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Another death during a Rally


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#1 Victor

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 13:33

After the deaths of Gareth Roberts during the Targa Florio last June and Vicente "Tano" Lupino in the Mary Sierra Rally in Argentina, in July, now it was Bohuslav Ceplecha who died during the Rally Bohemia. We all also still have fresh in our minds Kubica´s terrible accident last year.
What is going on in the Rallies? Three deaths in less than one month? I am the first one to believe that danger is part of motorsport and that whatever we do there will always be bad accidents. However this seems to be too much. Circuit races have become safer and safer but Rallies seem to still be in the prehistory of safety. What can be done?


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#2 pingu666

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 13:34

rally cot's


#3 Seanspeed

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 13:46

Circuit races have become safer and safer but Rallies seem to still be in the prehistory of safety.

Until somebody can afford to create 500km+ worth of rallying track that is as protected as a modern 5km circuit, then the danger will continue to exist.

#4 Victor

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 13:50

Until somebody can afford to create 500km+ worth of rallying track that is as protected as a modern 5km circuit, then the danger will continue to exist.


If you cannot make the roads safer maybe you can make the cars safer.

#5 DrProzac

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 14:01

Well, not much can be done.

They could improve a bit road-side safety (check the armco to reduce the chance of Kubica-like accidents, for example), but to be honest it's almost impossible.

Maybe cars built from scratch with stronger cockpits would help a bit..

#6 Clatter

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 15:04

If you cannot make the roads safer maybe you can make the cars safer.


They are doing that as well, but the biggest danger in any motorsport is the stuff you hit. To a great extent that can be controlled on a circuit, but not on a Rally course.


#7 Myrvold

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 16:10

Stronger cockpits would still not help when you get trees, sticks, stones etc. moving in the window etc.

Anyway, as I wrote in the rally thread. In 2009 there was 13 fatal accidents in rallying. That was the most for any sport in the world with the exception of base jumping. Which is not a competetive sport.
The only safe thing in rally, is not to drive.
It's sad, but rallying is closer to a extremesport, than much other racing, and, well, it's dangerous.

#8 undersquare

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 16:14

Gareth Roberts was killed by the unsecured end of an armco barrier wasn't he, same as Kubica's injuries. Those ones can and certainly should be prevented.

They have to do what they can, not just say "it's dangerous".

#9 Clatter

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 16:16

Gareth Roberts was killed by the unsecured end of an armco barrier wasn't he, same as Kubica's injuries. Those ones can and certainly should be prevented.

They have to do what they can, not just say "it's dangerous".


Those shouldn't allowed full stop. Just means the things cannot do their job properly in the case of a normal RTA.


#10 spacekid

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 16:17

Very sad news.

My greatest fear with rallying is always the danger to the spectators - I find it amazing that there aren't more spectator deaths.

Regards rally safety I don't know the details of this latest accident, but the armco barriers are certainly a concern.

#11 Option1

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 16:32

My greatest fear with rallying is moronic spectators causing a driver's death. I can't get over how unbelievably and insanely stupid some rally spectators can be. If they die, they frankly usually deserve it. However, I do believe rally organisers could and should do far, far more to control spectators and get them out of the drivers' way.

Back to the original premise of this thread, I do believe rally safety is something continually being worked on with the cars. I'm less convinced it's happening with organisers improving course safety by checking for the dangers.

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#12 undersquare

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 16:32

Those shouldn't allowed full stop. Just means the things cannot do their job properly in the case of a normal RTA.

Quite. Though the rally organisers are supposed to check it aren't they?

And I think crews are entitled to know what they're driving next to: if it's trees then they know the risks involved in having an off; if it's armco they should be able to gauge that risk accurately too.

#13 artista

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 16:33

Gareth Roberts was killed by the unsecured end of an armco barrier wasn't he, same as Kubica's injuries. Those ones can and certainly should be prevented.

They have to do what they can, not just say "it's dangerous".

