Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

h-are
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Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby h-are » Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:48 am

Hey All,

As most would know I recently had an accident at Sandown. I've bought another car so will be returning to the track but its made me think a lot about the safety of the car.

There are the obvious 'OPTIONAL' things like, HANs & Helmet, Harness, Cage etc.....

But thought Id create a thread for things some people (New Or Old) may not have thought about.... I have a few things Ill be changing but I'll start with....

Like 95% of cars I had my fire extinguisher mounted to the base of my passenger front seat. No Good. Ive found out the hard way the fire extinguisher needs to be within easy reach while you are in your harness. My situation was, my car was upside down and I knew if i popped my harness I'd fall onto the roof then have to wiggle around to get access to it. No Good. And yes my car caught fire but because the extinguisher was not easily accessible it may as well have not been in the car.

Anyway, feel free to post your ideas or experience beacuse if it keeps another from serious injury its worth it :thumbs:

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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby neptune11 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:44 am

Yeah, Good idea Kyle. good post
It will certainly be interesting to see peoples views and set ups..!! punk
With the fire extinguisher location, yeh, I've often thought the same thing, about being able to access it, and for another reason, my wife didn't enjoy having the bracket and extinguisher in the passenger side pimp
So I've simply moved it to the drivers side!! :lol: . Now the only thing I haven't looked into, is it actually CAMS approved, to have it positioned there :?:
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Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby Alpha Dog » Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:47 am

In 1999 one of the more experienced club members said "you need to be able to reach the extinguisher while hanging upside down in your seat".

Very prescient of him...

Hence I've always mounted it on the drivers seat. Always passed scrutiny. Yes high tensile bolts, and a decent metal rail bolted to the seat mounts with longer bolts.

Stay safe. :). Have fun!

Edit: I had to remove the seat slider adjustment to have the extinguisher sit close to the seat. I made a replacement adjuster lever that is on the side only rather than across the front of the seat base. Can someone confirm that the club merchandise extinguisher kit fits the drivers side on all models?
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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby blackrex » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:52 am

Wasn't that be cause he had been in that very same position a few events before? Or am I thinking of someone else?

A Kill switch in easy reach of the driver is another useful addition.

I have a plumbed in fire bomb in my race car, not a cheap option, but cheaper than my life or car. In state level and above events, we don't actually have to run an extinguisher as there are supposed to be rapid response fire marshals around the track to deal with the issue, but this is not always the case as seen by two cars burnt to the ground in the Sports Racers series this year.

A fixed base seat is always going to be safer than a sliding seat, and a fixed back seat is even better as long as it is mounted correctly. I have seen race seats that have been mounted through the floor pan of the car, with no structural reinforcement done around the mounting points. This seat in a decent hit will tear out of the floor pan and allow the driver to bounce around in the cabin. I do not have a winged seat in my car unfortunately, as the design of the cage with the B Pillar support brace places the brace right in the same location that the wing would be.

Mounting of harness belts is also a area that needs to be looked at, I rejected a number of cars when I was scrutineering for either drilling holes in the rear parcel shelf, or using the child seat mounts. These areas are, unless properly reinforced, not suitable for restraining a adult in a frontal impact, with child restraint mounting points designed around a test load of 32.5kg.
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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby ratty05 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:52 am

Can anyone recommend a good place to have a bolt in cage installed? Had a bit of a play on the weekend and I don't think it's something I want to tackle by myself.

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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby Pleiades » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:18 am

neptune11 wrote:Yeah, Good idea Kyle. good post
It will certainly be interesting to see peoples views and set ups..!! punk
With the fire extinguisher location, yeh, I've often thought the same thing, about being able to access it, and for another reason, my wife didn't enjoy having the bracket and extinguisher in the passenger side pimp
So I've simply moved it to the drivers side!! :lol: . Now the only thing I haven't looked into, is it actually CAMS approved, to have it positioned there :?:

Yep
The rule says ( or will again now we noticed they stuffed it) that it shall be in reach of driver when in harness.
If you think of that, passenger side probably fails :-)

There has been lots of discussion recently at a CAMS Committee about this.
The purpose of the extinguisher is to give driver time to get out of car after an incident. Squirt at fire coming through firewall, smash window and run. Or squirt at fire whist trapped in car, till we get there.

Not to stop car, pull over ,get of car,open bonnet and fight a smoking engine.

Unfortunately being upside down in car sort of screws that theory :-(

Also it puts extinguisher at car so someone can hold it whilst you refuel a hot engine in a pit garage. :-(
.


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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby bazzasti » Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:14 pm

Royce, I can't recall as it's a long time ago now, but did you do a lot of racing in the WRX's with the club when you were the motorsport director etc?

