pintodave

Chumpcar and their PITA safety rules...

27 posts in this topic

THEY EXIST FOR A REASON!

I was amazed at how awesome that pit road situation was handled last night @ Daytona. That had the potential to be really bad but thanks to quick & level headed thinking and chumpcar's stringent safety rules, no one was injured and disaster was averted.

No one did anything wrong and yet the unexpected still happened, so I just wanted to express that the focus on safety is needed and appreciated even if we the racers gripe about it from time to time.

Also got me to thinkin' about other things we can do to be safer.

- may not be a bad idea to remind all cars with left side fueling to not pit too close to pit wall (when on left side pit roads). That was a big arse fire ball. Had that been on the left side of the car, it could have been worse...

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Hay Dave Tell us left coasters what happened I get that there was a fire but tell us more


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The smoke/aftermath from this was visible from the far end of the campground. Glad everyone is ok!

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During refueling apparently the rear rotors were so hot that spilled fuel or maybe even vapors ignited during the pit stop. We were about 12-15 stalls down so I'm sure more a more accurate play by play will be posted but the man on the fire bottle and additional support from surrounding teams had it out literally in seconds. For the amount of 'flame up' it was contained amazingly fast. From the reports I heard the fuel man was properly equipped and had no injuries.

Mike had just got into the Lincoln for our final stint and was literally right next to it when it happened as he was leaving pit road and reported all he saw was someone running from the fireball fully engulfed. Scary sheeot.

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whoa! glad to hear everyone is ok. that stuff can get out of hand QUICK! 


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Saw it from the tower. There was not more than 3 seconds from the time the fireball erupted until the fueler was away fro the car and doused with a fire bottle. 


 


Fire suit and gloves on, FACE SHIELD DOWN! Guys forget, and their team mates need to be looking out for them.


 


BTW - BrotherLou was in the tower too and asked a good question. Can that suit be used again if it as exposed to direct flame? No, not for driving or fueling. The fire retardant properties have been compromised. If the team involved will contact me, I may be interested in acquiring the suit.


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Mike had just got into the Lincoln for our final stint and was literally right next to it when it happened as he was leaving pit road and reported all he saw was someone running from the fireball fully engulfed. Scary sheeot.

That whole thing was weird.

 

The steering wheel in the Lincoln was off-center so I looked down to see where it was, looked back up, and there was a man running towards our car with his right arm on fire. It went from normal pit road activity to huge fire in the time it takes to look down at the wheel and back up again. I actually jerked the wheel afraid he was going to run in front of the car.

 

After that I really wasn't sure what to do. Normally fire is a red flag condition and they want all the cars stationary but the flag stayed yellow. I even radioed back to the pits to confirm the yellow is what the flag stand was showing. So I just stayed at a very slow speed so that I was still moving away from the fire but emergency vehicles could work around me. I saw the Chief Chump at the end of pit road and I really didn't want to have one of THOSE conversations with him.

 

I spoke to John about it after the race and he wanted to know why we seem to attact fires at Daytona :ph34r:

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Because that place is hot!


 


Standing for the caution, waiting for the #19 to pass by, my entire crew and family was looking down pit road, we saw the Lincoln, a flash fire, the fully suited fueler running in front of the Lincoln then the perfect and almost immediate fire bottle execution followed by Daytona EMS, a perfectly handled emergency, good job.


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Glad to hear everyone was alright. Scary stuff.

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I just found this on you tube.  


 


>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opOtwWBSPIA&feature=youtu.be

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I was getting belted in when the fire erupted right in front of me and was captured on my video.  Several observations:


 


1) The fueler was on fire but properly dressed.  The bottle man was VERY on the ball and had the extinguisher on his fuel man within 1 to 2 seconds


2) Other fire bottles appeared from nowhere within a few more seconds .  Petty impressive.


3) The fire re-started almost 25 seconds after being put out from the 1st time.  Good lesson here - keep a fire extinguisher ready even after the fire is out.


