AROSC Time Trial/Race Safety Issues - Page 4 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #46 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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When I learned welding in 9th grade in junior high in Virginia (1974), "arc welding" meant stick welding, which is the only kind we were taught. That's no longer the case? When was the Comp Code written and what kind of welding do we think it had in mind at the time? Granted things have progressed a lot over time, but I'm getting at what the Code writers contemplated.

Andrew
The roll bar specs in the Comp Code are not intended to be a set of detailed instructions for a fabricator. It's simply not possible for AROSC to develop detailed engineering and design specifications for every possible car that might show up at an event to say nothing of verifying compliance with any such specifications. It is up to the car owner/driver to see that the roll bar is designed and fabricated properly. The specs are simply a set of minimum general requirements we expect competitors to follow.

One thing I've noted in the recent posts on this topic is that everyone is refering to "roll cage" rather than "roll bar". The present AROSC minimum requirement for race group is a 4-point (fore/aft braced) roll bar with a diagonal brace to the top hoop above the drivers head. What do people think about changing the requirement to a full 6-point cage, perhaps one which includes side protection for the driver?

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post #47 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 08:48 AM
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ThWhat do people think about changing the requirement to a full 6-point cage, perhaps one which includes side protection for the driver?
That's not a bad idea but it might take a toll on the number of entries for race group. There are quite a few people with licesed street cars, vintage race cars, and convertibles with 4 point roll bars in race group.
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post #48 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 09:42 AM
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I like the idea of leaving it up to the competitor to decide how safe they want their car to be. Having said that, I don't think I would feel very safe in race group with just a roll bar. Perhaps a six point roll cage should be added to the list of "recommended equipment" much like fuel cells and external kill switches are today.

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post #49 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 08:13 PM
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What do people think about changing the requirement to a full 6-point cage, perhaps one which includes side protection for the driver?
This is a slippery slope with no end to what may be a "proper" safety system. HANS may be the next club mandate. I think the club insurance policy should dictate this direction. If the club gets a break if everyone has 6pt welded or SCCA design spec cages then maybe the club needs to look at that purely from a cost benefit issue. If insurance is silent on this issue and the club has an excellent track record of safety then I see no reason to increase requirements which would decrease the race group entry numbers. I think what could be done with this issue is to promote a high standard of safety with a mini school every once in a while regarding state of the art in safety. Maybe just a 20 minute lunchtime lecture at the schools would suffice. Many people just don't know about the value of things like HANS or right side nets or seats connected to the cage vs. floor pans. If the education is strong members will see the value and make their own choices as to what is best for them cost benefit-wise. I have a hard time being cheap about a HANS when race tires are $1500 bucks! It is even harder to not use a right side net which costs only $50 bucks! It costs near nothing to add a tube to support the "A-piller" in a roll cage. The real problem is people just don't know the value of such modifications.
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post #50 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-02-2007, 11:06 PM
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Be very about changing rules since the Alfa club has a very good history when it comes to safety. Safety starts with drivers with a good attitude first and that means driving safely. AROSC is a sports car club, not SCCA club racing. I think drivers coming to Alfa club events expect that there won't be any contact or accidents or aggressive driving, unlike what you see at your local regional SCCA demo-derby events at Buttonwillow.

Vintage racing gets by just fine with roll bars and I see no reason why our race group needs to change anything. If anyone really thinks that they need a HANS device, then they are running with the wrong organization, IMHO.

I was at the Long Beach Grand Prix in 1976 (I think) when they ran the first real "vintage" grand prix. Juan Fangio drove an unrestored W-196, Dan Gurney drove a BRM, Dennis Hulme drove a F2 Cooper, Carroll Shelby a 4.9 Ferrari, and a bunch of other drivers. All of the cars were in original unrestored condition and none of the drivers were wearing seat belts and many were using their original helmets (Fangio). They drove really hard and fast, and Gurney won, but Fangio set the fastest lap on several occasions.

