Mint 400 Crash - Race Vehicle 1035

frostbite36

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What was the original link with the pics or can someone post again? I didn't know there were separate threads on this...seems counter-intuitive.


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ndvalium

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Do the separate off-road racing organizations share crash data? Do the organizations actually inspect and write reports on the condition of the vehicles after a crash like this so changes can be mandated that make the sport safer? Will a race car that is involved in a catastrophic crash undergo more rigorous tech inspection the next time it is raced?

I know the off-road racing community doesn't want more and more rules instated. However, in the name of safety I would think that most will understand. I know that most racers have safety in mind when building and maintaining their race cars. However, I know that sometimes the cost out weighs the desire to be safe.

In my business, when there is a failure of some sort, whether it be human error or equipment we evaluate every aspect to see what we can improve for a safer work environment going forward. Reports are written and we have a monthly IRB (Incident Review Board), that thankfully I do not have to be a part of. The findings are shared with our other divisions so we can learn from the mistakes of all the divisions so we don't make it again elsewhere or in ours again. Sometimes we don't find anything to change. It may have been human error and there isn't anything we can "legislate" to fix that.

Currently the organizations do not share information in any formal way. I can tell you however the group that provides medical / rescue for SNORE, SCORE and BITD participate in constant communication outside of the race organizations. In fact for the Mint 400, all three Rescue Directors from each of the series was working in various areas of the course.

We are in the early stages of building a better way to communicate and share information after accidents / incidents and provide a constant communication however to date our focus has not been on the vehicle side. We may try and add that aspect with the tech directors if we can add a little more time in our weeks.

What was the original link with the pics or can someone post again? I didn't know there were separate threads on this...seems counter-intuitive.


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There is no previous one with pics - I am still waiting for info from the team. I was out of town for 4 days for a race in Hemet this week and did not have the chance to talk with them.

That was a year ago, isn't this about this year??
Yes this incident on the original post is from this year



I am committed to trying to share and provide as much information as I can get.on this crash as I believe knowledge can help us build a better mousetrap. The fact that his helmet struck the ground outside of the vehicle is a big concern for me. Cars crash, tubes do move, and metal bends, but I feel the occupant should remain within the cage.
 

Robin Hood

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The fact that his helmet struck the ground outside of the vehicle is a big concern for me. Cars crash, tubes do move, and metal bends, but I feel the occupant should remain within the cage.

Is it possible that he did not have the proper head room within the cage to allow for the belts to stretch and keep him from hitting the cage or the ground?

From BITD rule book..."All roll cage components (hoops, braces, gussets, etc.) must have a minimum of 3-inch clearance from the component to the vehicle occupant’s helmets when occupants are seated in their normal riding positions. All portions of the roll bar or bracing that might come into contact with the vehicle occupant’s helmets must be padded."

Frankly 3" probably isnt enough but does BITD or any other race organization check this? If you are really going to take saftey to this level every banded driver and co-driver should have to be buckled in and the clearances and belt angles should be checked. This is way more important then almost all the other stuff they look at.
 

Bdub 1020

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Hey Robin since you disliked me what brand of car is this were talking about. I do agree on having room between occupants heads and tubing. I have seen some to close before
 
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Robin Hood

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What chasis is the car. We had several crazy wrecks and rolls and our Jimco only needed some tubing replaced. That's crazy.

Hey Robin since you disliked me what brand of car is this were talking about. I do agree on having room between occupants heads and tubing. I have seen some to close before

I have no idea what kind of chassis it is.... There are so many variables that could have contributed to the impact of the helmet that I don't feel the chassis manufacturer or your previous wrecks in a Jimco are relevant and could be mis-leading.
 

Kolman

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I have no idea what kind of chassis it is.... There are so many variables that could have contributed to the impact of the helmet that I don't feel the chassis manufacturer or your previous wrecks in a Jimco are relevant and could be mis-leading.

While it may not be to the liking of the chassis manufacturer that their name is attached to this, I do feel it would be relevant to the conversation. Previous wrecks in a Jimco, I can see your point there.
 

Dave In Florida

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So which is the worse of two evils? As others smarter than I have said, the seat brackets act as a "crush zone" absorbing some of the impact. Is it better to have that take some of the force and the seat belts possibly come loose? or to have the belts stay tight and not have the extra "cushion" in a hard impact?

I'm by no means an expert, but perhaps the theory is you're better to be alive with spinal or pelvic injuries from taking the solid hit of a well designed seat than dying from flopping around after the mounts collapse and you are lose in your belts.
 

green787

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The brackets that have been shown in this thread are good for attaching the seats to a VW pan.... but in actual racing, typically the seats are supposed to be mounted directly to the roll cage...
 

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KiwiMike

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I have never seen an FIA rated composite seat with an upper mount, the back is designed to flex and return to its original position, I'm sure you could find YT videos on seat testing. An aluminum seat is a different story, it won't return to its original position so it needs to be fastened.

I know you are very knowable and more so than I and a number of other people on safety related items. I am sure RaceTech seats are composite and FIA approved. They have upper mounts. I think that is part of the design and are required to be used in order to meat FIA approval. International Motorsport : Racetech USA

Maybe some reasons not to use the race tech seats, e.g having seat flex to absorb impact. but to me they look like a great option.
Not wanting to detract from the original topic, and as a lot of people interested to hear what the failure point in order to learn more and apply better safety.
What is your thought on these seats?
 
