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petition to fix Willow Springs

Discussion in 'California (Southern)' started by fatbillybob, May 30, 2008.

  1. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    19,990
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  3. HWJunkie

    HWJunkie Formula Junior

    Mar 30, 2007
    518
    Oak Park, CA
    Full Name:
    Marc
    I signed it. I agree completely...
     
  4. porsche racer

    porsche racer Formula Junior

    Jun 2, 2006
    747
    southern california
    Full Name:
    arthur
    I was there last weekend when that driver flipped on turn nine( a mini cooper). Turn 8 and 9 are very fast and dangerous. You have to hit the apex in nine or you 'll go off.
     
  5. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
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    Aug 10, 2002
    19,990
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    That was the final straw that got this petition going. The poor guy died. May he RIP.
     
  6. italcarguy

    italcarguy Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    505
    Porter Ranch, CA
    Full Name:
    Anthony Rimicci
    Petition signed. I've seen so many cars (infront and behind me) written off due to the track not having proper safety precautions. What exactly happened? This is the first I hear about this.
     
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  8. BLUROAD

    BLUROAD F1 Veteran

    Feb 3, 2006
    5,951
    Tustin Ranch, Cali
    Full Name:
    Enrico Pollini
    You know that petition has no mention of the Safety equipment required by drivers or cars. And a little birdie told me that this guy did not have a roll cage or a helmet.

    Really folks. Let’s get with the program and make sure the drivers and cars are as safe as the track...

    A quote from an anonymous driver from another message board...
    "He was driving a Mini Cooper without a roll bar and had a 4-point harness attached to the rear seat belt receivers. He was found out of his buckled harness on the passenger side. An EMT got his heart beating again and he was operated on 4 times throughout the day and evening but he didn't make it.

    I don't post this because I think it's newsworthy. I post it because I don't want to ever read of someone I know buying it on the track for not having proper safety equipment. If you're running on a high speed track like Willow, Buttonwillow, Thunderhill, etc. you owe it to your family and friends to have adequate safety equipment in your car. It's just so easy to go off like this fellow did and end up on your roof or in a ditch. Staying in the car beneath the protection of your roll bar will save your life. The guy in the Mini has been doing DE events safely for many, many years without proper equipment. This time the odds caught up to him. May he RIP... "


    P.S. may he RIP
     
  9. bmiller411

    bmiller411 Formula Junior

    May 6, 2004
    405
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Bruce B Miller
    Everyone that runs Willow know turn 9. That is the one turn they try to master in order to get a
    great time. It has been the home of many a car and cycle. Yes people have died at that corner
    before. Not because the corner is bad but the rider or driver felt that they had mastered it.

    A person that does not have proper safety equipment in their car or on their body is the fault of
    the driver, the car owner and the tech inspector of the event.

    People need to take responsablity for their actions. Not always blaming someone else.

    No, I did not sign.

    My $.02.
     
  10. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    19,990
    socal
    To post #6 and #7: The issue is not laying blame on anyone. However, if you have been off at WSIR you will note that there are ditches, berms, gullys, dropoffs, as well as all kinds of rocks and debris that make it onto the track surface to break your windows. The petition does not lay blame and the driver complied with NASA tech. It was a NASA HPDE so "some" say no one should be off in HPDE anyway.

    The purpose of the petition is to have the track owner look at and address many "regular driver's" concerns that certain simple mediations such as "grading" could reduce car damage and reduce track liability should the track be found guilty of failing to do simple mediation to help prevent rolls and flips. This is not about laying blame or putting nannys on the race track.
     
  11. rrobello

    rrobello Formula 3

    Jul 25, 2005
    1,149
    are the petitioners saying that the surrounding area of turn 9 once youre off the track needs to be fixed or the turn itself needs to be changed in order to make it easier to take? Ive driven it and as an amateur have not seen anything wrong with the turn. entering the turn you indeed can build up a lot of speed and agree with bmiller that it is the one turn that you want to improve your skills on to better your time, but I have not noticed anything wrong with the turn itself that would make it dangerous beyond the driver overdriving their own ability/vehicle.
     
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  13. luckydynes

    luckydynes F1 Rookie

    Jan 25, 2004
    3,872
    CA and OR
    Full Name:
    pit bull
    Very sad.
     
