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Hmmm,
I repeatedly asked the Japanese team about their lack of metal valve step caps (the complete lack of any caps), even when they were teched on Saturday. They insisted that the tires during tech were not the tires they would be running on. Frankly, I'm not sure how they passed tech without them. I copied the above picture and pulled it into photoshop to blow it up. It's clearly at the starting line (see helecopter). I can't see the valve stem on the front tire, but the back tire is visable. It's hard to see if there is a cap on it, but the sun is shining directly on the valvestem and I don't see any reflection. Unless it's black metal, there isn't a cap.
MB
The Ely Time reported the following:

"Henry said, after the accident, the driver told him he was traveling at 200 mph when he heard something go pop. Inada backed off the gas fearing something had broken. As the car slowed to about 150 mph, one of the tires suddenly shredded. That forced the speeding car off the paved highway. The car over-turned seven times."

You can read the story of the whole weekend here:

http://www.elynews.com/archive...er/23-443-news02.txt
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Baldridge:
[qb] The Ely Time reported the following:

"Henry said, after the accident, the driver told him he was traveling at 200 mph when he heard something go pop. Inada backed off the gas fearing something had broken. As the car slowed to about 150 mph, one of the tires suddenly shredded. That forced the speeding car off the paved highway. The car over-turned seven times."

You can read the story of the whole weekend here:

http://www.elynews.com/archive...er/23-443-news02.txt [/qb]
I heard from a racer "course worker" he downshifted to slow down....maybe not a wise decision.

On another note that article seems a little disrespectful of Mike Powers Time. I guess they don't realize that was like the 7th or 8th fastest time ever on 318 and only puts him behind Chuck, myself, Todd, Rick and Sievers. That is pretty good company and something to be damned proud of considering he also even stayed within his tech speed of his tires (like the rules say), and seemed to be robbed out of about 30 seconds based on his GPS and my stopwatch.
I think what is more disrespectful was his statement "he plans to break the Guinness Book record". That would be different than saying he would like to break the record or his goal is to break the record. That statement kind of shows a level of arrogance that becomes very dangerous, regardless of how the accident happened. I think you need to walk before you run which is the route I have taken. My personal statement would be that my goal is to get a Mustang over 200mph average which is what I have on my web-site.

The point being, I think that the driver and the car need to run at some slower speeds to test the technology and the ability of the driver to make safe, knowledgeable choices at the appropriate corners. I don't know where he went off the road, whether someone inspected his tires, or even if anybody questioned his story, but I think that an investigation of what really happened to determine if this driver may have may a mistake based on lack of experience would be a good idea. If there is any question that this is what occured, he should be required to run at slower speeds first.
quote:
Originally posted by rory conaway:
[qb] I think what is more disrespectful was his statement "he plans to break the Guinness Book record". That would be different than saying he would like to break the record or his goal is to break the record. That statement kind of shows a level of arrogance that becomes very dangerous, regardless of how the accident happened. [/qb]
Rory, I was talking in reference to Mike Powers winning speed of 186 mph average.
I understand what you are saying and wasn't really judging the statement. I figured you had already done that. I was more worried that arrogance breeds mistakes. I see it with my employees and until there is some better knowledge of what really happened, I would take what he said about the pop with a grain of salt. Pride is a hard thing to swallow and if he did make a mistake, over-shot a corner, went airborne on a dip and lost control, etc..., do you think there is any chance he would admit that? It's also possible that a control arm snapped or bearings failed in the wheel. We will really never know.

I'm kind of going the direction that in order to maintain the safety record of the race, it might be a good idea to create a database of DNF issues and in the case of extreme accidents, the tech inspectors should at least take a look at it.