But they didn't drive like today's drivers do because today, drivers know that if they crash, they can survive with all of their safety equipment. In other words, cars and safety equipment DO affect a driver's behavior. Adding safety gear doesn't necessarily make people drive safer.

The current AROSC safety rules have worked just fine and provide adequate safety. Safety is primarily an attitude. Dale Earnhardt's belts did break and were not properly installed. How a Hans device could have saved him with his body rotating and his head hitting the steering wheel is beyond me. The key point here is that everyone should install their belts to the manufacturers specifications.

The Alfa Club will lose members if it ups its safety requirements needlessly. Don't fix things that aren't broken. Not all things are 1962 Sprint Veloces!
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post #51 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-02-2007, 11:21 PM
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Adding safety gear doesn't necessarily make people drive safer.
No, but it may save your life should something unfortunate happen. Kind of odd to see a post with a negative tone towards safety gear

There is nothing in current rules that prevent anyone from stepping up their safety gear. I think we are all aware of the risks involved, and I doubt any of the AROSC racers would take any greater chances if they had additional safety gear - it just sucks to spend time cleaning out the dust after a WSR or BW off

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post #52 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-02-2007, 11:40 PM
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I'm not being negative about someone CHOOSING to use additional safety gear. The question was about changing the rules to require full roll cages or additional side impact bars.

There's are big distinction between requiring a full cage car (ie an SCCA race machine) and our current AROSC race group cars.

If someone wants to run a full cage, fine. If they don't, that okay. And from a safety stand point, if you look at the history of racing events that allow race cars with only roll bars (eg vintage racing), I have not heard of any racing fatalities or even serious injuries from racing accidents.

I have heard of lots of racing fatalities in race cars equipped with full cages and equivalent safety gear.

Looking at the data from racing events is far better than theoretical musings, since data is reality. The difference, of course, between events that require only roll bars (sports car clubs like AROSC and vintage events) and all out competitive racing is in the attitude of the competitors. In the Alfa Club and vintage events, contact and aggressive driving is not allowed. That is not the case even at a Buttonwillow regional.

I once watched the start of an IT regional at Buttonwillow and by the time they got to the hairpin, the cars were 4 wide. Virtually every car was off the track and every car made contact with someone. And the stupid thing was, after they got all sorted out, there was almost no passing--in other words, there was no need for the Banzai charge into the hairpin at the beginning of the race since the drivers and cars finished just as they qualified.

That convinced me that I would NEVER go SCCA racing. In fact, I have no desire to race at all. Racing the clock is just fine with me. My day job is plenty stressful enough.
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post #53 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-02-2007, 11:53 PM
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By the way, I haven't been out with the club for a while. I drive a box stock 1998 White Acura Integra RS (economy version, non VTEC). 140 horses with stock everything else. Plenty of power but I drive on street tires. The best I've done on Willow is a 1:47.9 on a set of RE71s Bridgestones, which is a very old fashion high performance tire. And I wasn't pushing it really hard since those were my everyday driving tires (I got 40,000 miles out of them!).

I have stock engine, springs, shocks and tire sizes. Going around turn nine is a lot more nervous for me compared to you guys with sticky tires and stiff suspensions, but I really don't feel that there's a whole lot of risk.

Around the rest of the track it's just like a Sunday drive. I've got a set of lowering springs and I'm going to put a set of stiffer springs--I'll pick up some needed stiffness and negative camber. With some stickier tires (I may by some track tires finally) I hope to pick up a few seconds and make life a little more comfortable. We'll see.

But I don't feel that even at a 1:44-1:47 range things are really all that dangerous for a 140 hp car.
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post #54 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-03-2007, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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gt40,

I apologize if I wasn't as clear as I could have been. I sense there may be some concern on your part that there is move a foot to require cages in TT cars. Let me assure you there isn't. My attempt to get opinions on a possible roll cage requirement was directed towards the racers. All comments and opinions are of value to us but I think the people who actually race may have somewhat different feelings about race required safety equipment than those who don't race. However, as noted in the posts above, the requirements are for the minimum allowed, not for the maximum permitted.

