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Sorry to hear about the incident. AutoX has always been very safe. Accidents there are 1 in a million. My thoughts are with the injured.

When I road raced, I always took time every year to make the car safer. Racers being competitive tend to ignore safety. It's good that you're looking to improve there.

In my opinion, a stuck throttle is the big concern in auto-x. Practice what you would do. Clutch in (eff the motor), switch off. It's hard to reach the ignition in a Mustang when you're strapped in. Maybe make a key extension. I'd bet that you've seen them before. But be careful not to turn it into a spear. Return springs everywhere. Carpets can snag things.

Brakes are all about maintenance. Replace everything every 5-10 years. Hoses, lines, cylinders, etc. It's easy to let these things go long in a dedicated auto-x car. Chose good quality parts from known suppliers. You know this. Test after your changes.

A hoop with a harness bar works great. But remember, this keeps you further from the key. The additional stability will help your times.
I thought it was just me, but yes the key is a bit out of reach strapped in. Instead of a key extension maybe a kill switch mounted on the steering wheel or trans tunnel would be better.
 

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Nails’ post is the very reason why I originally built my car with all the safety items before I ever turned that first lap. I remember back in 05 at the autox events in Redmond, OR, I’d get odd looks and comments about having a full caged car and fire suit. The only other cars with a cage were topless older cars.

Dbl and trpl return springs, race seat with minimum 5pts, helmet with HANS, fire resistant clothing, kill switches, fresh flexible brake lines and fluid are just some of the things to help mitigate the bad things that can and do happen. It’s also our (drivers) responsibility to point out places on a track that may be dangerous. A non racer driving/walking a track will not necessarily see the same things.


Mark
 

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To me it seems a person attending any event like this should think more about their safety because anything can happen at any time. I used to watch the tractor pulls & monster trucks & could never understand why anyone with half a brain would want to sit down in the front rows I don't care how many safety kill switches they have to kill the engines if it break loose.

My feeling only reinforced after seeing a monster truck on TV break loose & go up into the stands with the spectators . Oops mechanical failure.

The drivers & management can only make it so safe. People should be smart enough to try & keep their self out of harm's way as much as possible. When I was at Talladega at Dale Earnhardt Sr last win I sat at the finish line about halfway back in the stands & enjoyed it a lot better than I would have if I had been in the front row. Catch fence or not .

Because the reality is no matter the safety equipment or the driver's experience, when it really goes sideways ,a driver is just along for the ride, no matter if your in the way or not.
 

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I think you make it as safe as you can and push for safety features at the event. Fans will fall into two categories, smart ones who look out for their own safety and not smart ones who are a danger to themselves and others. You can only control yourself. If they allow fans or course workers to be in harms way, don’t run. That would suck big time after all your prep and anticipation, but you have seen how you feel with the alternative. I think Mark’s approach is the best, overkill on what you can do and push event sponsors if you feel they aren’t doing enough. Autocross brings its own extra problems just based on where they are, how they’re laid out and the need for folks to get out on the course to put it back together. Not an easy fix compared to closed tracks with fences and railing and barricades. Too bad AX events don’t use more jersey barriers. Would give course workers some protection. Would suck to hit them in a car, but what can you do??
 
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When I built my dash for the '66 I made sure I could see all the gauges while belted in and reach the battery shut off and all switches...

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I've also learned over the years that double throttle return springs don't last very long! I've had 2 get brittle and snap on me recently. Luckily not at the same time. Now I carry spares and swap in new springs as a matter of maintenance.
 

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I would instinctively do the right thing, but................
Probably not, or not fast enough. You need to practice to build muscle memory. I thought I had a stuck throttle racing, it ends up I caught the gas pedal while braking. I didn't realize that "in the moment", and was hard on the brakes because I was going off-track. It took a critical Second or two before I hit the ignition switch, because I never "practiced" it. It wasn't instinctive. You should also practice exiting quickley
 

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Probably not, or not fast enough. You need to practice to build muscle memory. I thought I had a stuck throttle racing, it ends up I caught the gas pedal while braking. I didn't realize that "in the moment", and was hard on the brakes because I was going off-track. It took a critical Second or two before I hit the ignition switch, because I never "practiced" it. It wasn't instinctive. You should also practice exiting quickley
Unfortunately I've blown up, broken or had enough on/off track issues that I have a pretty developed muscle memory on what to do in what situation but you are right, it should be practiced. Same as getting out quickly if on fire (done that too :oops:).
 

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Unfortunately I've blown up, broken or had enough on/off track issues that I have a pretty developed muscle memory on what to do in what situation but you are right, it should be practiced. Same as getting out quickly if on fire (done that too :oops:).
I can picture it…
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Good discussion here, back in my twenties i professionally stunt-rode sportbike motorcycles. I used a tether kill switch while doing shows and competitions in small areas with crowds. It was fool proof, simply clipped on to person and a light tug would disconnect it killing the ignition . That would be perfect in a race car. They are extremely popular in the offroad world
 

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Good discussion here, back in my twenties i professionally stunt-rode sportbike motorcycles. I used a tether kill switch while doing shows and competitions in small areas with crowds. It was fool proof, simply clipped on to person and a light tug would disconnect it killing the ignition . That would be perfect in a race car. They are extremely popular in the offroad world
Had a tethered kill switch in my boat and always made sure I attached it to my life vest on the off chance I was ever thrown out.

