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What can be done to make our class safer

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#41
MPR22

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I will be asking all of my customers too write a letter asking for door sill attachment allowance.

with a picture of the deflection in Lee's car as an attachment. 


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#42
tLinder

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with a picture of the deflection in Lee's car as an attachment. 

Here's an image

http://mazdaracers.c...6-lthomas-cage/

LThomas Cage
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#43
Tom Hampton

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After having seen the car in person, there are two better angles that make the point:  Either side on from the outside, where you can see the gap that opened up between the lower door bar and the rocker panel, or from the drivers window showing a similar view. 

 

I'm sure it could be said better.  But here's mine. 

 

Letter #17042

 

Request is to eliminate the rule that limits the maximum number of attachment points. Currently the rule restriction is to a maximum of 8 attachment points. The recent wreck at SCCA Majors at TWS involving William Keeling and Lee Thomas demonstrates the need to build our cages with maximum structural integrity in mind.

In this wreck William Keekings car nearly penetrated into the drivers compartment between the gap in the lower door bar / rockerpanel space. Any addtional attachment points that limit this potential, and any other strengthening opportunities should be allowed.

No consideration should be given to trading real safety against any perceived potential performance advantage


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#44
chris haldeman

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#45
Johnny D

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So Devils's advocate..

Did he have 6 or 8 attachment points ??
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#46
wheel

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Imagine those door beams if he had been facing the other way and the hit had been on his left elbow.



#47
Johnny D

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Not sure if your comments are towards me Jim but..

I get it. Just asking if he had 6, then they will say, "he didn't even have the max so it's fine as written."

But asking for the door sill attachment seems the way to go.

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#48
mhiggins10

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After having seen the car in person, there are two better angles that make the point:  Either side on from the outside, where you can see the gap that opened up between the lower door bar and the rocker panel, or from the drivers window showing a similar view. 

 

I'm sure it could be said better.  But here's mine. 

 

Letter #17042

 

Request is to eliminate the rule that limits the maximum number of attachment points. Currently the rule restriction is to a maximum of 8 attachment points. The recent wreck at SCCA Majors at TWS involving William Keeling and Lee Thomas demonstrates the need to build our cages with maximum structural integrity in mind.

In this wreck William Keekings car nearly penetrated into the drivers compartment between the gap in the lower door bar / rockerpanel space. Any addtional attachment points that limit this potential, and any other strengthening opportunities should be allowed.

No consideration should be given to trading real safety against any perceived potential performance advantage

 

Sent mine in as well.


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#49
Tom Hampton

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The cage has all 8 (4 hoop attachments, 2 trunk attachments, and 2 firewall attachments). 


-tch
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#50
Johnny D

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I see why he wants to throw the whole rule out, the min # isn't very safe either.
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#51
Steve Scheifler

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My missive here is triggered in part by Steve's posts on the TWS thread.

As an engineer I applaud Steve's goal of ensuring that decisions are being made based on facts and not emotion. However Steve “appears" to be suggesting that either safety research is not complete, or it is potentially inappropriately applied to Spec Miata racing. ...
Cnj


I knew this was coming from someone but didn't want to write a book trying to explain myself in enough different ways to avoid it.

Cnj, I always respect your posts and this is not an angry response, but please quote exactly the words I used to give you that impression and the other things you imply so I can correct them, because that simply is not true. My main point is that I question the constant assertions by people, based almost entirely on conjecture, marketing and emotional reactions, that someone definitely avoided serious injury or death thanks to their H&N restraint. I NEVER questioned, in any way, the studies of POTENTIAL benefits of such devices, even if they may be a bit slanted or "optimized". No doubt there are real-life circumstances when they are extremely effective. And did I not say they should probably be required?

But, as I said, I'm not aware of large numbers of such injuries before these devices existed, and contrary to what some critics of our class might imply, I doubt that heavy impacts have skyrocketed, so the number of claims that they definitely made *the* difference just don't add up. But it's always tempting to make attribution that can't be disproved. At the risk of being too facetious, there is an old joke about an elaborate and expensive plan to prevent shark attacks in the Mississippi. Can't argue with the science behind it, but... I know, this is not a joke, but I'm sure you can dream up ANY NUMBER of ways to make this sport, and many other things in life, safer, but which simply would not be palatable to a lot of people. H&N devices are annoying to many, and are not without risks of their own (need I list them?) but on balance the pros outweigh the cons even for us. I didn't say otherwise, please do not suggest that I did.

