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open road racing inherantly dangerous

Ole it is amazing , that not only these events run with the minimum of safety gear but that people enter them. Here in Nevada we run three open road events. Virginia City , Pony Express and the Silver State Challange. I don't know about the other events but I have worked the Silver State and would not recommend these events to anyone. Our friends Carl and Ellen Young had a huge crash at this past September's Silver State and are lucky to be alive (Carl is still recovering). Another local driver died at one of these events about 10 years ago - a few years before that a Ferrari went off and the passenger was killed.
There is a reason Mille Miglia and Targo Florio are gone.

Tom Grossmann
 

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This may unfortunately be the wake-up call the hillclimb needed, as well as for some competitors. They've been playing Russian Roulette for quite some time with the lack of requiring any safety equipment (besides a helmet!). A number of people had warned the organizers that this would happen, if entrants are free to run whatever they want.

This was an open top viper with no safety equipment (i.e. harnesses, racing seats, etc.) or cage of any kind, as is the case with most of the cars running there (only about 5 or 6 cars have proper cages - pretty scary considering these are Vipers, Corvettes, 993 Turbo's, etc.). A friend had ridden up with the driver earlier and said he was turning in too early and getting way too wide out of the corners. There's no runoff area or shoulder on these roads so you're either hitting a hillside or going over the edge. In comparison to the rally roads we run, these roads are just as dangerous in certain sections, though where this driver went off, if they were in a caged closed-top car, they could have survived.

Last year one of the Beddor's Yellow RUF Porsche Turbo's (same cars that run at Pikes Peak) went over the edge and destroyed the car, but the car was fully caged and the driver walked away (can't remember if it was David or Steve).

The year before that, the same thing happened to another caged 993 Turbo which rolled harder, but again the driver and passenger walked away with some bumps and bruises.

It would be a shame to lose an event like this, and there's no reason to, if proper safety requirements are set in place.

-mark nelson
 

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I agree with Mark, it would be a shame to lose the event.
It is pretty easy to change a few rules and bring in some
qualified tech inspectors. There are definitely car flipping
cliff faces on the inside, but the drop offs are not nearly as
far as many of our rally roads. The slopes are rocky and
treeless, however. I would not go up the hill without a
cage, because some of those rocks have rather deep roots.

Funny how time allows you to filter out the bad and remember
the good.

Paul Timmerman
 

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It was a very sad day in VC. the passenger in the viper was the drivers sister-in-law, his wife lost his sister and her husband in the same crash. very tragic. as for a roll cage, it might of helped, but it is really hard to say if it would really have mattered. i have never seen a car so mangeled in my life. totally unrecognizable, i saw the porsches that crashed the two years previous, and neither of them crashed like the viper did, it left the road on one of the fastest sections, somewhere around 100mph, and traveled at least two hundred feet down to the bottom of the canyon. i have ridden in non-caged cars in the past, because the people without cages arent pushing the limits, just having fun with horsepower, but i agree that its time to make cages mandatory, i just dont know if the event will survive with over half the field not being caged. but i agree that safety is paramount in motorsport, we shall see about next year.

noah
 
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It was Terry Herman that died about ten years ago. I'd worked with him on a few occasions at road racing events--a very, very nice guy, and an enthusiastic teacher for new racers.

It's a bummer that the fatalities continue. These cars need cages. They may not help in all cases, but they would reduce the risk.

---------------------------------------
John Dillon John @ WidgetRacing.com
www.WidgetRacing.com
 

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I agree that ALL these types of events need to have cages mandated...but I doubt it will ever happen. Also, as long as there are events that do not require cages, there will be idiots that run them. Sorry, that is how I fel. There are sure to be those that read this list that either have done this type of event without a cage, or would given the chance. I just feel it to be an completely unnecessary risk. There are some crashes that no cage will allow survival, but the majority are livable. The worst part is that a good cage really doesn't take away that much from a car. There is just no logical reason I can see for not having a properly equipped vehicle.
 
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