Friday, November 25, 2011

How NOT to Run an Autocross Event!! (UPDATED)

Corner workers in the middle of the course just a few feet from gates, one of them even crouching instead of standing, people walking around casually, light poles without any markings (let alone protective padding), and a 3-foot-high curb at the edge of the course mere 30 ft from a fast section. What could go wrong?



And another car is STILL running out on the course almost 20 seconds after the 'Vette's crash. Not a single red flag in sight. Too bad this 'Vette owner ended up paying a hefty price for the organizers' stupidity.

12/09/2011 UPDATE
Here is an in-car cam from the same event as well. That curb at the end of the run comes up so FAST after the spin-out!



Related posts:
How Not To Be a Doofus at Performance Driving Schools


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14 comments:

  1. Interesting to read the comments on that item. Some of the comments had some of the course design rules wrong. Others were blaming the Vette driver. I'm not sure he had much to do with it - going both feet in might have had about the same effect, although on a different part of the car. Just another sign of how desperate clubs are for good sites.

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  2. hahahaha.....god was punishing the vette driver for having ugly tail lights.

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  3. lift-throttle oversteer

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  4. I think he got on the gas too aggressively while he was still turning at the slalom exit but man, that wall came up FAST!!

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  5. where do you expect corner workers to stand? sorry that how autox works, they have to stand "in the middle" to reset cones.

    light poles with no markings?? what kind of "markings" do you want??

    worker should not be crouching down no, other than that I can only say you must not have seen very many autox events, most of your complaints are simply nature of the beast - autox is relatively safe as auto racing goes.. but it's not 100% safe, every driver takes a risk when they sign up. at some point the driver has to be responsible for not crashing his car into things, period.

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  6. I've seen 1 or 2 autocross events, LOL! Autocross is supposed to be safe for everyone. A station worker 4 ft from the gate at 0:15 is not safe. A crouching one not much further from the path of travel is not safe. A fast final stretch < 30 ft from the wall is just plain reckless. If you have never spun at least once at autocross, you are not pushing hard enough. No-one should have to hit a wall just because of a spin...

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  7. As a long time autocrosser, from locals to national events... I see two sides in this... the driver if he felt the course design was unsafe, can alert the safety officials at the event, he can refuse to run the course, or simply slow down... I imagine this was a local/regional event, with no type of contingency or monetary payout... It is no one person's fault, a lot of people, driver included had to fail to make this happen.

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  8. It's very difficult to say just how close the workers are to the gates. Remember that the perspective from the camera really compresses distance. That said, it's unfortunate that it happened, but crashes do occur at autocross events as well. I do agree that curb was way too close, but besides the crouching workers most of your points aren't very valid.

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  9. Looks like a relatively legit autox course to me. That was an odd way to spin off in that area of the course. I see no issues here. Stuff happens.

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  10. Apparently, the safety standards and risk tolerance vary widely by geography. We have wide unobstructed runways at our venue near Boston so most of the drivers in the area have not experienced running an AutoX in a parking lot with light poles and a course layout that runs just feet from a tall curb.

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  11. three foot high curb? I would say a foot at least. Also how much experience did the driver have before this event and why baby it all the way around and then stand on it? I would guess that when the car started to rotate on him he panicked and didn't now what to do.

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  12. I have run about three seasons with a autox club that used a lot that had islands that you had to pass between that you might have 3-4 on either side of the car and you certainly were not holding anything back.

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  13. Good call, it's 1 ft at most. The wall behind it was 3 ft tall, not the curb. So then, throw inexperienced drivers on a course set up 10 ft from the curb and if they don't baby their car, too bad for them?

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  14. this is just bad bad driving in too much car, he drove miss daisy for 40 sec and all of a sudden decided to hammer it to the finnish and the car "automatic" down shifts and says lets go and his brain is still asleep. spinning a car by pushing it is one thing spinning it cuz your not focused is another thing all together and has no place on a racetrack or even an autox course the slow red flag is inexcusable! i also instruct autox at NHMS so ive seen my share of mindless driving

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