 2 at Roebling that cost me the SARRC Regional Championship one year, and witnessed up close several "competitors" at HPDE events hit various immovable objects at Barber, Road Atlanta, Brainard, etc. where there should have been more run off room.

I don't want to close any tracks, but I would like to see a lot of improvements. Unfortunately that will only come with big money.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:17 PM   #14
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yeah. biggest problem with most tracks is all those corners. take them out and everything would be a lot safer.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:44 AM   #15
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I understand what Lapdoug is saying. I had a simple off at Pocono, but since they didn't bother to grade the runoff, it tore the nose and radiator off my Formula Ford. Like any other business, tracks tend to improve their bottom line by deferring maintenance.
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