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This is what happens when you hit a tire-faced concrete wall head on at 75+ mph. Exact cause unknown but it seems to have been catastrophic failure of the master cylinder on an ABS car (pedal straight to floor, no braking action - braking action on prior turn was normal, strong).

Exact speed unknown but Summit Point main straight is 130 mph in this car and car departed racing surface at approximately 90 according to corner workers. Luckily I had left foot brake checked at 800 ft or so before turn instead of waiting to dive into braking zone at 300 ft. That tiny amount of time was enough to get the car facing straight off the track and not into the car in front of me and not sideways or any other way and at precious fewer mph. Ended up climbing tire wall slightly and car came to rest on top of concrete barrier. Passenger door was pried open and I was able to recline passenger seat and get out of car. Energy transmitted through car as designed and I walked away...

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS check your brakes on long straights with a quick left foot tap. It probably saved my life.
 

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Glad you're OK, Rob. Shame about the car, tho. A warrior's death.
 

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Yikes! Glad you're ok!

The failure mode of the ABS system on these cars is ridiculous. Usually it's a rock hard pedal with no brakes. Seriously, who designs systems like this? If you're going to fail, take away the anti lock, not the effing brakes!

Will be interesting to see what the post mortem shows. MC's usually don't fail all of a sudden like that. Cut line? Still, you should have had something somewhere.

I never tap my brakes while accelerating on a straight. Not sure if that's what you're recommending, if they worked on the prior corner I've never had them fail under acceleration. Curious..

bs
 

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Amazing how fast the brain can work when pumped with "do or die" adrenaline!! Well done, & glad you are unhurt. Sorry about the car.
 

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It's great news that you avoided any serious injury.
Man, that had to be one scary ride.
That said, one's thoughts turns toward the car. :-(
 

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I heard about this as some of the Spec BMW guys I race with were there, glad you are OK, Summit is not known for having lots of run off so that was about as good a turn as any...did you pull the hand brake? I had a caliper fail and cleared the wall at turn 1 VIR...handbrake saved me that day. The caliper was the steel version of what you have on the Milano. I have also had ABS failure, in a race, so no longer run ABS on my e30 BMW.

Al Taylor
 

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Yikes! Glad you're ok!

The failure mode of the ABS system on these cars is ridiculous. Usually it's a rock hard pedal with no brakes. Seriously, who designs systems like this? If you're going to fail, take away the anti lock, not the effing brakes!

Will be interesting to see what the post mortem shows. MC's usually don't fail all of a sudden like that. Cut line? Still, you should have had something somewhere.

I never tap my brakes while accelerating on a straight. Not sure if that's what you're recommending, if they worked on the prior corner I've never had them fail under acceleration. Curious..

bs
Brian - it wasn't a typical ABS failure with the hard pedal. I've experienced that one on another car. I agree that the failure mode is ridiculous. This incident the pedal went straight to the floor. And yes, as you say - had a line failed I probably should have had something. But as for the brake check - yes - whenever I'm on a long straight I always give a quick tap w/ left foot to see if the brakes are there. It might not make sense for the brakes to fail just from acceleration but who knows - this is the kind of situation where I'm glad I checked.

I heard about this as some of the Spec BMW guys I race with were there, glad you are OK, Summit is not known for having lots of run off so that was about as good a turn as any...did you pull the hand brake? I had a caliper fail and cleared the wall at turn 1 VIR...handbrake saved me that day. The caliper was the steel version of what you have on the Milano. I have also had ABS failure, in a race, so no longer run ABS on my e30 BMW.

Al Taylor
I didn't pull the handbrake - I was down a gear and re-aiming the car and pumping the brake pedal to try and get something. Given the speed I don't know that it would have changed much but I still feel very lucky. To make things more intense at that moment - I had just been passed by another car (Porsche GT3) on the right - luckily he had immediately driven back to far track left to racing line instead of taking turn 1 from pass line - and I flew right past him on his right when he had braked for turn 1...

Those e30 guys always look like they're having fun. I drove a nicely prepped e30 in Chump last year and the thing was awesome. I keep saying I won't go over to the "dark side" but they sure are fun...
 

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Sad to see Rob - very similar to an accident I had in a GTV6 back in 1996 at Eastern Creeek in Sydney. Brake failure at 130km/h on a drying track, onto wet grass and then into tire faced concrete backed by large hill. Ouch. But like you the car died as designed and I walked away with two cracked ribs. Underneath the engine pushes back off the mounts, into the firewall and the impact travels down the tailshaft into the transaxle which breaks off at the top mount.

I'll dig up a photo; will look familiar to you for sure.
 

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Glad to see you're alright,the poor milano looks like it kept up pretty good for a high speed head on crash!
 

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I'm amazed the windshield is intact. Glad to hear you're ok!
These cars are 25 yo now, I don't think the abs system was meant to last that long. It has fantastic pedal feel and modulation but with the spotty parts availability and limited serviceability it became a liability and led to retiring my old Verde from daily driving duty.

Let us now observe a moment of silence for the dearly departed...
 

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Here you go Rob - my GTV6 after my very similar accident in 1996. The car survived remarkably intact on the surface; both doors opened normally but as I said above underneath was quite a different story.
 

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Holy Crap...!!! What an impact. Very happy to know you were unhurt. MF
 

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Glad you are ok Rob. Hope there are no other injuries which surface later.

Looks like the brakes are aftermarket. Are the lines the braided type or OE rubber? I've read on various car forums, the aftermarket braided lines aren't as long lasting as the OE rubber lines. Some drivers have experienced lines bursting at the most inopportune moment

BTW if you have a broken driver's side headlight, let me know.
 

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I would guess this had nothing to do with ABS.
We will have to see if he finds a busted part.
But I have has this happen on other cars(truck...) as a normal break boiling problem.
And in my case it was fine in one corner and to the floor the next. I got to expect that if I pushed it hard.
What would happen to me is on the coroner where it still worked is that it raised the oil in the caliper way past boiling point but as I was on it hard the PSI in the caliper raised the boiling point so it was OK until I let off. At this point it flashed boiled and then my break lines are filled with gas so the next time I hit the breaks, to the floor.
Now on my mazda I would still have a tad in the rear and I also did testing before to know if it had happened. And working hand break.
 
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