Mint 400 Crash - Race Vehicle 1035

Bro_Gill

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Judging by that last picture, that seat mount on the chassis has been cracked a while. Notice it is not shiny on most of the break? Looks to be pretty thin as well. Saving weight where it shouldn't be.
 

QurtysLyn

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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.



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.


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.

If you can come up with a standardized report to submit to you guys after race incidents, that would help. Kyle or I would be happy to fill them out for BOR after we have an incident (which luckily is rare).
 
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JDDurfey

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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.


I was thinking the same thing when I saw the picture of the spacer. When a spacer is installed between two parts it just creates more leverage on both parts when there is movement. This reduces the strength of the parts drastically and I would imagine the manufacturer did not design or test it to withstand impact set up this way. A longer bolt of any diameter bends easier than a shorter bolt of the same diameter.
 

frostbite36

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Good eye. I also see a BIG issue using a spacer like that to make the seat bracket line up with the frame mount point. Surely a contributing factor.

Something else that bothers me A LOT is fuel cells mounted under seats. That's what we have here, right? I've seen a bigger trend of doing this lately to lower center of gravity, but it scares the crap out of me...no firewall is of benefit with it in this position, either. I know a fuel cell puncture and subsequent fire is hugely catastrophic and intense, when it happens, but every bit of safety margin with fire counts. It's funny, because designing it like this costs so much more for a pair of custom cells. It's a compromise on safety for smallish performance gains. IMO.

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NIKAL

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Something else that bothers me A LOT is fuel cells mounted under seats. That's what we have here, right? I've seen a bigger trend of doing this lately to lower center of gravity, but it scares the crap out of me...no firewall is of benefit with it in this position, either. I know a fuel cell puncture and subsequent fire is hugely catastrophic and intense, when it happens, but every bit of safety margin with fire counts. It's funny, because designing it like this costs so much more for a pair of custom cells. It's a compromise on safety for smallish performance gains. IMO.

I have asked the same thing for awhile now. Off-road is the only series or Org. that I know of that allows you to put the fuel cell in the drivers compartment. Per the SCORE/BITD rules you must have a firewall between the fuel cell & drivers compartment. We have has issues as Tech has not liked the height of ours. Yet I have never seen a firewall between any of the under seat mounted cells. I would think and expect the rules to require a thicker skid plate or sub floor like you have for your feet to protect the cell from being punctured from the underside too. What would have happened if those broken tabs would have punctured that cell?

And since the UTV's in BITD are tech'ed by someone other then BITD, this is considered OK by them! Filler neck & lines between the seats. Your a hose clamp away from being covered in fuel. Scary! I dont even know where the seat belt tabs are or would go? Clearly not in the correct mounting location with the cell there.

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ndvalium

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You wont really be able to educate and enforce without teching the cars with the drivers belted in.
Well regardless, I will not stop trying to help where I can despite the obstacles.

I started this thread in hopes that people would take a couple minutes and learn from something that happened on this incident. It wasn't about the what if's and what could potentially happen. It was an obvious break in machine that caused a significant injury and I was hopeful others would find the information useful to make their own mousetraps a little better.

This obviously wasn't the right way for me to share the information and I will try and think of a new way in the future should I see the opportunity.

Stay safe and hope to see you all in Laughlin at the Laughlin Desert Classic - BITD has some great things planned for this event!
 

NORRA129

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Well regardless, I will not stop trying to help where I can despite the obstacles.

I started this thread in hopes that people would take a couple minutes and learn from something that happened on this incident. It wasn't about the what if's and what could potentially happen. It was an obvious break in machine that caused a significant injury and I was hopeful others would find the information useful to make their own mousetraps a little better.

This obviously wasn't the right way for me to share the information and I will try and think of a new way in the future should I see the opportunity.

Stay safe and hope to see you all in Laughlin at the Laughlin Desert Classic - BITD has some great things planned for this event!

I thought this was a valuable thread and probably had a lot of taking another look at our seat mounts. Thank you for sharing the info.
 

frostbite36

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Well regardless, I will not stop trying to help where I can despite the obstacles.

I started this thread in hopes that people would take a couple minutes and learn from something that happened on this incident. It wasn't about the what if's and what could potentially happen. It was an obvious break in machine that caused a significant injury and I was hopeful others would find the information useful to make their own mousetraps a little better.

This obviously wasn't the right way for me to share the information and I will try and think of a new way in the future should I see the opportunity.

Stay safe and hope to see you all in Laughlin at the Laughlin Desert Classic - BITD has some great things planned for this event!
Don't hesitate to spread the word on safety. This (RDC) is the only means to spread info across all the sanctioning bodies. I've found this thread quite valuable. Don't stop what you're doing! There will always be folks with different views on here...both racers and non-racers.

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JDDurfey

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Well regardless, I will not stop trying to help where I can despite the obstacles.

I started this thread in hopes that people would take a couple minutes and learn from something that happened on this incident. It wasn't about the what if's and what could potentially happen. It was an obvious break in machine that caused a significant injury and I was hopeful others would find the information useful to make their own mousetraps a little better.

This obviously wasn't the right way for me to share the information and I will try and think of a new way in the future should I see the opportunity.