Those armcos that aren't correctly finished also kill "civilians" in normal road accidents, and I can sadly tell about it, because I lost a family member when one of those things got into her car.
I really wished such absolutely avoidable deaths, which could be prevented just taking the time to bury the end of the armco in the ground, would stop. But it seems it's not something authorites worry about (anywhere).

Very sad news.

My greatest fear with rallying is always the danger to the spectators - I find it amazing that there aren't more spectator deaths.

Regards rally safety I don't know the details of this latest accident, but the armco barriers are certainly a concern.

If the rally organizers do their job properly and the spectators behave, the danger for spectators isn't that high. But then, it's really impossible to control hundreds of kilometres of road to check that everybody is placed where they should be. Moreover, common sense is really not that common, not even among rally organizers.
The first time I went to a rally, I got a guide with very simple rules about where to stand and where not (you always have to stay over the road level, never at or under the road level,... and so on) and I have to say that I have not seen pictures of accidents involving spectators where those simple rules were observed. :well:

#14 Clatter

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 16:43

Quite. Though the rally organisers are supposed to check it aren't they?

And I think crews are entitled to know what they're driving next to: if it's trees then they know the risks involved in having an off; if it's armco they should be able to gauge that risk accurately too.


I would expect it, but they would not be able to do any repairs and I doubt the local authorities would rush out to help.

#15 undersquare

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 16:54

I would expect it, but they would not be able to do any repairs and I doubt the local authorities would rush out to help.

Yeah I dunno, it seems to me they have to check it and then respond appropriately. Clearly up to now they have been taking the easy way out.

So they have to either check it in time for repairs, or cancel the stage, flag that section or whatever. But not just leave it and hope nobody hits it.

It's a deceptively big target of course because of how a car can slide along the barrier until it comes to the break.

#16 DrProzac

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 21:00

My greatest fear with rallying is moronic spectators causing a driver's death. I can't get over how unbelievably and insanely stupid some rally spectators can be. If they die, they frankly usually deserve it. However, I do believe rally organisers could and should do far, far more to control spectators and get them out of the drivers' way.

My friend used to be a marshal during rallies. He said that he quit because of the spectators - just didn't want to take the responsibility for idiots (of course not all spectators are like that).

Those armcos that aren't correctly finished also kill "civilians" in normal road accidents, and I can sadly tell about it, because I lost a family member when one of those things got into her car.
I really wished such absolutely avoidable deaths, which could be prevented just taking the time to bury the end of the armco in the ground, would stop. But it seems it's not something authorites worry about (anywhere).

Yeah, lately we had a similar accident in Warsaw. Fortunately no one got hurt, but the car got partially pierced by armco. People responsible for the roads said that the barrier was ok :rolleyes:

#17 Tonka

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 22:20

Motor racing is dangerous. Competitors know it and still choose to take part. Armchair critics make a fuss everytime there's a serious accident and expect changes to be made. Oddly, they seldom bother to ask the drivers what they think.

Health & Safety has it's place in motorsport, but not to the point that the competitors might just as well be going for a ramble in the countryside.





#18 TFLB

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 22:28

Motor racing is dangerous. Competitors know it and still choose to take part. Armchair critics make a fuss everytime there's a serious accident and expect changes to be made. Oddly, they seldom bother to ask the drivers what they think.

Health & Safety has it's place in motorsport, but not to the point that the competitors might just as well be going for a ramble in the countryside.

:up: What people often forget is that drivers aren't forced to go racing; most do it just because they love doing it, and know the risks. If one of them gets killed then that's obviously bad, but in most cases it's just a very unfortunate, freak accident. There should be no knee-jerk changes because of a fatal accident, but rather sensible analysis of what happened. An example I can think of is Sperafico's crash at Interlagos a few years ago which prompted them to start planning knee-jerk changes to the circuit, while not addressing the main problem, which is that the safety level and build quality of Brazilian stock cars is terrible.