Dave, in your case and others that have run the open class and have an immense amount of experience, you know the issues and what to look for with these types of failures. I want the race to continue for as long as possible since my retirement is going into that elusive 200mph goal and I don't want someone's ego or untested equipment ruining that. I also believe that you have to walk before you run or everyone will pay the consequences.
Solutions are only acheivable when all concerned are no longer willing to compromise safety in the interest of hype & ticket sales. The issues are not necessarily unique to this board.
Analysis of incident root cause would be a great thing. SSCC has long ago taken a small step in the right direction by putting in place a "report tire failure" procedure! Has anybody ever filled out the report and submitted it? Highly doubtful. Has anybody ever been bugged about not filling out the report? Doubtful.
I know many racers would appreciate the opportunity to work with management to improve procedures or processes. We have a lot of untapped talent available for the asking.
This will be the second to last post I will make regarding the subject of safety and comunnications issues.

cheers,
Roland
I've been reviewing an in car tape from someone who was behind the OPTION car. No dips or curves. Mr. Inada's car left the roadway next to the WP-3 mile marker (?), just at the crest of a slight rise on the straight between the right hand sweeper at WP-4 and the Left Uphill Turn at NY-38. Skidmarks on the road indicate he was already seriously (sp?) sideways before he got to the shoulder on the right hand side of the road. The distance from where he left the road to where the vehicle came to rest is consistant with rolling over seven times or so times. There is a little black piece of something visible on the road surface near the right hand shoulder a couple hundred yards before the skidmarks.

Whatever the cause of his accident, I am glad he is OK and hope he comes back next year to try again! It's no fun without SOME bravado...

"There are Old Racers and there are Bold Racers, but there are no Old Bold Racers."
I'm not criticizing the board. In fact, I'm working on new ways to make the race safer also that I hope can be applied.

I don't know this driver's experience with Silver State or his qualifications. I just know that I had to start at the bottom. I had several years of motorcycle racing under my belt at insane speeds with my face 18" inches off the ground but I also realized that was under controlled track conditions where I could study the track very closely many times so I didn't make a mistake. Since we see 318 at most, twice a year at speed, a driver never becomes intimate with every nuance of every inch. On top of that, the surface changes over 6 months. That makes exessively fast, over-confident, inexperienced drivers in this environment, unsafe. In addition, I have discovered things about my car as I ran faster speeds (like the stupid stock oil system isn't up to the task) . I'm sure the board took this into account when they made their decision to let him drive unlimited.

Again, I don't know this guy and have no idea of his qualifications or his car but after what happened, I think it prudent to have him run some other class or possibly some other race in similiar conditions to test him and the car.

On another thought - It is probable that a database of accidents and causes will not have that much meaning since there are such a wide variety of cars. It was just a thought.
Hi Ron,

You have the right attitude about this whole thing. What I've seen you saying is "I am doing something to make this event safer". I hope everyone already knows that the future of these events has to do with how EVERYONE conducts themselves. It's in our hands, not the Boards. It doesn't matter what speed class someone runs. Pre-driving the course 'at speed'. Violating tech speed. Driving past skill level. Anything can and will be used by people who don't share our passion to put an end to these events. We all have to trust each other to make appropriate choices, and hope the ones that don't get the recognition they deserve.

No amount of preparation can protect us from Murphy and his immutable law.

BTW, the database is a great idea. Failure analysis is how you learn to succeed!
There does seem to be a lot of tire failures lately, with tires that are "supposed" to be able to handle these speeds. I know Todd C. has had a number of failures, and he gets good tires. These are sustained speeds, with almost no side loading or scrubbing to build heat. Of course, there is the usual road junk out there to contend with which might have something to do with the failures. I didn't run nearly as fast as the folks that had tire problems, and my tires were a little warm at the finish. What is the typical temp of a high-speed car's tires?
Jim,

I think we all know that tires are one of the biggest problems in ORR so we should all pay attention to them. I have noted that the tires on our car had a pressure rise of 6 to 8 LBs during SSCC. We ran in the 135 mph class with much time above 150mph. The final pressure was taken as soon as possible after completing the course. This put our tire pressure almost exactly at the max. pressure listed on the tire. Does this sound about right to you?

Thanks, Dale Foust
SSCC lifer #101

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