Anyway Kyle, good topic. Here are a few things I go by to increase safety (all crash tested lol) and lessons learnt:
* Small plastic fuel tank with roll over valve - I've prolly got 8-10L in it when commencing first hot lap, bugger having 60L
* Ally ACL wrap (not the heat wrap that absorbs oil etc) over the up-pipe and headers to prevent fire from PS fluid or turbo leaking oil etc
* No grease or oil or anything flammable allowed to build up in the engine bay
* My fuel lines are covered with anchor chain mesh where possible - this is like a kevlar style protection which cannot be cut easily or burnt
* Catch cans back to intake (yes even for 400+ kw atw) - I reckon breathing back into the engine bay is bit of a fire hazard - worst case you pop a piston, oil overflows the catch can, onto tyre, crash and then you've got an impact and possibly fire in the engine bay from the oil splashing all over the shop!
* Fire-ext is where the handbrake usually is in my car
* Reinforced seat mounts - think hanging an engine / gearbox off each point when understanding the load they might cop
* Nice flat harness to shoulders mounted on rear cage - when in car, make sure the harness is so tight it hurts
* Lateral head support in the seat
* Kill switch and ignition switch in hand brake position an external
* Everything around your knees and feet protected with foam padding (I kicked the 02 WRX brake sensor so hard when I rolled it shattered) - the 03 onwards has a protection bar on the brake assembly as Subaru prolly found this out in their crash tests! Imagine you shins kicking into that area... yuck!
* No carbon fibre bonnet!!! Mine shattered and came back and went into the windscreen - nasty!
* Keep the exhaust away from the surge tank / fuel tank (side exit ftw)

Another thing from mine was full the exhaust snapped off (the flex joined ripped apart after the 2nd or 3rd roll) and the hanger came through and punctured the metal below my seat!!! Another argument for side pipe lol.


The only time I've ever used my fire extinguisher was when another member on here thought it was a great idea to run a surge tank directly over the exhaust (no cover plate or anything) and had no rear firewall.

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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby h-are » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:16 pm

bazzasti wrote:Royce, I can't recall as it's a long time ago now, but did you do a lot of racing in the WRX's with the club when you were the motorsport director etc?

Anyway Kyle, good topic. Here are a few things I go by to increase safety (all crash tested lol) and lessons learnt:
* Small plastic fuel tank with roll over valve - I've prolly got 8-10L in it when commencing first hot lap, bugger having 60L
* Ally ACL wrap (not the heat wrap that absorbs oil etc) over the up-pipe and headers to prevent fire from PS fluid or turbo leaking oil etc
* No grease or oil or anything flammable allowed to build up in the engine bay
* My fuel lines are covered with anchor chain mesh where possible - this is like a kevlar style protection which cannot be cut easily or burnt
* Catch cans back to intake (yes even for 400+ kw atw) - I reckon breathing back into the engine bay is bit of a fire hazard - worst case you pop a piston, oil overflows the catch can, onto tyre, crash and then you've got an impact and possibly fire in the engine bay from the oil splashing all over the shop!
* Fire-ext is where the handbrake usually is in my car
* Reinforced seat mounts - think hanging an engine / gearbox off each point when understanding the load they might cop
* Nice flat harness to shoulders mounted on rear cage - when in car, make sure the harness is so tight it hurts
* Lateral head support in the seat
* Kill switch and ignition switch in hand brake position an external
* Everything around your knees and feet protected with foam padding (I kicked the 02 WRX brake sensor so hard when I rolled it shattered) - the 03 onwards has a protection bar on the brake assembly as Subaru prolly found this out in their crash tests! Imagine you shins kicking into that area... yuck!
* No carbon fibre bonnet!!! Mine shattered and came back and went into the windscreen - nasty!
* Keep the exhaust away from the surge tank / fuel tank (side exit ftw)

Another thing from mine was full the exhaust snapped off (the flex joined ripped apart after the 2nd or 3rd roll) and the hanger came through and punctured the metal below my seat!!! Another argument for side pipe lol.


The only time I've ever used my fire extinguisher was when another member on here thought it was a great idea to run a surge tank directly over the exhaust (no cover plate or anything) and had no rear firewall.


Great post with lots of 'from experience' stuff that takes a long time to learn on your own......

My next thing was going to be about catch cans but you've covered it off nicely. I had mine blocked off with a breather on top. NO GOOD! Oil & fuel leaked through these breathers when upside down and caused my fire.

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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby bazzasti » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:32 pm

Thanks mate :) If this thread helps someone not get hurt, then mission accomplished IMO.