#19 pingu666

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 00:15

yep
really they need to look at the nascar cot and take stuff from that

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#20 Myrvold

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 10:40

Not entirely sure that it will help against many of the objects you find outside a public road.

#21 pingu666

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 12:23

do rally cars have energy absorbing foam in the sides, and strong solid sides ?

#22 pingu666

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 12:26

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#23 TFLB

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 12:28

do rally cars have energy absorbing foam in the sides, and strong solid sides ?

I think it depends on the car and the level of the event. I remember that the car Kubica was driving when he had his crash last year did not seem to have any additional strengthening in the front, which is what allowed the barrier to enter the cockpit.

#24 DrProzac

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 16:08

Kubica was driving a S2000 car, which is a one level below WRC cars. But current WRC cars are based upon S2000 cars and I'm quite sure that safety standards are the same.



Motor racing is dangerous. Competitors know it and still choose to take part. Armchair critics make a fuss everytime there's a serious accident and expect changes to be made. Oddly, they seldom bother to ask the drivers what they think.

Health & Safety has it's place in motorsport, but not to the point that the competitors might just as well be going for a ramble in the countryside.

Right. But isn't it quite obvious? Still it doesn't mean that no effort should be made to improve safety (without knee-jerk reactions). I doubt that Martin Semerad or Craig Breen would say "nah, it's ok, let's not even try".

Edited by DrProzac, 16 July 2012 - 16:21.


#25 g1n

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 18:52

Never forget this.
Posted Image



#26 TimRTC

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 20:17

In the Armco incidents, did the metal penetrate the windscreen? I just only some sort of polycarbonate windscreen would be the answer here and probably highly expensive:



#27 DrProzac

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 20:22

In Kubica's and Gareth Roberts accidents it did not (it penetrated the mask/engine area). But it's possible (Imagine amrco deflecting from the engine but penetrating the windscreen, for example).

BTW:

Edited by DrProzac, 16 July 2012 - 20:27.


#28 pingu666

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 20:36

i think the cot has a thick, strong screen
but :eek: :eek: @ branch into cockpit


#29 kosmic33

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 21:40

Right. But isn't it quite obvious? Still it doesn't mean that no effort should be made to improve safety (without knee-jerk reactions). I doubt that Martin Semerad or Craig Breen would say "nah, it's ok, let's not even try".

Semerad hit an oak tree side on at around 130mph. The fact that both weren't killed was a miracle....
No vehicle currently used in motorsports could come close to withstanding that impact.


#30 pingu666

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 21:58

i thought 130mph would be banging on the limiter, top gear with a long gearbox?
but a tree would penitrate a car far worse than a wall or another car

#31 kosmic33

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 11:10

i thought 130mph would be banging on the limiter, top gear with a long gearbox?

The pace notes for the section were 500 (yards), Flat left over bump, 500
He was driving an Evo 9 which would be geared for 135mph+ and when the car left the road (he lost control on the bump), according to an eye witness, the car did not slow at all.....

#32 undersquare

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 11:15

Never forget this.
Posted Image

Yeah sure; once upon a time people used to hammer Jackie Steward with that 'logic'.

#33 7MGTEsup

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 15:48

Yeah sure; once upon a time people used to hammer Jackie Steward with that 'logic'.


Yeh back when Jackie Stewart raced 33% of drivers were killed every time they got into a car according to him. If people can't accept no matter how safe you make racing it will always be dangerous then maybe they should watch something less dangerous? At the end of the day travelling through a wooded area at over 100mph isn't a safe thing to do. No matter how strong you make a car the the driver is a soft organic material that doesn't like 50+g deceleratios.

Edited by 7MGTEsup, 17 July 2012 - 15:50.


#34 Option1

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 15:54

Way to make up something Sir Jackie never said 7MGTEsup. :down:

Sadly, the willful ignorance he had to fight against clearly persists.

