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Is Bathurst still viable after almost seventy years?

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#1 cosworth bdg

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 04:13

Is this CIRCUIT really now safe , and what about SAFETY in the past , there has been many injuries in the past ,and some very notable DEATHS..............


#2 FLB

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 04:39

It's like Imola 1994 this year. The track is not any more dangerous than it ever was, but for some reason, it's a really bad year... :(

#3 DNQ

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 05:11

For those who aren't aware of what has happened:

Four drivers have been hospitalised this weekend. Porter and Clark from the Friday race accident, both were in critical conditions, fortunantly Clark is on the mend. A third driver involved was also hospitalised according to some Ten news reports. In addition, Paul Radisich today has been airlifted to hospital with "serious injuries". I read on another forum a broken back, but I can find no real source to back this up.

In addition there have been large accidents to Skaife, Jack Perkins, McConville and others, and a few large crunches in the support races.

#4 Catalina Park

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 07:33

Sorry but talking about current racing does not belong in TNF.

#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 07:49

Absolutely correct - but perhaps the wider issue regarding the survival of truly classic circuits does have a place here? Sympathies, incidentally, to the people directly affected by what has been clearly a really bad day at the office...


#6 David Shaw

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 08:22

This circuit has been operating for nearly 70 years, so I think that although it is modern racing that has brought about this discussion, that the current safety of the circuit is relevant to this forum.

It is a dangerous and unforgiving place, and I don't think that placing detroit barriers around both sides of its entire length has made it less so in all situations. The problem is that from Griffin's Bend at the top of Mountain Straight to Forrest's Elbow at the start of Conrod Straight there has never been any runoff or room for error. I think that placing the concrete barriers around that section was sensible, but I think that a lot of the rest should have been left more open. But that is just my opinion.

I'm a bit confused about the area where Radisich went off, as it left a wide grass strip on the outside of the last corner of The Chase, which is understandable to enable a car that runs wide to get back on track, but why did that grass strip have to extend all the way to a concrete wall that sits almost perpendicular to the cars. Maybe it would have been more prudent to make sure there was only sandtrap within 50 metres of that wall.

The area where the major accident happened on Friday is one of those places where it is over a blind crest, constantly turning and where the car gets unweighted. Not the sort of place to be confronted with waving yellows. But I think that you have to accept that those are the conditions of the circuit if you race there. The only other option is I think to close it on safety grounds.

My thoughts do go out to those families affected but I think everyone that goes motor racing, whether they are officials, marshalls, drivers or spectators, have to remember that as they say on the back of the ticket 'MOTOR RACING IS DANGEROUS'. We accept that, or we stop motor racing.

#7 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 09:11

We bemoan the loss of or emasculation of great circuits, and yet from within our own ranks have someone suggesting that we do the same thing to Bathurst. I am amazed.
I agree with the point about that barrier being perpendicular to the travel of Radisich's car, it does seem odd, although he scated across a sand trap to get to it, most cars would have got a little side ways and tripped in the sand trap. I'm not suggesting that that aspect couldn't be improved. it obviously could, but please leave Bathurst as it is - I don't use the word awesome lightly, but it is an awesome circuit, one of if the best challenge in the world of circuit racing, and a real shame that we do not have more truly international races there.
When Radisich crashed I reached a point where I had seen enough and walked away, I'd seen enough motorsport for a while, but these things happen, it is part of it.
To all the family and friends of the drivers hurt this weekend, I really hope for a good outcome.

#8 Catalina Park

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 09:26

There are a couple of dodgy bits of track that do need some work. The wall that Paul Radisich hit was not always like that but it was done to give more run off on the exit of the corner, they made one bit safer and made another bit dangerous.
The Jersey kerb barriers have been fixed into straight sided walls. The crash that Jim Richards had today was a good example of improvements, I almost went over that wall in a similar crash in 95 but now the cars are not launched into the air, they just slide along the wall.
Bathurst is pretty safe but there are a couple of obvious bits that need work, Murrays corner is a dangerous bit, I am more worried about a car clearing the fence there than any other bit on the track, a Mini nearly rolled over the fence there yesterday.

#9 Twin Window

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 10:51

Originally posted by DNQ

Four drivers have been hospitalised this weekend. Porter and Clark from the Friday race accident, both were in critical conditions, fortunately Clark is on the mend.

Porter has sadly succumbed...

#10 Falcadore

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 11:04

There were five, Jonathan Beikoff was hospitalised aftera crash on Thursday, but like Chris Alajajian the in juries were minor.

#11 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 11:13

Perhaps not the place to bring this up, but I have been thinking since the Brock accident that there must be a place for curtain airbags in motorsport, mounted off the roll cages and in the seats. I cannot think of a technical reason why this is not a practicality, only a cost one. If there was any good to come out of these terrible events it would be lengthy consideration of this for newly built racing cars in high level motorsport.
It would be one way that the sport could show its respect for the lives of Mark Porter and Peter Brock.

#12 bill moffat

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 12:38

Difficult one this. Unfortunately Touring Cars (if we can loosely group them as such) will always have a "soft spot" as long as they have opening doors and a relatively slim B pillar.

Keith O'Dor's fatal accident (in similar circumstances) was over 10 years ago now, but despite centralising the driver as much as possible and advances in roll cage/seat technology there will always be a weakness in this type of accident.

With the forces that a racing car of any sort encounters it would be technically difficult to manufacture an airbag system that would only trigger during an accident and the added protection of an airbag would, I suspect, be minimal.

If we become slaves to safety (always a fine line) then I guess Touring Cars would need to be built on a monocoque/survival cell basis with the drivers slotting themselves in NASCAR style. In the rally world side impacts tend to be against trees and other solid street furniture (as sadly occurred to Peter Brock). One solution that has been mooted is to mount the rally driver centrally with the co-driver behind him, fighter plane style. Safety would, no doubt, be optimised but I guess it would be a turn-off for more than just us lot at TNF.