Stay safe and hope to see you all in Laughlin at the Laughlin Desert Classic - BITD has some great things planned for this event!

I think everyone who has read and replied to this thread understands your motive. And I think for the most part, most of the people replying have good intentions. There were not many or any posts bashing the builder of the car or the owner. Anyone in this sport with half a brain should look at this as a learning experience so no one else goes through this or worse.

I personally would hate to see the safety side of this sport become so rigorous that no one wants to build a race car or race, but at the same time the sport needs to be as safe as possible. NASCAR evaluates the race cars after crashes to see how they can improve safety and off-road needs to do the same. That is why I asked the question I did about the organizations sharing crash data to improve safety across the board. I hate the thought of having some "governing body" to mandate safety rules and regs on the race cars, but maybe that is what is needed. One institution in charge that all the organizations can fall under and line up their rules to so the sport is kept as safe as possible.

Off-road is inherently dangerous to begin with. I believe it is probably one of the most dangerous forms of motor sports next to motocross. The uncontrollable variables are what make it more dangerous than say NASCAR or NHRA in my opinion. So the off-road racing community needs to do what they can to make it as safe as possible, but with out analyzing a race car after major crash and seeing what can be done and opening up a discussion on it there will be no improvement.
 

Jeff Furrier

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Well regardless, I will not stop trying to help where I can despite the obstacles.

As it should be.

I may come off a little harsh at times, some out of frustration and sometimes because I don’t really have extra time to post, so when I think I can add valuable insight I usually have extra time to sugar coat. More times than not, we don’t post based on the tone of a thread, knowing that it will just be a battle of opinions. We take the safety seriously and do our homework; the information coming UPR staff based is usually based on facts and rarely just an opinion. We’ve investigated many crashes and the injuries that have resulted to better our knowledge.

We love desert racing, which is really the main reason we’re involved as a supplier. It’s not a money grab or an ego trip for us; we really care about making the sport safer.

I think BITD is trying to be pro-active while trying to keep their racers/customers happy and safe…in that order. I’ve spoken to Dave and Daryl multiple times on safety related issues, I don’t agree with all of the processes but I do know they’ve made some positive changes and are working hard to make it even better.
 

Bro_Gill

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I've been biting my tongue of that fuel cell issue for a while. It started with the newer class 1s (I think it actually started with one of Ivan's trucks years ago, just not many others followed suit) and has moved into class 10. When I added a cell to the 11 car, I actually enclosed the cell into another box because I didn't feel that a simple piece of aluminum between the cell and the seats was going to stop spilling fuel from sloshing around the floor and possibly engulfing the occupants if on fire. Now guys are sitting on 'bombs' and probably don;t even realize it. Cells mounted as low as possible, literally an inch above the floor pan that gets holes ripped in it regularly. Think about that! Many years ago SCORE did away with side pod fuel cells because there was a fear that they could be too easily damaged and result in fire. I think fuel cells in/on/under/around the seats should be the next thing changed. I don't know ho that sidebyside Jeff showed could ever pass a safety inspection.
 
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OldStroppeTeam

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Something else that bothers me A LOT is fuel cells mounted under seats. That's what we have here, right? I've seen a bigger trend of doing this lately to lower center of gravity,
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It is done in other forms of motorsports, not saying we a lemmings leaping off a cliff but we are all after the same thing LOWER CG . What about motorcycle guys ? Their fuel is between their legs !?!
 

Bro_Gill

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In that video, the fuel tank is behind the driver, not under it. The driver in a F1 car is one of the heaviest pieces, so his butt is on the ground.
 

frostbite36

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Is that something else under the seat? An oil sump, perhaps?

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frostbite36

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Oh, I understand...the F1 video. Duh.

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johndjmix

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As a quad racer looking to get into a truck soon, this made me think of a question.

I'm assuming the belts come through the seat onto a roll bar tube.

So, has anyone seen the opposite happen...the tube behind the seat bend/deform in a way where it Litterly crushes the occupant into the seat?

--John


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frostbite36

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Here are some pics of changes we just did on our seat mounting system and seat frame after we had a broken (along the bottom horizontal tube) a Beard Superseat frame; after the last race at BAP.

The way it was mounted previously was 1.5" X .120 steel premade tabs (4 per seat); were welded to the bottom horizontal tube at each corner and then bolted to the underlying frame. I didn't realize how extremely thin the seat-frame material was until it broke! The tubing is so thin, it's almost like body sheet-metal! It had been like that racing for 5+ years.


These are the style of tabs previously welded to bottom of the seat frame

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I completely replaced the lower horizontal tubing with 3/4" x .095 wall round tubing, added a small reinforcing tab at the front on each side, installed .095 plate along the horizontal tubing to distribute the mounting load and reinforce the rear seat tubing junction, added 1" x .095 wall angle across as the new mount, and bolted Karter seat sliders to tabs welded directly to sub-frame.

I'm sure someone will say, "that's heavy", or have some engineering issue (though I hope not). It is certainly safer than it was before and adjustable for multiple drivers/riders now. It isn't all that heavy, actually.

I'm surprised more folks have not posted pics of their mounts...is everyone afraid of getting crucified in the "courtroom of RDC-opinion?" I would have welcomed more ideas on "proper" mounting during this repair process...

Thanks.

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