Sad day at VIR :( - CorvetteForum - Chevrolet Corvette Forum Discussion

Notices
C7 Z06 Discussion General Z06 Corvette Discussion, LT4 Corvette Technical Info, Performance Upgrades, Suspension Setup for Street or Track
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Sad day at VIR :(

Old 10-21-2018, 12:22 PM
  #1  
Newton06
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Newton06's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2006
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 1,652
Thanked 182 Times in 106 Posts
Default Sad day at VIR :(

I love instructing.

I love helping drivers become safer, faster, and more competent, which is why I risk my safety jumping in the right seat with complete strangers (though I see a lot of repeat students nowadays).

Nothing is more satisfying than when the light goes off and they nail a set of turns, exiting with a big grin on their face.

But I always tell students that there is an inherent risk in what we are doing, and no matter how safety conscious we are, bad things can and do happen, and not only can cars be destroyed in fractions of a second, but there can be serious, even life-threatening injuries.

Friday was one of those days for me.

My HANS did it's job, and other than being sore and getting burned and bruised from the airbags, I was OK.

My pristine Z06, Z07 did not bode well and is undriveable.

I am heartbroken but know the risks involved in what I do.

I stayed the remainder of the weekend, and instructed to the very last session. One of my students in a C6 GS entered T4 a bit hot and lost the rear. We exited track left and came to a stop. I told him we needed to trade offs, as his car suffered no damage. He said 'no thanks'.

Several instructors let me take their cars out afterwards, as did Quantum Speed Works (who performs all my service at the track - highly recommended if you track at VIR), which was really cool and helped soften the blow.

Last October, I lost my C7 Z51 in the T10 tire wall (boiled the Motul RBF 600). So now I have been bitten by the 2 most dangerous turns at VIR.

<sigh>


Last edited by Newton06; 10-23-2018 at 07:46 PM.
Newton06 is offline  
Old 10-21-2018, 12:38 PM
  #2  
RonC7
CF Senior Member
 
RonC7's Avatar
 
Member Since: Dec 2012
Location: St. Louis Metro East IL
Posts: 854
Thanked 182 Times in 143 Posts
Default

Glad to hear that you are OK.

Cars can be repaired or replaced...
RonC7 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to RonC7 For This Useful Post:
Newton06 (10-21-2018)
Old 10-21-2018, 12:49 PM
  #3  
nmerhaut
CF Senior Member
 
nmerhaut's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2007
Location: Bratenahl OH
Posts: 2,199
Thanked 19 Times in 16 Posts
Default

So sorry to hear of your misfortune and please accept my thanks for the admission that even the best can have a dustup with a wall, tire bank or turn. Your account may help many of us in the long run. I'd be interested in your analysis of what happened when you've had time to do so. Happy you're OK physically and hope you get repairs soon. BTW, do you have track insurance on your car for all events? Thanks again.

Last edited by nmerhaut; 10-21-2018 at 12:50 PM.
nmerhaut is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to nmerhaut For This Useful Post:
CorvetteBrent (10-23-2018), Newton06 (10-21-2018)
Old 10-21-2018, 01:38 PM
  #4  
TrackAire
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Sep 2015
Posts: 940
Thanked 173 Times in 128 Posts
Default

Glad you're ok, everything else is very much secondary. Thanks for the description of what happened before the incident.

The one take away I'd like to further discuss is if using a HANS with a full harness.....I am concerned of the damage that can be done to our bodies by the airbag. When doing track events, do you feel that it would be safer not to have the air bag operational?
TrackAire is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to TrackAire For This Useful Post:
CorvetteBrent (10-23-2018), Newton06 (10-21-2018)
Old 10-21-2018, 01:41 PM
  #5  
Newton06
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Newton06's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2006
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 1,652
Thanked 182 Times in 106 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by nmerhaut View Post
So sorry to hear of your misfortune and please accept my thanks for the admission that even the best can have a dustup with a wall, tire bank or turn. Your account may help many of us in the long run. I'd be interested in your analysis of what happened when you've had time to do so. Happy you're OK physically and hope you get repairs soon. BTW, do you have track insurance on your car for all events? Thanks again.
Cold tires, cold brain, cold track, overly concerned with holding fellow instructors up coming out on a hot track.