Neil

#35 undersquare

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 16:15

Yeh back when Jackie Stewart raced 33% of drivers were killed every time they got into a car according to him. If people can't accept no matter how safe you make racing it will always be dangerous then maybe they should watch something less dangerous? At the end of the day travelling through a wooded area at over 100mph isn't a safe thing to do. No matter how strong you make a car the the driver is a soft organic material that doesn't like 50+g deceleratios.

Are you really not able to understand the idea that fewer deaths are better than more? I did honestly think it was quite a simple proposition.

Gareth Roberts is dead at 24, and he didn't need to be. He could have done rallying and NOT been killed. Robert Kubica did not need to have those horrific injuries. All they needed was armco that was properly constructed.

#36 Myrvold

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 16:26

Way to make up something Sir Jackie never said 7MGTEsup. :down:


Well, he did say that one of three F1 drivers got killed in a period. Grand Prix - The killer years I think the BBC-program was called.

And, I really don't think that anyone here feels that fewer deaths are worse than more. However. You cannot make rallying completely safe, and it can't ever be as safe as circuit racing. There are so much stuff outside the normal roads that, might kill a driver. It's just the nature of rallying. That doesn't mean, one shouldn't try to make it safer. But rallying, is an extremesport. It is dangerous. And it will most likely always be very dangerous.

#37 Option1

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 17:27

I doubt any one here is suggesting rallying can be made completely safe, but that doesn't mean attempts to try and improve safety should be disparaged with such intentional ignorance as that displayed in the post I referenced.

Neil

#38 undersquare

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 17:42

I doubt any one here is suggesting rallying can be made completely safe, but that doesn't mean attempts to try and improve safety should be disparaged with such intentional ignorance as that displayed in the post I referenced.

Neil

Exactly

#39 scheivlak

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 17:47

Well, he did say that one of three F1 drivers got killed in a period. Grand Prix - The killer years I think the BBC-program was called.

But he didn't say that "33% of drivers were killed every time they got into a car" as 7MGTEsup stated.......

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#40 7MGTEsup

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 19:10

But he didn't say that "33% of drivers were killed every time they got into a car" as 7MGTEsup stated.......


Last time I checked 1 in 3 was 33% is it not? His words not mine. I didn't say I wanted to see more deaths I simply stated that you can never cover every eventuality and driving a car fast in a wooded enviroment carries alot of risk and no matter how strong you make a car you cannot defy the laws of physics.

#41 undersquare

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 19:16

Last time I checked 1 in 3 was 33% is it not? His words not mine. I didn't say I wanted to see more deaths I simply stated that you can never cover every eventuality and driving a car fast in a wooded enviroment carries alot of risk and no matter how strong you make a car you cannot defy the laws of physics.

Nobody ever suggested otherwise, since it's just stating the obvious. Is safety effort worthwhile or not?

#42 scheivlak

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 19:16

Last time I checked 1 in 3 was 33% is it not? His words not mine. I didn't say I wanted to see more deaths I simply stated that you can never cover every eventuality and driving a car fast in a wooded enviroment carries alot of risk and no matter how strong you make a car you cannot defy the laws of physics.

He never said that it was 1 in 3 in every race.
1 in 3 during his time as a GP driver is rather different.

#43 7MGTEsup

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 19:24

Nobody ever suggested otherwise, since it's just stating the obvious. Is safety effort worthwhile or not?


I never said it wasn't worth while, just that you can't make rallying safe as seen by the wooden post coming through the back window on the video posted.

The reason I picked up on what Jackie said was that I think its an exaggeration that 33% of the drives he raced against didn't survive through his career.


#44 scheivlak

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 19:46

I never said it wasn't worth while, just that you can't make rallying safe as seen by the wooden post coming through the back window on the video posted.

The reason I picked up on what Jackie said was that I think its an exaggeration that 33% of the drives he raced against didn't survive through his career.

That's not really an exaggeration.
Take the grid of the 1965 Belgian GP http://www.forix.com...5...amp;b=0&s=0
I count 9 of those 20 drivers that died on a race track within 7 or so years.