So in summary, in case I wasn't clear. I don't doubt that the current H&N devices add safety and are a net plus, and even I feel a bit uncomfortable if I do a session without one now. However, I do doubt the vast majority of totally unsupported claims that they prevented serious injury or death in specific incidents. Why do I care? Pet peeve about hype and half truths mostly. That applies to policies/laws, politicians, products, etc. It can take a lot of effort to get the unvarnished truth about anything these days because someone is always certain that if we had it we would make a "bad" decision. So yea, I would like to see reliable historical stats of such injuries, and current stats for people with and without these devices. I have not had time to check if any of the links you noted provide that, but will. I doubt whether there is a lot of detail available for most amateur racing incidents even where serious injury occurred, so it would seem that a large sample of what is available would be required to be at all meaningful. Perhaps I'd be surprised by how many club racers suffer such injuries per year, but I'd expect word to get around even in the old days.

On a side-note, check the rules for other SCCA track events (PDX for one) and explain them to me. I can get in a 1000hp Viper with no medical, no cage, no fire suit, no racing harness, and no H&N device, and blast around at insane speeds that make us look like we're driving a Prius loaded with Sumo wrestlers. And be on the track with tin cans with even less protection. The obvious "mom" answer is "just because... is no reason...", but I was given a decent brain and can't just turn it off when I see glaringly obvious contradiction. Why are those safety requirements so minimal? Any claims that they are different because aren't "wheel to wheel" or whatever are bogus. It's about barriers to participation, which of course means that many people would find something else to do, which translates to $$.

But meanwhile, I agree with Chris and most others regarding cages. I'd like to see careful wording to limit the abuses, but more optional safety improvements are better than mandating everything that might even remotely be beneficial.
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#52
Rob Burgoon

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I'd like to tie the seat into the cage.  Being able to attach the seat to both cage going under the seat and the floor might be nice.


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#53
Johnny D

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All these ideas really have to be looked at and thought about.

 

Myself I have what I call NASCAR bars on both sides, drv/pas. the top bar goes into the door and the bottom is vertical below it.

I'm wondering if I took a hit like that, would I take a bigger/full impact/G's but would be safe from contact.

 

With Williams design, does it deflect/absorb the energy but may flip the car with the other car going under ?

 

Rob's cage is like Williams so connecting to the seat connect the cage impact energy into the seat, into you ?

Unless I misunderstood what you're saying Rob

 

And just throwing this out, NASCAR has that impact foam in the doors now, right?

 

Just some thoughts.

J~


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#54
Mark McCallister

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And just throwing this out, NASCAR has that impact foam in the doors now, right?

 

Although we don't have the room for something as large, I like the idea of the driver's side carbon kevlar crashbox Corvette Racing started using.  Of course it probably cost more than my SM....

 

A video about Jan Magnussen's crash at VIR last year highlights it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4rF6mSKZAQ  (jump to 5:00 to see the closeup)

 

My biggest concern has always been the proximity of the above-door bar to my helmet.  That bar will come at you in a hurry in a driver's side impact.  I've thought about trying to get more layback in the seat in my next build to lower my head, but that would increase the spinal compression fracture risk in a forward crash, so...


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#55
Tom Hampton

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All these ideas really have to be looked at and thought about.

Myself I have what I call NASCAR bars on both sides, drv/pas. the top bar goes into the door and the bottom is vertical below it.
I'm wondering if I took a hit like that, would I take a bigger/full impact/G's but would be safe from contact.

With Williams design, does it deflect/absorb the energy but may flip the car with the other car going under ?

Rob's cage is like Williams so connecting to the seat connect the cage impact energy into the seat, into you ?
Unless I misunderstood what you're saying Rob

And just throwing this out, NASCAR has that impact foam in the doors now, right?

Just some thoughts.
J~


J~

I agree that every cage design needs to be looked at as a whole, by the designer. However, the point is that the cage designer should not be constrained by a silly rule limitation.

-tch
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#56
Johnny D

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Freedom ?
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#57
Steve Scheifler

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There is a lot is science behind good modern cage design but it doesn't always trickle down to people building them for the likes of us. I've see a lot where even the oldest basics are not followed. So yea, being able to do things like tie in seats and such could backfire, but it should be possible to assemble some useful DOs & DON'Ts that make sense for our cars so we get a reasonable balance of strength and energy absorption/dissipation.
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#58
Rob Burgoon

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To get decently good safety, we need to change to e30s.