John
 
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Good discussion here, back in my twenties i professionally stunt-rode sportbike motorcycles. I used a tether kill switch while doing shows and competitions in small areas with crowds. It was fool proof, simply clipped on to person and a light tug would disconnect it killing the ignition . That would be perfect in a race car. They are extremely popular in the offroad world
I appreciate every comment!
I did a lot of searching on the kill switch today and didn't find anything matching what I think I want to do. I was thinking a red handled disconnect next to the front of the drivers seat on the trans tunnel behind the shifter and before where I plan to put a more conventional and easy to access E-brake handle. I'm thinking if in peril pull the red ring out and then pull the E-brake. Now that I just typed this I'm thinking why not incorporate the disconnect into the E-brake handle? One pull and the power is cut and the rear brakes are applied.

I also want to put in a 6 point roll bar / cage in with a removable harness bar. I need to have a back seat for the class I run and didn't see anything in my searching available off the shelf that I was happy with. I did see the picture below that is sort of what I had in mind. I don't want the rear bar going through the middle of the rear seat side panels if I can avoid it and would rather it go into the trunk area through the package tray as pictured. It's kind of ugly but....

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I appreciate every comment!
I did a lot of searching on the kill switch today and didn't find anything matching what I think I want to do. I was thinking a red handled disconnect next to the front of the drivers seat on the trans tunnel behind the shifter and before where I plan to put a more conventional and easy to access E-brake handle. I'm thinking if in peril pull the red ring out and then pull the E-brake. Now that I just typed this I'm thinking why not incorporate the disconnect into the E-brake handle? One pull and the power is cut and the rear brakes are applied.

I also want to put in a 6 point roll bar / cage in with a removable harness bar. I need to have a back seat for the class I run and didn't see anything in my searching available off the shelf that I was happy with. I did see the picture below that is sort of what I had in mind. I don't want the rear bar going through the middle of the rear seat side panels if I can avoid it and would rather it go into the trunk area through the package tray as pictured. It's kind of ugly but....

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I relate to this, want safety but not destroy your interior. Man i have a 8 point chromemoly cage that im second guessing now, considered modifying into a smaller bolt in unit. Do you have any sort of cage in your car currently ? That pic looks alright it certainly provides headroom, im not sure about if the rear down bars would be legal in some specific classes etc. But that cage looks good for a car used with occasional passengers
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I relate to this, want safety but not destroy your interior. Man i have a 8 point chromemoly cage that im second guessing now, considered modifying into a smaller bolt in unit. Do you have any sort of cage in your car currently ? That pic looks alright it certainly provides headroom, im not sure about if the rear down bars would be legal in some specific classes etc. But that cage looks good for a car used with occasional passengers
I have no cage and aftermarket lap belts currently on some nice retro Cobra seats. Not concerned about any specification other than safety given the class I run, Cam-T that does not require much. Nobody is going in my back seat but it should look like they could,
 

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Just know the bar as pictured above would never pass any sort of sanctioned tech…if you ever decided to go down that path. Rear bars can have no bends. Door bars must have a certain height at the front and rear attachment points, whether angled or NASCAR style.
 

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That cage design with the big bends in the tubes going into the trunk is a compromise in strength. Bent tubes have far less strength than straight ones. Better than nothing yes, but not very good. No reputable cage builder would build that for a race car. I've seen more than one cage fail. You might be able to whip up a harness bar that welds or bolts in near the B pillars. Or just have the trunk tubes pass through the seat.

I wouldn't combine the ebrake and kill switch. That seems like a recipe for issues (accidental kill switch actuation). This is the first time I've ever seen an ebrake mentioned in regard to safety in motorsports. Not saying that it's wrong. Just novel. I'd only worry about an ebrake after I'd replaced everything in the conventional braking system, if at all.

I'd do a battery disconnect rather than a kill switch. Fire is a big issue in any modified car and having the ability to kill the battery is key. Adding high amp fuses or breakers to the battery and alternator would be a big safety upgrade too. Be careful to wire the battery disconnect switch properly. It's easy to wire it so that it disconnects the battery when it's not running, but it doesn't kill the car when it is running (because the alternator supplies the current).
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
cam t requires a rear seat? i thought it was just "finished" interior?
I looked over the 2020 Cam class rules and you are 100% correct! Thank you for the reply. Nobody is going to sit back there anyway so I could install a proper 6 point cage if I decide to continue with this car.
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This Sundays SCCA event at the same site that last Sundays tragedy occurred has be cancelled and I doubt that bodes well for future use of that site. @jmn444 you may know more about this than I do? I was in a position to clinch Cam-T for the year with a win.
 

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I recently had a run in with my master disconnect switch. It was wired properly. However, I mistakenly tapped a couple of power sources off the positive terminal of my one-wire alternator. DO NOT DO THIS. It completely removes the master switch from the system. It’s called a one-wire for a reason.
 

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This Sundays SCCA event at the same site that last Sundays tragedy occurred has be cancelled and I doubt that bodes well for future use of that site. @jmn444 you may know more about this than I do? I was in a position to clinch Cam-T for the year with a win.
I've not heard anything, but would venture a guess that this close to end of season they might suspend use till spring just to give them time to make a more permanent plan on how to respond and/or how to mitigate the risks more. I have zero connection to the site owners though, this is 100% speculation based on what I'd do if in that situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I've not heard anything, but would venture a guess that this close to end of season they might suspend use till spring just to give them time to make a more permanent plan on how to respond and/or how to mitigate the risks more. I have zero connection to the site owners though, this is 100% speculation based on what I'd do if in that situation.
I just got a text from someone much more in the know than I that the next 2 weekends events have been cancelled while they figure things out moving forward. I would suspect more security regarding spectators is number one. And I completely agree. Hopefully next year with improvements, including repaving the course that is scheduled for this fall, enthusiasts can still use this wonderful facility.
 
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