  14. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    19,990
    socal
    No track changes are petitioned just address problems that are seen once drivers loose it. This is not my petition I just know the petitioner and run this track all the time and know it well. The problem I suspect is that the off track areas are ungroomed. So as the years go by people just putting 2 wheels off trench the dirt and start drop offs forming. So at some time the trench gets deep enough and you get stuck in it and your car goes in an unpredictable location upon correction. In T9 specifically if you go straight off the track there is a ditch out there and later a berm to launch you in the air. Ditched encourage rolling and flipping increasing car damage and driver injury. If you try to correct T9 with wheels off the less skilled get richocheted accross the track into fast traffic as they end up in the infield dirt which has similar agricultural features. This is where the mini driver flipped and died. All the turns at WSIR have these dirt problems.

    And just for you guys who think you are ok if you drive in control you can see my pictures right here on Fchat of me minding my own business yet getting punted off the track by that Pbug 928.
     
  15. luckydynes

    luckydynes F1 Rookie

    Jan 25, 2004
    3,872
    CA and OR
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    pit bull
    more run off area is a good idea and there is no substitute for driver education
     
  16. RVIDRCI

    RVIDRCI Formula 3

    Dec 1, 2005
    1,576
    Long Beach / Phoenix
    Full Name:
    Luigi
    Signed it.

    WSIR is full of ruts, ditches, berms and drop offs that could and should be graded and groomed. I for one would rather pay a little higher track fee than have my car damaged (or worse) in an "off". Very sad to hear of the fatality, RIP.

    Here is a youtube vid that proves the points discussed here pretty well, same T9 infield berm flip as the mini incident I think.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8ygjttKdF4
     
  17. TopElement

    TopElement Formula 3

    May 14, 2005
    1,509
    OC & Vegas
    Full Name:
    A Montoya
    This is why I now stay away from this track. The people running it just don't take good care of it. They really need to pay a lot of attention to run off areas and the edges of the track. A driver shouldn't die from going off track. There shouldn't be barriers too close to a track, or ditches, berms, ruts etc. to flip a car.
    Unfortunately many low-budget tracks have this problem.
     
  18. HWJunkie

    HWJunkie Formula Junior

    Mar 30, 2007
    518
    Oak Park, CA
    Full Name:
    Marc
    I was at Streets of Willow yesterday, since the last time I was there (about 6 months) they repaved parts of it, however, the ruts or holes of whatever you want to call them at the corners of the esses are still there, ask me how I know.... I hit one so hard it must have changed the balance of whatever wheel hit it and my day was done, luckily it was almost over anyway. But really, they MUST fill those in, I can't even imagine how many cars have been damaged there.

    As far as the big track, I have only gone off once in 9 and it was straight off and I had slowed a bit before that, so no harm, but I'm sure everything you guys have been saying is true and they MUST fix that, it can't cost that much to do a little landscaping and maybe some barriers between the wall and the track so if you do go off into the wall, it's soft....

    As far as the guy in the mini without a roll bar and a helmet, well, the helmet is a 110% absolute must, I can't believe anyone would let him on track without one.... The roll bar thing is another issue.... If tracks made it mandetory that you had to have a roll bar, well over half their business would be gone, if not more.... Most of the groups that use those tracks don't require roll bars on hard top cars. I myswlf don't have a roll bar and would hate that rule, but I understand the reasoning for it... So that's something that may not happen, but from what it seems, the guy in the mini didn't get hurt because of not having a roll bar, but I could have read it wrong....

    It's not just the high speed tracks that need these rules and grooming either, yesterday someone told me that a couple cars flipped at Streets of Willow a week ago, so it can happen anywhere...
     
  19. 1SUMBCH

    1SUMBCH Rookie

    Jul 17, 2005
    2
    Palmdale, CA
    Full Name:
    Mike
    My two sons were the paramedic and EMT that worked on him. My oldest - the paramedic - said he had a hard time identifying the car.
     
  20. BLUROAD

    BLUROAD F1 Veteran

    Feb 3, 2006
    5,951
    Tustin Ranch, Cali
    Full Name:
    Enrico Pollini
    What is your sons oppinion on the safety equipment that the driver was or was not using?
     
  21. 1SUMBCH

    1SUMBCH Rookie

    Jul 17, 2005
    2
    Palmdale, CA
    Full Name:
    Mike
    My youngest says that he was wearing a helmet - he carried it to the helicopter when they hauled him away - and that there wasn't a roll cage. Said something about the seat belt catching on his helmet as he was partially ejected.
     
