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Old 07-01-2014, 09:43 AM   #1
Pinecone
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Summit Point DE Fatality

I searched, but did not see anything.

But there was a fatality at HyperFest on the Jefferson circuit. During HyperFest on Sat, they run a sort of DE like event called HyperDrives. The participants sign up for single track sessions with an instructor (no solos).

Last session, the car hit a tree, sideways, and crushed the instructor.

Some reports state the driver exited the turn, hit the throttle and the rear end came out. The driver stayed in the throttle and the car exited the paved surface. Supposedly the student had done multiple sessions.

It was stated a left turn, without runoff area. I am thinking it was exiting the downhill left hander onto the straight (counter clockwise direction).

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Old 07-01-2014, 09:47 AM   #2
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I've seen some news reports about it. I think there was a long comment thread at Jalopnik. I haven't driven that part of Summit, but the videos posted show that there are basically no barriers and very little run-off room.

Terrible tragedy, but it looks like a pretty worrisome course.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:08 AM   #3
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Yeah, I read something somewhere about trees and no safety barriers. Tragic.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:22 AM   #4
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That's awful.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:48 AM   #5
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Sobering...

Not being familiar with the track, I looked it up on Google Maps. Do you think its the southernmost corner? If so, you can see a few trees not far off the track in sat view mode...
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZBB View Post
Sobering...

Not being familiar with the track, I looked it up on Google Maps. Do you think its the southernmost corner? If so, you can see a few trees not far off the track in sat view mode...
Here's the Jalopnik thread.

http://jalopnik.com/instructor-kille...way-1588064352

According to one of the commenters who claimed to see it happen, it was in turn 7, a 90 degree left-hander. It wasn't entry speed--it was too much throttle on exit. Power on oversteer, IOW.


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Old 07-01-2014, 11:34 AM   #7
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Here is a video of the track. Does not look safe at all.

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Old 07-01-2014, 01:39 PM   #8
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Years ago, WDCR Solo held an autocross event at Jefferson once a year. I remember going to it once in my Grand Prix. It was a lot of fun, but we had a handful of off-course incidents, including one that ended in some significant fascia damage, one that damaged a wheel, and one that ended in a collision with a tree that deployed the airbags.

I have no basis to comment on the safety of a course like the Jefferson Circuit, but it clearly isn't a great idea to hold an autocross event on it.
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate View Post
Here is a video of the track. Does not look safe at all.

I know very little about course design, so I don't feel particularly qualified to comment. The spot of the excursion, though, if it really was at the exit of Turn 7, isn't really where you'd expect a car to exit the track to the *inside,* which appears to be what happened here. See roughly minute 1:05 in the video. It's relatively low speed, and even if you blew the apex completely you'd generally bounce off toward the outside.

There probably still should be a barrier in front of the trees, but "punch it and spin coming out of the corner" is a particularly bone-headed way to put your car into a tree.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JST View Post
Here's the Jalopnik thread.

http://jalopnik.com/instructor-kille...way-1588064352

According to one of the commenters who claimed to see it happen, it was in turn 7, a 90 degree left-hander. It wasn't entry speed--it was too much throttle on exit. Power on oversteer, IOW.
Thanks... For reference, my question on "southernmost turn" from Google Maps was for Turn 5. Turn 7 was going to be my second guess.

The witness comment at Jalopnik said two things -- that he kept on the power and never turned the wheels. Hard to figure out why he didn't let off or attempt to turn. I still remember my dad going through driving scenarios on how to handle a skid when I was 15 -- and "steer into the skid" was burned into my brain...
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