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Thread: dan weldon dead

  1. #21
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    Very well said...

    Quote Originally Posted by SwissJon View Post
    You know.. It's a sad fact of life that speed kills..

    But that doesn't mean we should stop and wrap ourselves up in cotton wool. That doesn't mean people shouldn't reach to better themselves, shouldn't try to do something that is dangerous, whether it's for the pleasure or for the good of mankind. If we didn't, we would never have invented cars, trains, planes, hell, we wouldn't even have ridden horses..

    People die, it's sad. but for both the drivers\riders who were killed this weekend, one can only say that at least they died doing something they loved, doing something they lived for.

    Rest in Peace.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwissJon View Post
    You know.. It's a sad fact of life that speed kills..

    But that doesn't mean we should stop and wrap ourselves up in cotton wool. That doesn't mean people shouldn't reach to better themselves, shouldn't try to do something that is dangerous, whether it's for the pleasure or for the good of mankind. If we didn't, we would never have invented cars, trains, planes, hell, we wouldn't even have ridden horses..

    People die, it's sad. but for both the drivers\riders who were killed this weekend, one can only say that at least they died doing something they loved, doing something they lived for.

    Rest in Peace.
    Completely agree... its what they wanted to do, and they were rich or talented enough to turn it into their day job.

    I once heard someone complain about richard branson and that other guy trying to circle the earth in their balloon. Someone said "why do these rich people waste all that money on stupid stuff, why cant they give it away to people who need it?"

    I say rich people should do what they want with their money. They earned it, through hard work or inheritance. Either way, it's theirs. Only give it away if its a tax write-off...
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwissJon View Post
    You know.. It's a sad fact of life that speed kills..

    But that doesn't mean we should stop and wrap ourselves up in cotton wool....
    All true. But it's also true that we need to keep trying to make these activities safer. At some of the open-wheel races at Eldora (a fairly well-known dirt track in Ohio) they bring out a bunch of "vintage" race cars and parade them around the track. Other tracks have similar displays, and there's even entire vintage racing events where you can see old cars from all forms of racing.

    If you ever get to see a collection of old race cars like this, in addition to the performance improvements made over the years, pay attention to the safety improvements. I mentioned open-wheel racers (specifically dirt-track cars) because some of the changes there are absolutely stunning. The real old-time cars, for instance, didn't even have roll cages, if you can imagine that. There have also been improvements to keep drivers' arms inside the cages when cars flip, and of course the more recent introduction of HANS devices.

    Some of you may have seen the photo I posted in SYS a while back showing a 360 Sprint flipping all over over the place in turn 4 at Eldora. When that car finally came to rest, the driver crawled out with no visible ill-effects. Despite the nasty-looking ride, that car performed exactly as it was engineered to do during the crash. The bouncing and bending dissipated the energy of the car over a period of around five seconds, which is still sudden, but beats the hell out of a sudden stop.

    Indy cars are similarly engineered to survive crashes. In the Vegas crash, all of the cars that stayed on the ground busted pieces off all over the place. The track looked like a tornado tore through a junk yard afterwards, but all of those cars dissipated energy as they broke up, and their drivers survived (most with little or no injury). As far as I understand, Wheldon's most serious injuries were caused because his car left the track surface (problem #1, because it's tough to dissipate energy in the air) and struck the fence driver-first (problem #2, because there's no driver protection for that beyond his helmet). Engineering didn't help here because this type of crash wasn't anticipated.

    Personally, I think it's a little disappointing that Indycar didn't recognize the danger posed by cars being launched in the air. I expect (hope?) that they did wind tunnel testing at some point and concluded that Indy cars aren't susceptible to the same sort of self-induced flying that led NASCAR to put roof flaps on their cars, but open-wheel racers have known for many years that when these cars come together wheel-to-wheel, it's very possible (likely, even) for one of the cars to be launched into the air.

    I expect that within a year or two, we'll see the introduction of safety equipment designed specifically to address crashes like this. I doubt that a NASCAR-type spoiler would have kept Wheldon's car on the ground, but maybe they need to look at some sort of roll cage on these cars for high-speed tracks -- I'd bet they could even make something that actuates to shield the driver if all four wheels are unloaded. Maybe there's a design change they can make to the fencing in the same way most big oval tracks have introduced "soft walls".

    In any event, I hope that Wheldon becomes the inspiration for a round of safety improvements in the same way that Earnhardt did. A generation of safer drivers would be a fitting tribute, IMO.
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlambert View Post
    All true. But it's also true that we need to keep trying to make these activities safer..
    That I also agree with.. But safer in a way that doesn't take from the sport.. Safer bikes that travel at the same speeds, safer tyres, safer brakes, safer helmets, safer safety gear.. But we cannot afford to let these safety measures take from the sport. The riders of these bikes are born risk takers, they don't want to die, but they do want to push their machines to the edge, and when you ride or drive at the edge, accidents will happen. We must simply do what we can, so that when an accident happens its ipact is minimalised.

    Quote Originally Posted by UlpilotSC View Post
    I once heard someone complain about richard branson and that other guy trying to circle the earth in their balloon. Someone said "why do these rich people waste all that money on stupid stuff, why cant they give it away to people who need it?"

    I say rich people should do what they want with their money. They earned it, through hard work or inheritance. Either way, it's theirs. Only give it away if its a tax write-off...
    Hmm.. Two comments here..

    Richard Branson is a c*ck. (I've met him a few times) he steals other peoples ideas. My Dad and my Uncle (Who is 2x world hot air balloon champion) designed the balloon and thought up the idea to fly accross the Atlantic, my Uncles boss was Per Lindstrand "The other guy" and it led to rather a bitter argument as first my dad, then my uncle were "kicked" out of the balloon as it were, and not even credited or involved with the project.

    And what a really sad fu**ed up world this would be if we all followed your example and said that we should never do anything for anyone else unless we benifited directly from it..
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwissJon View Post
    That I also agree with.. But safer in a way that doesn't take from the sport.. Safer bikes that travel at the same speeds, safer tyres, safer brakes, safer helmets, safer safety gear.
    Yeah, sort of. Racing has changed over time, and it'll continue to do so. Safety is part of that, but it certainly isn't the only factor (I'm floored we don't have an EV series somewhere, for instance). It also varies hugely from one type of racing to the next. But yes, in general, the idea is to make it safer without losing the "racing" part of racing.

    In this case, one of the options I didn't mention is to just slow the cars down. Whether you like it or not, it's going to be part of the discussion, and if nobody's got a good way to improve safety without slowing the cars down, it'll be a serious part of the discussion. I hope that someone comes up with some options that are a little more creative than that, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by SwissJon View Post
    Richard Branson is a c*ck. (I've met him a few times)
    Way to drop names. "Oh, yeah -- **him**??" ;-) I sold Paul Newman a Coke once.... lol.
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    This was a sad and tragic accident. Indy has been addressing the issue of the tendancy of one care wheel climbing and launching into the air. Here is the Indy car of tomorrow. There was one of these on the track that day.

    IndyCar's 2012 Chassis: Lessons Learned from the Car of Tomorrow | The Official Blog of the IZOD IndyCar Series

  7. #27
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    I clicked this off at the Indianapolis 500 Parade the day before Dan won the 2011 Indy 500.


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