  22. oneandout

    oneandout Rookie

    Jun 13, 2008
    2
    There was a letter posted by the president of NASA re; this unfortunate accident on the NASA board some days ago.

    He related that the driver was wearing a helmet and got ejected from the car...he had a 4 point belt on.

    What bothers me about this fatality is that it possibly could be prevented.

    This person raced under the HPDE rules of NASA. HPDE stands for high performance driving experience. By what I have heard and seen since this accident is that he was not belted in properly and their was no roll protection in the car. He went way too hot into 8-9 and went off track. HPDE is NOT wheel to wheel racing. IT IS TRACK TOURING. As I understand it, there are very few safety requirements and there is very little oversight in the NASA HPDE group. They let cars out without a suit and with out gloves for example. But then the HPDE might NOT need other than "put on a helmet and buckle up" and come racing with us. IF...and only IF there is OVERSIGHT and driving limitations. Its really disturbing to see in car videos of track day type clubs drivers with out GLOVES?...never mind other safety gear.

    There are many places to go off track at WS....on the exit of 9 is one....you go 4 off in the dirt and your off the gas going straight to save it.... STRAIGHT.....if you correct to go back on track you WILL get shot over to the other side. It is VERY dusty on the other side of the track....and you will raise a BIG dust cloud. A big dust cloud and no wind is very bad for the cars that are behind you and coming thru..thus the possibility of rearending a car that you cant see. Willow is not an off road track....the idea is to keep the car ON the track. Especially in the group that was running when the accident happened.

    Can Willow be improved? Well yes. Can Buttonwillow be improved? Yes....(isnt the mud lovely there?) ...how about Spring Mountain......basketball boulders. But there again you have to stay ON the track. There is no foolproof track that I know of !


    So on to the video that LOU GAUDIO posted for all of us to see.....(six posts above)

    Lou (I'll call him Lou.....I dont think I ever met him tho..) was doing pretty well.....lines werent that great BUT WHOA......He put his face shield up coming down the hill........FACE SHILDS ARE PUT ON HELMETS TO PROTECT YOUR FACE!! one finger up on a pace or cool down lap might be ok.......(reminds me of one guy who ran a few laps with a face shield half up in a tin top and came in by the pit wall and stopped...a bug got stuck in his eye. Lotta bugs and trash out there on track. Face shield down......a little too late apex on 9 and not enough turn in put him in the dirt ..he corrected hard...and what did I say above?

    Well here comes Homer and Jethro in the W.S. tow truck .."how do i get this here net down???" they ask. "get out of the car". Wheres the E.M.T. ?? (Is this a problem at Willow...yes it is and there have been SOME improvements...but thats another story for another time.) The video shuts off...but HOPEFULLY the driver was assesed by an EMT BEFORE they pulled him out of the car. I'll bet a dollar from looking at the the video and the position of the driver, that Lou came out of his belts. Then again, looing at the pix, you can see a LACK of ROLL BAR PADDING ..none....zero. Lou....when you build your new car think out your new safety gear.

    So to summarize......the driver has to THINK SAFETY. The driver has to know his limitations. Motor racing is dangerous. IT IS NOT PLAYING GOLF or shooting baskets. The driver has to evaluate what he is doing.




    T
     
  23. RVIDRCI

    RVIDRCI Formula 3

    Dec 1, 2005
    1,576
    Long Beach / Phoenix
    Full Name:
    Luigi
    T,

    That ain't Me (Lou) in the video, just something I found on you tube to illustrate the points being made here. I have never gone off @ 9, but when and if I do, I'd like it to be free of berms, rocks and ruts, if possible.

    Otherwise, I completely agree with the points you make above.
     
  24. BLUROAD

    BLUROAD F1 Veteran

    Feb 3, 2006
    5,951
    Tustin Ranch, Cali
    Full Name:
    Enrico Pollini
  25. oneandout

    oneandout Rookie

    Jun 13, 2008
    2
    Lou:

    Sorry..I thought that was a video of you.

    I have gone off on 9 (once)........that was enough. Takes too long to clean the car. The portable vacuum in the trailer is like the 25cent car wash....only it takes $$ bills.....$1 for one minute.
     

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