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post #55 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-04-2007, 06:48 PM
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If anyone really thinks that they need a HANS device, then they are running with the wrong organization, IMHO.


Adding safety gear doesn't necessarily make people drive safer.

Safety is primarily an attitude. Dale Earnhardt's belts did break and were not properly installed. How a Hans device could have saved him with his body rotating and his head hitting the steering wheel is beyond me.
You make some good points but also some wrong ones. For example if you can do less then 1:50 as you say you are traveling at more than 40mph. When people crash even at 100 often energy is scrubed off by spinning flipping etc. and the final ouch coupe d'eta is really less than 40mph. But did you know that 40mph head-on into a barrier with no energy dissipation can produce a fatal greater than 4000N pulse on your neck and kill you? 4000N is the threashold for the SFI tests and the GM and Wayne state sled tests for HANS R3 etc... So can you go over 40mph? And sure, could a HANS have kept the fatal pulse at less than 4000N for that millisecond that Earnhardt's belt ripped? Maybe? Hitting the steering wheel is not an issue. The wheels are really close to the driver and have all kinds of special requirements and padding so you can hit them. In NASCAR it is part of the driver retention system. Did you know that cage elements close to your head maybe safer than 8 inches from your head because your belts and body yield 12"-18" in a good wreck? This is not to pick on you but really to bring the point that most people have very little knowledge of why safety systems are the way they are. Most people build a racecar to the "rules" and hope that someone thought about it. I don't wear a HANS to be more agressive. I wear it because I am chicken and I know what can happen. Even if you are not racing bad things happen. Some of our cars are from 1960. Have you replaced every part in your car? Yesterday my friend sheared off the hub of his car at about 100mph at WSIR and left the track. There was no agression just mechanical failure. He is lucky to be O.K. and not to have tested his safety system.
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post #56 of 84 (permalink) Old 05-31-2007, 09:13 PM
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In the old days we had crappie seats that ended at our shoulder blades... in a big cash the upper torso soaked up much of the energy and we wound up with whip-lash and maybe a broken collar bone.
Now we have wrap-around seats and strap ourselves in tighter than a *** on a saturday knight. The result in a big crash is a basil spinal fracture resulting in death. Hanns (or R3) is a requirement for those of us using today's racing seats. Period.

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post #57 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-01-2007, 08:02 AM
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Alfa Cup and TT automobiles are generaly going faster today than before. Improvements in tire technology plus modern engines being the leading factors.
I do not believe that rolling back the minimum safety requirements is advisable given the trend for higher speeds.
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post #58 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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I'm going to be doing my first TT at this year's National Alfa Romeo Convention in Detroit and I have a question on the Helmet rules.

Will they allow an open face helmet with goggles or do I need a full face helmet with an open car? My Spider most likely wil be in Class B.
Murry,

AROSC is the So Cal Chapter of AROC (National). It is they, AROC, not us, AROSC, who set the rules for how TT's are run at National Conventions. I believe the AROC Competition Code should provide an answer to your question. If not, I suggest contacting Russ Neely, the AROC Competition Chairperson, for clarification.

Have fun at your first TT!!

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post #59 of 84 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 06:28 AM
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Where to mount fire pull lever

I'm putting a fire system in my Mustang and was wondering where the best place to put the fire pull lever is? Does it need to be easily accessed by the safety crew or just to the driver?
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post #60 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 08:07 AM
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Bruce,
To promote and encourage safety at the AROSC track events how about offering point credits for safety features? E.g.:
- Fuel cell: -2 points
- Full cage: -2 points
- Fire suppression system: -2 points
- HANS device: -2 points
Some of them even make somewhat sense, generally, as they add weight. Just a thought...
Jes

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