T5b is one of the most dangerous turns at VIR (the other being T10). Turn 8a is a close 3rd.

6a & 8a have elevation peaks at the apex, meaning the track rises to the apex, then drops away at the apex, so it is imperative to 1) have the wheels as straight as possible, and 2 have weight on the rear, as least via maintenance throttle. If you lift with degrees in the wheel, you're doomed to a spin or hook. Conversely, if you are too aggressive with degrees in the wheel, the rear will step out when it crests the hump. My Cup 2's were pretty shagged as well; this would have been my 6th event on them since August. I have a new set in the garage, but chose to run the old set.

The PDF data seems corrupted from this session for some reason (it's in a very large RAW file format, so not sure it is salvageable), but my assessment was too much degrees in the wheel, combined with cold tires, and likely too aggressive on throttle. It did not wag or slap, it simply let go & rotated ~120 degrees into the tire wall.

I've seen numerous wrecks there & I thought I was being careful... apparently not enough.

I was discussing track insurance with a past student earlier in the week over beers. He said do you think it is wise? I said at your speed and given the vehicle you drive, yes.

He was at the event and Friday morning I said, 'so did you get in insurance'? He said 'yes. Did you?'

I said glibly, 'no'.

Last edited by Newton06; 10-21-2018 at 01:43 PM.
Newton06 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Newton06 For This Useful Post:
CorvetteBrent (10-23-2018)
Old 10-21-2018, 01:50 PM
  #6  
Newton06
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Newton06's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2006
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 1,652
Thanked 182 Times in 106 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by TrackAire View Post
Glad you're ok, everything else is very much secondary. Thanks for the description of what happened before the incident.

The one take away I'd like to further discuss is if using a HANS with a full harness.....I am concerned of the damage that can be done to our bodies by the airbag. When doing track events, do you feel that it would be safer not to have the air bag operational?
This is the second tire wall incident I've had sliding into them passenger side first. Despite nobody in the passenger seat, the pillar bag always fires. I guess to protect drivers if they come out of the belt(?).

The steering wheel bag burned and bruised my left arm.

That being said, I went in passenger side first at ~45 degree angle.

Not sure I would want to hit the steering wheel at 70 - 80 MPH, but perhaps that wouldn't be an issue since the 3-point held me properly.

This is an issue I will have to face if I decide to keep the car; do I replace the bags or not, especially if it becomes a track car.

I have a 6-point & bar on order but they did not arrive prior to the event.

I would strongly advise anyone who tracks to invest in a good helmet and a HANS. My neck is very sore now. I'd hate to imagine how much worse it would be without it.

My head also smacked the halo hard enough to damage the integrated comms cable connected to my carbon fiber Roux. TMI replaced it gratis.

Last edited by Newton06; 10-21-2018 at 02:20 PM.
Newton06 is offline  
Old 10-21-2018, 02:14 PM
  #7  
TrackAire
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Sep 2015
Posts: 940
Thanked 173 Times in 128 Posts
Default

I think you've brought up an interesting point regarding helmets.....not only do you want a very high quality helmet but you want the lightest you can afford. We ain't getting any younger and neck muscles can only hold up so much weight in a impact. The lighter the helmet, the less energy your neck has to sustain in an incident when high G's are involved.
TrackAire is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to TrackAire For This Useful Post:
Newton06 (10-21-2018), Plstxmd (10-29-2018)
Old 10-21-2018, 02:55 PM
  #8  
Bill Dearborn
Tech Contributor
 
Bill Dearborn's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 1999
Location: Charlotte (formerly Endicott, NY) NC
Posts: 32,149
Thanked 2,915 Times in 1,995 Posts
Default

Sorry to hear about your incident. Hopefully, you will not have any long term effects from the hit. Hitting the halo like that you should probably get the helmet checked to make sure lining isn't deformed from absorbing the energy as your head was cushioned by the helmet. On severe hits they basically become a one time use item.