Here is a pic after my stack. I did the original cage myself and TIG'd it in. I made the decision not to protect the passenger side with extra bars and side support and you can see how it's crushed (imagine no cage!!) - the roof took some huge impacts and I rolled at 83 kph - the cage had tabs welded to the A and B pillars. The rear strut towers absorbed so much load they crushed like coke cans (a good thing as it took load away from the roof) and separated from the chassis, all 4 four wheels buckled, sub frames bent, coilovers collapsed, all wheel bearings stuffed, steer rack stuffed etc! Even the manifold shifted about 5 mm from the impact in the engine bay. When I built the new silver car, I was able to build the cage based on the previous crash damage.

Bond Rollcages provide these cages to weld in for around $1000-1350 depending on the bars you want - think they also do bolt in which is 1000 times easier.

2nd pic shows the seat with really great lateral support - highly recommend that style just in case (black car wasn't actually finished at that time but you get the point of the seat):

Image

Image

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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby h-are » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:06 pm

Crazy.

For those without a cage here are a few more pics of them doing what they do....

Image

Image

Image

I'd like to say.... The point isnt to put anyone off racing, I just hope this thread helps people make the right decisions when wanting to go fast.

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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby neptune11 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:37 am

Wow... Some pretty full on photos above there boys...!!
I totally understand & respect what you're saying & doing with this thread Kyle...
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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby Pleiades » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:47 am

Nah Bazz I am MotorSport Admin and Safety. Actually never raced as get vertigo.
I work as FIre & Rescue including AGP. Also have been on CAMS Advisory Panel for sprints for sometime. So i am very interested in Safety and roll cages.
And as you have shown roll cages vary a bit..
My think is that the cage should conform to CAMS/FIA designs, it is like Helmets.
Pay what you think your body is worth.
Whilst lots of people dismiss safety stuff as nanny stuff, it isnt.
There is lots of experience in the designs.
http://docs.cams.com.au/Manual/GeneralR ... 2016-1.pdf




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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby h-are » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:54 am

Cheers.

Also, as Bazza highlighted above surge tank placement. Ive seen plenty mounted beside the spare wheel well (left & right side) in the boot. If I had one mounted in my boot on the left hand side it would have been cruched and fuel would have been in the car (refer to top picture ^^).

Also to note here Ive seen alot of people with a 'Firewall' blocking the boot from the cabin, however the parcel shelf left with speaker holes...

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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby neptune11 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:35 am

h-are wrote:Cheers.

Also, as Bazza highlighted above surge tank placement. Ive seen plenty mounted beside the spare wheel well (left & right side) in the boot. If I had one mounted in my boot on the left hand side it would have been cruched and fuel would have been in the car (refer to top picture ^^).

Also to note here Ive seen alot of people with a 'Firewall' blocking the boot from the cabin, however the parcel shelf left with speaker holes...


So what advice for Firewall could you do in a Hatch then??
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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby bazzasti » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:46 pm

Pleiades wrote:Nah Bazz I am MotorSport Admin and Safety. Actually never raced as get vertigo.
I work as FIre & Rescue including AGP. Also have been on CAMS Advisory Panel for sprints for sometime. So i am very interested in Safety and roll cages.
And as you have shown roll cages vary a bit..
My think is that the cage should conform to CAMS/FIA designs, it is like Helmets.
Pay what you think your body is worth.
Whilst lots of people dismiss safety stuff as nanny stuff, it isnt.
There is lots of experience in the designs.
http://docs.cams.com.au/Manual/GeneralR ... 2016-1.pdf

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Do you have a say within CAMs and if so why aren't they trying to fix the tracks? I've been emailing their head safety guy for months (the guy who ends up in court to explain to the coroner why people die - note QLD raceway Porsche death a few years back) and it's all bit hard for the poor little poppet to explain why they aren't fixing our tracks. It's all good to be professional for the F1 and MotoGP and present a good worldy image but CAMs are absolute rubbish for local track safety. As I said before, you can drive around in a M1 tank and still in up in sheet due to the piss poor tracks we have here. Did you know CAMs are trying to reduce cage safety for next year.... /end rant!

Anyway you're 100% right - safety needs to be maximum :)

neptune11 wrote:
h-are wrote:Cheers.

Also, as Bazza highlighted above surge tank placement. Ive seen plenty mounted beside the spare wheel well (left & right side) in the boot. If I had one mounted in my boot on the left hand side it would have been cruched and fuel would have been in the car (refer to top picture ^^).

Also to note here Ive seen alot of people with a 'Firewall' blocking the boot from the cabin, however the parcel shelf left with speaker holes...


So what advice for Firewall could you do in a Hatch then??


Surge tank outside of the car is a good thing if you can manage it. Better the have fuel burning on the ground 10 meters behind the car where the surge tank snapped off etc.