#45 7MGTEsup

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 19:55

That's not really an exaggeration.
Take the grid of the 1965 Belgian GP http://www.forix.com...5...amp;b=0&s=0
I count 9 of those 20 drivers that died on a race track within 7 or so years.


Have just been on wiki and counted all the drivers that competed in F1 from 1965 - 1973 and there are 115 and 11 of those men died in that time so that comes out at 1 in 10. Maybe he was referring to drivers that he was close to?

#46 scheivlak

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 20:23

Have just been on wiki and counted all the drivers that competed in F1 from 1965 - 1973 and there are 115 and 11 of those men died in that time so that comes out at 1 in 10. Maybe he was referring to drivers that he was close to?

That number is obviously wrong (I glanced at the 1968 Belgian GP entry and I already saw 3 more apart from those 9 from 1965, and of course people like Cevert or Williamson hadn't stepped in yet by then), but a meaningful way at looking at it is just glance over the starting grids of all those GPs.
In the early part the death rate is almost 50%, in the latter parts you see quite a lower number, and that's partly the result of Jackie's crusade.

#47 7MGTEsup

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 20:37

That number is obviously wrong (I glanced at the 1968 Belgian GP entry and I already saw 3 more apart from those 9 from 1965, and of course people like Cevert or Williamson hadn't stepped in yet by then), but a meaningful way at looking at it is just glance over the starting grids of all those GPs.
In the early part the death rate is almost 50%, in the latter parts you see quite a lower number, and that's partly the result of Jackie's crusade.


Didn't realise he was referring to all types of motorsport and not just F1 so that number might be closer but still think its a bit high.


#48 scheivlak

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 22:04

Didn't realise he was referring to all types of motorsport and not just F1 so that number might be closer but still think its a bit high.

It's a bit high but it was immense. I count 27 drivers who Jackie competed against in F1 who died either in F1 or in sportscars, F2 or whatever - don't forget that nobody in that era only drove F1 (for quite a few sportcar racing was their more solid source of income). The drop in death rate between 1965 and say, 1975, is very significant.

Drivers like Jackie played a part of it, but IMHO the most important factor by far was the breakthrough of races being fully broadcasted on television. People dying helplessly slowly but surely live in real time on television was not what broadcasting organsations wanted to show and not what the public wanted to see.
I dare to suggest that the traumatic viewing experiences of Monaco 1967 (the first GP broadcasted live entirely on Eurovision here in the Nerherlands AFAIK) and Zandvoort 1973 had more impact on the general public that the death of Jim Clark and Jochen Rindt who died respectively in a F2 race and a Q session that wasn't broadcasted at all.

So, back to topic one might suggest in a possibly rather cynic way that broadcasting more rallyes might be the strongest impetus to do something more about driver security....

Edited by scheivlak, 17 July 2012 - 22:05.


#49 DrProzac

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 16:19

Semerad hit an oak tree side on at around 130mph. The fact that both weren't killed was a miracle....
No vehicle currently used in motorsports could come close to withstanding that impact.

Well, "effort to improve safety" doesn't imply "achieving the impossible" :) Also, the fact that in one accident instance nothing could have been done doesn't imply that nothing can be done to reduce fatality risk in other circumstances.
Doing nothing and saying "nothing can be done and danger is a part of the sport so is from definition always acceptable" isn't good. If nothing reasonable can be done do improve one aspect of the problem, then lets look at other that possibly aren't hopeless. That's my point.


I doubt any one here is suggesting rallying can be made completely safe, but that doesn't mean attempts to try and improve safety should be disparaged with such intentional ignorance as that displayed in the post I referenced.

Neil

Well said.

Well, he did say that one of three F1 drivers got killed in a period. Grand Prix - The killer years I think the BBC-program was called.

During the period - a big difference. And he may be right actually (for sure close).

#50 kosmic33

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 13:20

And another.....
http://www.demotix.c...l-crash#slide-1

Apparently the car caught fire after an accident and unfortunately, the extinguishers mandated by the FIA couldnt put out a cigarette......