Alfa-Porsche accident at CA Speedway 7.31
In reponse to comments on the Alfa-Porsche accident at CA Speedway, this past Saturday:
With all due respect, the accident description from the Porsche driver that hit the #21 Alfa this weekend at CA Speedway is factually wrong. I am the driver that was hit. At least a dozen eye witnesses visited me in the pits, and ALL described the incident in EXACTLY the same manner. It was not a ďracing incident.Ē It was a classic "bansai" error of the most serious and dangerous kind on the part of the Porsche driver. The following is an account from a Formula Ford driver who saw the whole thing (360-degree birds-eye view) from the bridge above where the accident occurred:
"...There were 3 cars; a Red/White/Green Alfa GTV, a Red Porsche, and a Yellow Datsun 510. The Alfa was approx 4-5 car lengths in front of the Red Porsche, entering the Turn 9 hairpin. The Datsun was right behind the red Porsche. The Datsun passed the red Porsche exiting the Turn 9 hairpin, putting himself in front of the Porsche and behind the Red/White/Green Alfa, on entry into the Turn 10-11 chicane. Exiting the Turn 11 chicane onto the midfield straightaway, the Alfa was in front, followed by the yellow Datsun, then the red Porsche. Going down the straightaway (before the Turn 12 90-degree right turn), the Datsun pulled to the far left side of the Alfa, and the Alfa held the middle, giving the Datsun room on the left as they both entered Turn 12 together (the Datsun slightly behind and to the Alfa's left). As the Alfa was apexing Turn 12, the Red Porsche was on the inside line of the straightway, going into Turn 12 really hot. He appeared to panic at not being able to stop for Turn 12 in time, then veered to the right, off the track. When he went off the track, he slid on grass in a straight line toward Turn 12, until he hit the Turn 12 curbing. When he hit the Turn 12 curbing, he seemed to launch in the air. It was at that point that he hit the Alfa, as the Alfa was apexing the Turn 12 right turn. After he hit the Alfa's front right fender, he was still carrying so much speed that he launched over the top of the Alfa and flipped, landing upside down on the top of the Alfa. But by then he still had forward momentum, so he kept on rolling and ended up on his side, on the opposite side of the exit to Turn 12..."
IN SHORT -- from the Alfa driver's viewpoint:
While exiting the Turn 12 right-hander during the early laps of Saturday morning timed practice, I was hit broadside by a red Porsche 911 who went straight, right through turn 12 and never turned at all. It was a double hit; once when he broad-sided me, the other when he flew into the air and landed upside down (his top on my top) on my car, after which he kept on rolling and ended up on his side. Pieces of his car blew into the cockpit of my car. Mickey Cohen in his yellow Datsun 510 was to my left and slightly behind me, going into Turn 12; he witnessed the whole thing. The red Porsche driver had been passed by Mickey on the exit of the Turn 9 infield hairpin. Apparently in a futile effort to catch back up with Mickey on the infield straightaway, the red Porsche failed to brake for the Turn 12 90-degree right hander. Witnesses say that he then panicked and swerved to the right onto the grass, in a last ditch attempt to avoid freight-training the Alfa and Datsun (who were both in Turn 12). The grass launched him into a high speed aquaplane-like skid that pitched him into the Turn 12 curbing. That pitched him airborne. I was on the gas out of Turn 12 when he hit my right front broadside, then bounced into the air and came down upside down on the top of my car -- then still had so much momentum that he kept rolling across the track and ended up on his side.
IMPORTANT: the Porsche and I were NOWHERE NEAR each other on entry into the Turn 12 right hander. Mickey (in his yellow Datsun 510) was close behind me, and I was leaving room for Mickey, so as not to pinch him (it was practice, and we weren't racing yet, so we both needed clear track to post solid lap times for good heat race grid position). The red Porsche came out of nowhere, and hit me AFTER I had gone through Turn 12. It was traveling at likely double the speed required to successfully negotiate Turn 12.
ONE ULTRA-CRITICAL POINT: on the prior TWO laps, a yellow flag was being waved by the course marshalls in Turn 12. The reason for this was because a cone had been hit and was lying in the middle of the track, between Turns 12 and 13. This meant that to get safely through Turn 13 (without colliding with the cone and risking a stackup) it was necessary to THREAD EITHER AN INSIDE OR OUTSIDE LINE THROUGH TURNS 12 AND 13, IN ORDER to AVERT THE CONE that was blocking the usual line from Turn 12 through 13.
The Porsche driver:
1. Failed to brake in time for Turn 12.
2. Failed to exhibit extra entry-to-12 caution by anticipating the cone between Turns 12 and 13, that all the drivers on the course KNEW was present, due to the yellow flag warning that had been shown at that turn on the prior lap.
Had I not have had a superior NASCAR-style cage in my car, this accident could have been deadly serious.
#21 Alfa -- Jake Grubb