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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby blackrex » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:09 pm

Actually, with the QR death of Sean Edwards, it was a QR and AASA issue, as the track wasn't run under a CAMS license at the time. When QR has CAMS Sanctioned events, they are required to add extra impact protection at that point of the track, and this requirement was in place prior to the incident, as a response to the MINI Challenge car going over the wall a few years before.

http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/456765/cif-edwards-slg-20160205.pdf
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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby blotto » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:23 pm

Pleiades wrote:Nah Bazz I am MotorSport Admin and Safety. Actually never raced as get vertigo.
I work as FIre & Rescue including AGP. Also have been on CAMS Advisory Panel for sprints for sometime. So i am very interested in Safety and roll cages.
And as you have shown roll cages vary a bit..
My think is that the cage should conform to CAMS/FIA designs, it is like Helmets.
Pay what you think your body is worth.
Whilst lots of people dismiss safety stuff as nanny stuff, it isnt.
There is lots of experience in the designs.
http://docs.cams.com.au/Manual/GeneralR ... 2016-1.pdf




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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby Pleiades » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:32 pm

bazzasti wrote:[quote="Pleiades"]Nah Bazz I am MotorSport Admin and Safety. Actually never raced as get vertigo.
I work as FIre & Rescue including AGP. Also have been on CAMS Advisory Panel for sprints for sometime. So i am very interested in Safety and roll cages.
And as you have shown roll cages vary a bit..
My think is that the cage should conform to CAMS/FIA designs, it is like Helmets.
Pay what you think your body is worth.
Whilst lots of people dismiss safety stuff as nanny stuff, it isnt.
There is lots of experience in the designs.
http://docs.cams.com.au/Manual/GeneralR ... 2016-1.pdf

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Do you have a say within CAMs and if so why aren't they trying to fix the tracks? I've been emailing their head safety guy for months (the guy who ends up in court to explain to the coroner why people die - note QLD raceway Porsche death a few years back) and it's all bit hard for the poor little poppet to explain why they aren't fixing our tracks. It's all good to be professional for the F1 and MotoGP and present a good worldy image but CAMs are absolute rubbish for local track safety. As I said before, you can drive around in a M1 tank and still in up in sheet due to the piss poor tracks we have here. Did you know CAMs are trying to reduce cage safety for next year.... /end rant!

Anyway you're 100% right - safety needs to be maximum :)

[quote="neptune11"][quote="h-are"]Cheers.

Also, as Bazza highlighted above surge tank placement. Ive seen plenty mounted beside the spare wheel well (left & right side) in the boot. If I had one mounted in my boot on the left hand side it would have been cruched and fuel would have been in the car (refer to top picture ^^).

Also to note here Ive seen alot of people with a 'Firewall' blocking the boot from the cabin, however the parcel shelf left with speaker holes...[/quote]

So what advice for Firewall could you do in a Hatch then??[/quote]

Surge tank outside of the car is a good thing if you can manage it. Better the have fuel burning on the ground 10 meters behind the car where the surge tank snapped off etc.[/quote]

The thing is that there are two CAMS, The volunteer structure ( us) and the paid ones.
If you do not think safety issues are being taken enough note of you can either do it through your club, or someone like me, or contact higher up in CAMS office.
In the case of the WRX at Sandown, We talked about it with Kurt at the last Panel meeting. I was going to chat about it with track safety as a follow up.


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Re: Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby bazzasti » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:57 pm

blackrex wrote:Actually, with the QR death of Sean Edwards, it was a QR and AASA issue, as the track wasn't run under a CAMS license at the time. When QR has CAMS Sanctioned events, they are required to add extra impact protection at that point of the track, and this requirement was in place prior to the incident, as a response to the MINI Challenge car going over the wall a few years before.

http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/456765/cif-edwards-slg-20160205.pdf


Yeah I've read that a few times. It's frustrating that these guys can't get their sh!t sorted. I've outlined to CAMS that the distance across the gravel to tyre wall at QLD is the same as across gravel to the tyre wall at Sandown and at Sandy you're likely to be coming off much MUCH faster so it's a known fact (from that coroner report) that if you hit that tyre wall front on after a brake issue... you're in serious sheet!! Yet do CAMs put extra tyres at Sandown, no... do they call out the risk, no... do they make the kitty litter far more effective... no... very disappointing to be honest.

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Track Car Safety Ideas/Experiences

Postby Pleiades » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:29 pm

Actually i didn't know QR also ran AASA.
Here is link to the main track safety document for here.
I assume that it is derived from FIA.
http://docs.cams.com.au/Public%20Docume ... 130612.pdf

Even its link is over long.

However, its a good read if you are having trouble sleeping.
I would be interested if anything seems to be breaking it.

I had always assumed that nothing did, and our tracks exceeded the minimum requirements.
However these standards are old, and circumstances change.
Lots of fancy calculations should not stop the upping of safety measures if a theoretically wide enough kitty trap isn't actually trapping the cars.
To get a change though would be hard, people who hide behind fancy calculations do not like to change.


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