 

Short of that, the next best thing would be mounting seats below the floor pan, with maybe some extra tubes to protect the kiwis.


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#59
Johnny D

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Good design for those guys and they need it. :)

http://mazdaracers.c...067-e30-pileup/

 

J~


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#60
KW78

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I'd like to tie the seat into the cage.  Being able to attach the seat to both cage going under the seat and the floor might be nice.

 

You can do this currently per SCCA and per NASA according to JM.  I have done this on the replacement car of the wreck at THill and for a new build customer who was on the E3 team.  He said he is out of spec miata if I couldn't do this and get his halo seat to fit.   The seat mounts are under the floor, and tied to the cage sill bar.  It would be nice to do more tie in..   Currently the rules say seat mounting points forward of the main hoop and left of centerline do not count as pickup points.  I made a post in a thread about this awhile ago.

 

....

 

My biggest concern has always been the proximity of the above-door bar to my helmet.  That bar will come at you in a hurry in a driver's side impact. ....

 

I think it should be the biggest concern.  

 

And not just drivers side impact.  At the last HPR SM race we had a car step off drivers right exit, come back on (not under control  :fuming: ) and smacked the passenger door of about the third car back.  That driver continued with deep passenger door damage only, but his head whipped back into the drivers side padded roll hoop.  Later that day, and for the week, he had concussion symptoms including nausea.   

 

Same race, fast forward a few laps and in the front pack, 2nd place lost the nose exiting a left, went off hitting a large puddle, and whipped back on to t-bone 4th.  This time the 4th place driver had no issues other than blinded by a wall of muddy water.  He didn't hit his head as he was in his new halo seat we just installed the week before the race...

 

BUT HERE IS AN IMPORTANT NASA ISSUE:  He removed his $1300 Race tech halo seat because he could not pass the NASA 10 Second exit rule.  I know others that do not use a halo seat specifically for that reason.  

 

The driver with the sub-floor mounting structure is athletic but shorter, therefor closer to the column, and he can not technically pass the 10 second rule either (really close and close enough).  This rule should be exempted in SM in the name of head protection.  IMO it is a rule that doesn't really apply anymore.  It is for a surprise flash fire, when the drivers door is accessible (not against a tire wall or other vehicle), your sitting on all 4 wheels, and you weren't hurt in the accident enough not to, get out.  How many accidents is it the norm to wait in the car for assessment of neck and back, etc?  Of course a fire can happen, but I have never seen a cockpit fire in SM.  We don't have fuel lines or dry sump tanks in the cockpit, for example.  Only rotary mazdas and porsches I can think of over the years do I remember a few cockpit fires.  

 

Another important issue WITH BOTH CLUBS is with the hans device not giving side protection to the head and neck.  Somewhere I have first hand video of the first regional/national event at fontana.  My new build ASedan fox mustang got punted off by a GTI car on the center straight and climbed the hay bales they had out, and started tumbling.  Barrel rolls at first turning into end over end. 8 Seconds of dirt sky dirt sky.   The ISAACS device and its shocks did a STELLAR job of no head whipping in any direction, and it tests higher for head-on impact protection than any other device out there.  I wasn't driving, but my friend kevin was and his recount is amazing.  He was on the radio to me before the dirt actually finished falling.  

 

Anyway, that safety device is excluded now and it shouldn't be.  Kevin was such a believer that when it was finally excluded, along with other influences, he stopped wheel to wheel and went back autocrossing.  The HANS is a clear advantage over nothing, but I think a better mousetrap has been out there for a long while.  I also used ISAACS for years before I had to get a HANS.

 

I think all kinds of minor impacts have a much higher chance of concussions in our cars, and is also likely to be the first and most common injury.  Some new focus there from the rules perspective is one answer to the original question, "What can be done to make our class safer?"

 

On the cage design topic, there is alot to learn from the rally rules.  They are great at anti-intrusion while screaming little cars thru the forest.  Sill bars tied in, and floor bars side to side with a tunnel flat plate connection would solve much of what we have seen here, and keep the cars easily serviceable, plus have a better seat mount situation.  This would help keep the bottom of the drivers cube in tact, and be relatively easy to add to existing cages - if cage points weren't the focus of a stiffening rule mindset.  

 

My 02,

Back to motor building....

 

Kyle


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