How much damage to the car? It sounds like you hit right front Vs me hitting right rear. All of my damage was limited to paint scuffs and bolt on parts so no real damage to the car. My air bags didn't go off so I don't have to worry about that mess.

Bill
Bill Dearborn is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Bill Dearborn For This Useful Post:
CorvetteBrent (10-23-2018), Newton06 (10-21-2018)
Old 10-21-2018, 03:04 PM
  #9  
Greg00Coupe
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Aug 1999
Location: Canton Ohio
Posts: 5,432
Thanked 261 Times in 201 Posts
Default

Bummer. All of us who track the cars worry about this exact thing.

Glad you are OK
Greg00Coupe is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Greg00Coupe For This Useful Post:
Newton06 (10-21-2018)
Old 10-21-2018, 03:17 PM
  #10  
Newton06
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Newton06's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2006
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 1,652
Thanked 182 Times in 106 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Bill Dearborn View Post
Sorry to hear about your incident. Hopefully, you will not have any long term effects from the hit. Hitting the halo like that you should probably get the helmet checked to make sure lining isn't deformed from absorbing the energy as your head was cushioned by the helmet. On severe hits they basically become a one time use item.

How much damage to the car? It sounds like you hit right front Vs me hitting right rear. All of my damage was limited to paint scuffs and bolt on parts so no real damage to the car. My air bags didn't go off so I don't have to worry about that mess.

Bill
Hi Bill, this hit was similar to my T10 hit. Sliding into the tire wall at roughly a 45 degree angle, nose-first, driver's right (passenger side), then hitting with the entire RH side.

Front frame horns appear to be bent, tie-rods, etc. Not sure about the suspension yet. Front RH quarter destroyed. Passenger door & rear quarter damaged. RH rear cheek radiator or line damaged and leaking. Not sure if that one is the diff or transmission.

More damage than your car since the wall was much closer in 5b.

Last edited by Newton06; 10-21-2018 at 03:18 PM.
Newton06 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Newton06 For This Useful Post:
CorvetteBrent (10-23-2018)
Old 10-21-2018, 03:28 PM
  #11  
timmyZ06
CF Senior Member
 
timmyZ06's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2010
Location: montreal quebec
Posts: 5,091
Thanked 158 Times in 137 Posts
Default

OMG Im so sorry to hear that, believe me i know the pain!! I just finished rebuilt mine and its sold now. At least you are not seriously injured! I know i didnt care when i saw mine all fcked up sitiing on the track. I still have lots of left over parts, hit me up if you need some! BTW deployed airbag is no biggie, new clock spring, new steering airbag and reset cost 1k. One thing i learned about vettes, when they unhook its gone! rebuilt costed me 12k with a lot of deal from my fellow forum members!
timmyZ06 is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to timmyZ06 For This Useful Post:
CorvetteBrent (10-23-2018), Newton06 (10-21-2018)
Old 10-21-2018, 03:42 PM
  #12  
Newton06
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Newton06's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2006
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 1,652
Thanked 182 Times in 106 Posts
Default

^Je vous remercie pour vos aimables paroles!

Mon ex-femme ťtait de Trois-Rivieres.

Last edited by Newton06; 10-21-2018 at 03:43 PM.
Newton06 is offline  
Old 10-21-2018, 04:00 PM
  #13  
timmyZ06
CF Senior Member
 
timmyZ06's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2010
Location: montreal quebec
Posts: 5,091
Thanked 158 Times in 137 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Newton06 View Post
^Je vous remercie pour vos aimables paroles!

Mon ex-femme ťtait de Trois-Rivieres.
HOO cool!! your french is good, better than mine) Anyway judt went thru this, so if you need help let me know. I looked everywhere and knows where to find good deals now! Frame rails can be unwelded and change. For a 100K car that might worth it. Fortunately for me, damages wasnt that extensive!

we have a family country house near trois riviere, best place to ride sleds!