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Jeff Furrier

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RaceTech builds a great seat, we've worked with them in the past. They are not as widely distributed, but are very well engineered high quality seats. I honestly cant say why their seats need a back brace to comply with FIA 8859-1999 and 2009, but I'm going to look into it. The RT seats we've worked with have not had back braces.

I'd let up on the bent brackets being a cause for injury, its unlikely they could bend enough to make the belts so loose that they would make a difference, unless they broke loose. I bet the deflection at the maximum would be no more than 2-3". If the brackets were 12" tall, maybe. If the bracket bends left to right 3", the one side of the belt will get loose, but the other will get tight, so its a wash.

But as said, there are way to many variables to speculate with the limited information offered.
 
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You might want to revisit that thought. If those 3" brackets shift fully to one side the seat will lose 3" of height and all belts will get loose.

If the bracket bends left to right 3", the one side of the belt will get loose, but the other will get tight, so its a wash.
 
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While it may not be to the liking of the chassis manufacturer that their name is attached to this, I do feel it would be relevant to the conversation. Previous wrecks in a Jimco, I can see your point there.

I think the JIMCO chassis has proven itself over and over. This time looks to be no different as it wasn't a chassis failure from what I read. One "broken tube in the drivers door section" does not seem to be the problem, only an indication of where it took a really hard hit.

The focus seems to be that "both seats had shifted to the drivers side approximately 4 to 5 inches from center allowing the drivers side seat to actually stick outside the race vehicle." That would indicate a problem with the seat mounting system and not the JIMCO chassis.
 

Bdub 1020

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I want to clarify my position. We had several wrecks in our 2000 Jimco. Roll overs , hitting bridges , flips just about every way. We NEVER had a failure just some bends and cracks. Jimco builds a safe and strong car.One of the best IMO. I do not know what type of car this was and was just asking. RDC is like playing telephone around a campfire with alcohol involved.
 

ndvalium

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The team and their prep shop have had the chance to dissect the car a little more and provided me with a few pictures. Here is what we know:

This is a 2007 Fusion Chassis The Sparco seats were mounted on the same style brackets that were shown in a previous post. The seat belts were attached directly to the cage. The shoulder belts were mounted on a bar approximately 6 inches below the shoulder level and then went up and over another bar at shoulder level directly behind the seat. The seats were mounted on an adjustable seat bracket although were all the way back and never moved from that position as all drivers were the same size.

Both seats shifted several inches. According to the car owner the seats were already against the window net prior to the crash. It didn't take much to shift them outside of the car frame.

On the Drivers seat, the brackets both bent and shifted to the left creating the tilting seat. On the passenger seat, the seat mount bolts broke from the tube on the right side of the car allowing that seat to tilt further towards the center of the car.

The tube that broke was the A pillar tube and indicated that it took the highest amount of energy.

There was also several bent tubes in the x bracing between the shock mounts to the rear of the passenger cage again indicating a hard drivers side hit.

The passenger portion of the cage appears to have shifted from the main frame and they are still determining the future of the car if they will repair it.

Other contributing factors to this in the shops opinion appear to be the window net style was inadequate to contain occupants inside the vehicle as well as using adjustable seat mounts. The point of break of the brackets to the frame was on the seat brackets.

Please understand and know it is not my intention to attack any builder, fabricator, prep shop, company, racer or anyone else in this. My goal is 100% focused on determining if we can prevent similar occurrences in the future for everyone in any series. Best in the Desert will review all this info and determine if any additional steps need to be taken in Tech to ensure we are meeting the expectations for the safest vehicles we can under the extreme situations.

I hope the information is helpful to some and gives you things to look at on your cars. No matter what organization you race with I want you guys to be as safe as possible and if my team ever sees a chance to improve things for others we will try and share info like this to you. As a side note, Scott continue to recover with his neck injury and we are thankful he has no deficits from this impact.



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Robin Hood

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There are so many issues here and I think BITD needs to take a hard look at how they are handling tech inspection.

I hope this car is not a good example of what needs to be improved and learned from. I hope this is an anomaly and far from typical.
 

green787

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Hmmmm....Judging by the pictures above... There's NOT a lot of "roundness" to the roll cages on these buggies.... That's why when it hits the ground the angular effect is to concentrate the forces on the impact zone.. Like the tip of a pyramid.... Nothing gives.... Harnesses and seats are taking a lot of G forces....No crunch zone....
Also it looks as thought the driver is nearly outside of the vehicle to begin with... Would a little more room for driver and passenger space slow it down???
 
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"The Sparco seats were mounted on the same style brackets that were shown in a previous post."

These are NOT the Sparco brackets what were shown in the previous post, its not even close!

The bracket has much less material than the the Sparco or UPR bracket, but its really the spacer that added the leverage needed is where the problem is. As you can see it broke near both of the spacers,top and bottom. Any bracket mounted like this would have likely failed. The bracket needs to be mount against the seat, that's why there is only an 8mm bolt fastening it and not a 12 or 14mm shouldered bolt. Its pretty obvious that the longer bolt adds leverage to both ends.

Any more pictures of where the lap belt was mounted?

The seats shoulder area is wider than a typical suspension seat, but the rest of the seat(depending on model) shouldn't be any larger, and in most cases narrower. This could actually been worse if the shoulders weren't partially restrained by the seat..even though they are beyond the tube.

Off road cars often have multiple drivers in various sizes as we know, which makes it difficult to set the car up properly.
 
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