Saturday, December 14, 2013

Race Accident - Who's To Blame?

Hat Tip to Brian C.

This accident happened at a Road Atlanta race school. 
Who do you think is to blame?

Correction: The accident happened at a race, not a race school.


  1. No brainer - the car carrying the camera was at fault. Having raced at Road Atlanta twice, I'm familiar with turns 3 & 4. There is only one line through that complex until you make the left hand turn at 5. The car w/ the camera never gets his nose established in the lead. At that point, you need to tuck back in behind and attack exiting 5. Passing between 3 & 4 is ill advised, to say the least, and this video is a prime example.

  2. EJ Evo is right. Even when you are in a faster car, you have to be patient and choose your move. You have to always asses risk/reward and in this case, he got along side in an area where there is only one line and he left the Honda nowhere to go. Sorry, driver, but patience a little breathe and a focus on early power out of 5 would have got you cleanly around him with minimal time loss! at least you didn't hit anything!

  3. For the record, this was not in a race school. This was in an actual race.

    1. Thanks for the correction, I added it to the post.

  4. Note the NASA decal - this makes a difference. The rules for "leaving racing room" are different for NASA. The camera car had it;s front wheel next to the door of the lead car - therefore earning the right to racing room. NASA defines this as "3/4's of a car width" in the NASA CCR. The video shows the lead car clearly did not leave 3/4's car width - more like 1/4 car width, forcing the camera car off track.

    IMHO, fault lies in this order
    1) lead car for not leaving racing room under the rules
    2) lead car, for not being aware or choosing do disregard the car that was right next to him.
    3)camera car, for trying a low percentage move. Clearly he was faster, so he should have waited to get a run leaving the Esses and just driven around him on the straight.

    This is a worthwhile read to put it into perspective.

    "And if you insist on disregarding the other guy, moving over knowing contact is likely, you are also not a race driver. You are a jerk. A fast jerk, possibly, but a jerk nonetheless. Any other story is b.s."

  5. 25.4.2 Punting
    The term “punting” is defined as nose to tail (or side-of-the-nose to side-of-the-tail) contact, where the leading
    car is significantly knocked off of the racing line. Once the trailing car has its front wheel next to the driver of the
    other vehicle, it is considered that the trailing car has a right to be there. And, that the leading driver must leave
    the trailing driver enough “racing room.” In most cases, “racing room” is defined as “at least three quarters of
    one car width.” If adequate racing room is left for the trailing car, and there is incidental contact made between
    the cars, the contact will be considered “side-to-side.” In most cases, incidental side-to-side contact is
    considered to be “just a racing incident.” If, in the case of side-to-side contact, one of the two cars leaves the
    racing surface (involuntarily) then it may still be considered “a racing incident.”

    Note: See specific class rules for variations in this rule.
    25.4.3 Right to the Line
    The driver in front has the right to choose any line, as long as they are not considered to be blocking. The
    driver attempting to make a pass shall have the right to the line when their front wheel is next to the driver of the
    other vehicle. Note: This rule may be superseded by class specific rules

  6. Now, all that said, a SMART race driver would have waited to attempt that pass. A SMART race driver would also have been aware of the faster car closing and being along side and not have shut the door.

    Doesn't look to me like either move was very smart.