Last edited by timmyZ06; 10-21-2018 at 04:00 PM.
timmyZ06 is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to timmyZ06 For This Useful Post:
Newton06 (10-21-2018)
Old 10-21-2018, 05:36 PM
  #14  
cvp33
CF Senior Member
 
cvp33's Avatar
 
Member Since: Sep 2005
Location: RACE TRACK USA
Posts: 1,904
Thanked 557 Times in 385 Posts
Default

Iíve had 3 whoops moments at VIR. 2 were front straight incidents. One entering and just carried off into the field with plenty of run-off room on dry grass. The other practicing late braking (too late in this case) and exited the end of the front straight at 85+. Also dry grass and a great place to off. My other, which Iíve posted before was with an instructor, back straight and boiled fluid. Not fun, looped twice and somehow only damage his and my drawers as we both thought this was the big one.

Iím scared shitless of the tire walls at VIR. Itís what keeps me at 80% in NASCAR and the uphill essess. Iíve seen too many car totaling offs there and why I will never join Sean in the 1:58 club. Sorry to hear about your off, sorry about the car but glad you have the right equipment and that youíre OK.

Last edited by cvp33; 10-21-2018 at 05:38 PM.
cvp33 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to cvp33 For This Useful Post:
CorvetteBrent (10-23-2018), Newton06 (10-21-2018)
Old 10-21-2018, 06:08 PM
  #15  
Newton06
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Newton06's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2006
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 1,652
Thanked 182 Times in 106 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by cvp33 View Post
Iíve had 3 whoops moments at VIR. 2 were front straight incidents. One entering and just carried off into the field with plenty of run-off room on dry grass. The other practicing late braking (too late in this case) and exited the end of the front straight at 85+. Also dry grass and a great place to off. My other, which Iíve posted before was with an instructor, back straight and boiled fluid. Not fun, looped twice and somehow only damage his and my drawers as we both thought this was the big one.

Iím scared shitless of the tire walls at VIR. Itís what keeps me at 80% in NASCAR and the uphill essess. Iíve seen too many car totaling offs there and why I will never join Sean in the 1:58 club. Sorry to hear about your off, sorry about the car but glad you have the right equipment and that youíre OK.
Yes brother, I hear you. T14 absolutely scares the living shiite out of me if God-forbid you lose brakes.

I wonder if the instructor that went through that with you is still instructing.

I had a student lose one of those asinine chrome exhaust plates down the back straight. Those suckers weigh about a pound, and that thing dropped at 140+ would be devastating. It could have easily shattered a windshield or gone under the car and cut brake lines. The turn worker found us in the pits and said, 'I think this belongs to one of your students.'

We gave the turn-worker a beer and threw the plate in the dumpster. Seemed like it was held on by double-sided tape.
Newton06 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Newton06 For This Useful Post:
CorvetteBrent (10-23-2018)
Old 10-21-2018, 06:23 PM
  #16  
GoatHead
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Dec 2017
Posts: 149
Thanked 17 Times in 13 Posts
Default

I had the pleasure of meeting Newton06 at VIR at this PCA event. I wish I had met him in different circumstances. Great guy and great driver. He took it like a champ, and he was back driving and instructing for the rest of the full two-days event. Unbelievable nerve of steel.

It was a pleasure to meet you, and I am sure you will be back with even better car in no time.
GoatHead is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to GoatHead For This Useful Post:
CorvetteBrent (10-23-2018), Newton06 (10-21-2018)
Old 10-21-2018, 06:45 PM
  #17  
Newton06
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Newton06's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2006
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 1,652
Thanked 182 Times in 106 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by GoatHead View Post
I had the pleasure of meeting Newton06 at VIR at this PCA event. I wish I had met him in different circumstances. Great guy and great driver. He took it like a champ, and he was back driving and instructing for the rest of the full two-days event. Unbelievable nerve of steel.