 


Personal take away: Our team will have another extinguisher on the driver change from now on. 


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I just found this on you tube.  

 

>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opOtwWBSPIA&feature=youtu.be

Did someone say something about "ChumpCar isn't serious racing"?

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We always have the guy fueling wear the helmet. The fire extinguisher guy and the guy helping the driver change wear the balaclavas. Sounds like everyone over the wall will be wearing helmets?

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Fire suit and gloves on, FACE SHIELD DOWN! Guys forget, and their team mates need to be looking out for them.

 

When I pit marshalled at Road America in April visors down was the number 1 item that I would correct teams about.  Had two different guys complain to me that the visors would fog so they were leaving them cracked open.

 

I hope all the same guys have seen the video above and understand why even a slightly open visor isn't a good idea.

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I have been a pit marshal at several races and the thing I always had to tell teams to do was move the fire extinguisher guy further away from the gas man.  Stop after stop after stop, the bottle guy was too close and would have been in the initial fire ball had there been one.  The Daytona fire was the perfect training tool for this.


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Hey John,


 


It's me again.


 


At Daytona I noticed the pit marshals / volunteers kept coming INTO the pit stalls to tell crew to get their face masks down, etc.  That's great and all, except that are putting themselves in danger because they aren't wearing fire suits, helmets, etc.  Would it be possible for you to outfit your volunteers with a whistle or something to be used to get our attention, rather than them running up to us and swatting down the visors themselves?


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Yeah... it was painfully obvious to me at Daytona that a bala+goggle set-up would have resulted in major injuries.  And, in the case of a bad fire, the fire extinguisher guy is usually the closest person to the fuel/fire, so he/she has to be the most protected.  As the rules state, any SA helmet, regardless of how old it is, will be allowed for fuelers... so find some old helmets that can't be used for racing and recycle them.

 

John

Sounds good.  We've got plenty of old helmets.

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Is there any method for stopping the visors from fogging up badly?  It didn't happen at Daytona for some reason, but last March at VIR I could barely see where I was pouring the gas I was fogging up so badly.  I know they make an anti-fog solution for Scuba diving goggles but I'm not sure if this could be used on our helmets.


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BTW - all teams need to be advised that the Daytona fire incident was enough proof to me to amend the rules for 2014 that ALL FUEL CREWS WILL BE REQUIRED TO WEAR A FULL FACE HELMET.  Balaclavas and goggles will not be allowed.   Had the fueler been wearing a balaclava and goggle, he would have had severe skin burns to his face.

Silly question: Is it a result of the extra expense that the rule will not read "anyone going over the wall must have safety gear same as a driver (minus head-and-neck restraint)"?

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Is there any method for stopping the visors from fogging up badly?  It didn't happen at Daytona for some reason, but last March at VIR I could barely see where I was pouring the gas I was fogging up so badly.  I know they make an anti-fog solution for Scuba diving goggles but I'm not sure if this could be used on our helmets.

 

One thing that can help is making sure you direct your breath down instead of exhaling straight ahead or upward.

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I have been a pit marshal at several races and the thing I always had to tell teams to do was move the fire extinguisher guy further away from the gas man.  Stop after stop after stop, the bottle guy was too close and would have been in the initial fire ball had there been one.  The Daytona fire was the perfect training tool for this.

I've seen that a lot to, and mentioned it to other teams in the pits.  Our fuel filler is behind the rear tire,and we position the extinguisher guy at the front wheel.

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I've seen that a lot to, and mentioned it to other teams in the pits.  Our fuel filler is behind the rear tire,and we position the extinguisher guy at the front wheel.

The other thing I always recommend to the teams is that the extinguisher guy stands facing inbound traffic so if a car comes in and loses control, they can yell to warn the gas man.  With their back to traffic, they could both be knocked down and be helpless in the ensuing fire.

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in a pinch on snowmobile trips, a bit of bar soap, buffed into the visor can help.


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