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Saftey with off road and rally racing

Jimmy8

Well-Known Member
This was taken directly from tha pages of RACER Magazine. It is very realevent to off road racing, and shows just how vulnerable our sport is. I know that Scott from PCI is a very big advocate for this issue, and am sure he will have a coment on it. It just shows how vulnerable even an organization like the FIA is.
"Dodging a Bullet"
"Racing safety issues concentrated on participants in 2001, in the aftermath of the loss of Dale Earnhardt at the Daytona 500. However, an incident during a stage of the Rally Great Britain, final round of the FIA World Rally Championship, refocused attention on the first and foremost goal of all motorsports saftey developments: protection of the paying public.
Two-time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz's Ford Focus went off the road and plowed into a spectator area, sending 13 fans to the hospital, two in serious condition with head neck and back injuries. Sainz was not injured, and completed the stage before withdrawing from the event. Rallying athorities were well aware that they had dodged a major bullet, and immediately suggested that the event, which this year drew 50,000 fans daily in the course of its four day run, faces the ax unless specific new spectator saftey guidelines are established.
"Any event with poor saftey is at risk," noted World Rally Championship TV rights manager David Richards. "Just because Britain is the base for many of the teams does not mean saftey can be any less stringent here."
Drivers reported having to take avoiding action as they came across spectators wandering down the stages. "The spectator areas are carefully chosen, but there is no way of predicting where a rally car could go in an accident," said Richard Burns, whose third place in Britain clinched his first World Championship title on home ground. "I am sure the organizers here will do whatever is neccassary."
They'd better. The Rally of Portugal has been excluded from next years WRC calendar because of poor saftey, while Monte Carlo Rally was also threatened with a ban after a succession of recent incidents."
This is a caption for a picture
"Proximity to the action is a large part of rallying's appeal, but 13 fans got too close to Carlos Sainz's Ford in Britain, pointing out a clear and present danger for the sport."

Now tell me how much this article reminds you of our sport.

PMC Racing
 

firedog

Well-Known Member
I watch WRC races all the time on Speedvision and to this day it still amazes me that so many of spectators insist on standing on the outside of the corners, talk about an accident waiting to happen! Just my .02 cents.
 

TimHayosh

Well-Known Member
Firedog said: I watch WRC races all the time on Speedvision and to this day it still amazes me that so many of spectators insist on standing on the outside of the corners, talk about an accident waiting to happen!"

Exactly.

They cancelled one of the 5 stages on the first day of the Monte Carlo Rally because of this. They show helo shot's of dozens of spectators standing right where one of these cars would go. BTW, they were often racing on hardpacked snow/ice. Dah.

I guess it's a "run with the bulls" sort of mentality. People get killed that way. I think the driver should be able to sue stupid fans for their trauma!
 

ntsqd

Well-Known Member
Who remembers that footage of a 240-260-280Z rally car taking out a photographer ? It got air time on a lot of those "Max Exposure" type of tv shows. Here's a professional motorsports photographer who ought to know better putting himself in the line of danger.
I've seen it at MDR races, most notably at Barstow at the hard left after the course comes away from near the freeway for the first time. If I knew the course better I might be able to more concisely describe the turn. Course comes up a fast shallow draw onto a big flat area, makes the hard left and runs up a rocky, silty stretch to a checkpoint that is the last one b4 S/F. Saw several people pull up right in line with where the racers would end up if they didn't/couldn't make the turn.

TS

"Teach you all I know and you're still stupid"
-- Howdy Lee
 

scott

Well-Known Member
You stand 6 to 8 feet from the course, and stuff happens.....then I think you'll pay the piper, especially standing on the outside of a corner. Look at what happened at the 500 a couple of years back with Bloodwin.... Accidents happen, but common sense prevails...
 

firedog

Well-Known Member
I also think that it boils down to people need to take responsibility for thier own decisions. If they want to sand on the out side of corners and get hit, so be it, it was their decision! Don't blame the drivers for some spectators stupidity, anyone heard of darwinism? Just my .02 cents.
 

WRC

Well-Known Member
A picture is worth a 1000 word's, and more interesting too.


In Rally the crowds are really not a threat. If they get to bad they just close the stage and move on. The FIA covers itself and the drivers / team's from law suits via contracts and the hosting countries gladly sign on the dotted line to be able to host a race. This is one of the things that keep the WRC from coming to the USA though. Look at off road here in the states and in Mexico, very similar situations.




<A target="_blank" HREF=http://wrcss@hotmail.com>Sean R.</A>
 

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DPpatrol

Well-Known Member
I'm trying to decide who has a bigger death wish, the guys who drive the rally cars, or the ones who watch them. I think I'm leaning toward the spectators.

jason
 

WRC

Well-Known Member
My vote is for the Co-Driver’s (navigators), those guys are nuts and MUST wear diapers! No way would you get me in there with a pad and pencil reading to some guy trying to get us killed!


<A target="_blank" HREF=http://wrcss@hotmail.com>Sean R.</A>
 

DPpatrol

Well-Known Member
You're probably right, they're the one guy who's not really in control. I bet you at times the codrivers are slamming their foot to the floorboards wishing there was a brake pedal there, or grasping for an imaginary steering wheel to try and keep the car on the road.

jason
 

ntsqd

Well-Known Member
I know of one team that got out of rallying when the co-pilot, who also happened to be the crew chief and head fabricator, put a trap door in the floor on his side so he could puke, as he regularly did, and not have it sloshing around in the car. This was an early Mazda GLC (80" wb) with a 310 bhp 13B in it.

TS

"Teach you all I know and you're still stupid"
-- Howdy Lee
 

rdc

- users no longer part of the rdc family -
I think this should be a wake up call to all spectators. My brother and I run 5/1600 and have seen several spectators in bad places. Case in point - Ridgecrest 2001, we lost rear brakes coming into a hard left-hander. Some guy thought it would be a good idea to kneel on the berm to get a good picture. It was all my brother could do to keep from plowing this guy. If he only knew how close he was to buying the farm. We of all people know the importance of spectators and are very appreciative of their support, but please be careful and pick your viewing sites carefully.
 
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