It was a pleasure to meet you, and I am sure you will be back with even better car in no time.
Thank you sir!

I need to start a gofundme for my rebuild.
Newton06 is offline  
Old 10-21-2018, 07:14 PM
  #18  
tw78911sc
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Oct 2017
Location: Wilmington NC
Posts: 283
Thanked 30 Times in 28 Posts
Default

I've instructed for 20 years, and there are amazingly satisfying weekends when students learn ad everything goes great in your own ride, I've stopped going to clubs where they want you to instruct 2 students. Too much to process and when you do get in your in your own car it is late in a session or you are distracted, can't find your crap fiddling with cameras etc... Sometimes I just go and drive for myself. I love VIR, one of my favorites, but I've seen a lot a red ***s and flat beds hauling off cars. The worse experience I've ever had was instructing a student that missed a shift on the last lap of the last session and totaled his new Porsche. Violent hit on the Roebling Road pit wall. He was unhurt, I had a full blown concussion after being knocked out on 2nd impact. Instructing is a noble task, it is rewarding, you make friends, get special treatment etc.. Sometimes it is good to step back and just drive for yourself w/o the distraction, actually be ready for a session. Good luck with repairs, sorry for the whole incident.
tw78911sc is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to tw78911sc For This Useful Post:
CorvetteBrent (10-23-2018), Newton06 (10-21-2018)
Old 10-21-2018, 07:19 PM
  #19  
Newton06
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Newton06's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2006
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 1,652
Thanked 182 Times in 106 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by tw78911sc View Post
I've instructed for 20 years, and there are amazingly satisfying weekends when students learn ad everything goes great in your own ride, I've stopped going to clubs where they want you to instruct 2 students. Too much to process and when you do get in your in your own car it is late in a session or you are distracted, can't find your crap fiddling with cameras etc... Sometimes I just go and drive for myself. I love VIR, one of my favorites, but I've seen a lot a red ***s and flat beds hauling off cars. The worse experience I've ever had was instructing a student that missed a shift on the last lap of the last session and totaled his new Porsche. Violent hit on the Roebling Road pit wall. He was unhurt, I had a full blown concussion after being knocked out on 2nd impact. Instructing is a noble task, it is rewarding, you make friends, get special treatment etc.. Sometimes it is good to step back and just drive for yourself w/o the distraction, actually be ready for a session. Good luck with repairs, sorry for the whole incident.
Those are wise words sir, and thank you for your contribution to the craft!

I know some organizations are actively testing telemetry based instructing, and honestly, I think that is where we will be in the not too distant future (just ask Peter Krause). There are simply too many risks in right-seat active instructing, and when there is a fatality or lawsuit, that will be the death knell to right-seat instructing.

And I have certainly seen many red-mist incidents in Red run groups. I was instructing for NASA @ VIR less than 2 weeks ago and had a fellow that simply would not yeild for a pass, and would run side by side into corners.

HPDE's are not racing events, and there is no place for that mentality in them. Get your racing license if that is how you drive, and even NASA is now very anti-contact.

That's why I like running sometimes in Black or white.

Last edited by Newton06; 10-21-2018 at 07:23 PM.
Newton06 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Newton06 For This Useful Post:
CorvetteBrent (10-23-2018)
Old 10-22-2018, 11:04 AM
  #20  
RedBaroness
CF Member
 
Member Since: May 2018
Posts: 87
Thanked 38 Times in 21 Posts
Default

Glad to hear you're okay and are taking the situation so well. My best wishes for a smooth repair on your car. I know it would be heartbreaking for me. I plan on trying to get mine out there at some point and have driven the track in my Miata and while not at full speed, I can understand your concern in those turns having done some HPDE and racing myself. Best of luck and good for sticking around, understanding what happened and being able to continue on!
RedBaroness is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to RedBaroness For This Useful Post:
CorvetteBrent (10-23-2018), Newton06 (10-22-2018)

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Sponsored Ads
Vendor Directory

Contact Us About Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

© 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: