May 16, 2007

How many lessons can be learned?

How many lessons can be learned from the very scary crash video?

Spa, Belgium October 2005. The info from the video is that someone dumped coolant at the exit of the infamous Eau Rouge complex. It's the cool down lap....


* Cool down does not mean "brain off", the guy in the green Caterham goes hard on the power with his outside wheel on the painted curb when you can see the dumped coolant fairly clearly. Spilled coolant is vicious.

* Cool down means you need to dial it back, not slow to a crawl but neither use the lap as your last chance to pound the car like the numbnutz unfortunate guy in the silver typeR (or is it a Civic?) cresting Eau Rouge at the limit.

* If you crash...stay in your car! The guy in the Caterham could easily have gotten killed after surviving the crash, the silver sedan smashes into him as he is getting out of his wreck.

* Not having corner workers for track days is just insane, at the very minimum there should be light signals. At our most recent Watkins Glen week end I got to see in action the flashing yellow traffic light type signals for the first time. Let me tell you, you DON'T miss those, no way. A truly great safety feature.

Keep it shiny!

UPDATE: an alert but anonymous reader points out that in fact it was an open track day so the "cool down" really applies to the Caterham alone. However I think the lessons still apply.


  1. The Accord Type R (I think it was one of those) was not on a cool down lap, only the caterham, it was an open pitlane day and as such drivers can decide for themselves when they want to enter and leave the circuit.

    The circuit does have both marshalls and a light system, this happened just after the coolant was dropped and the circuit did not know about it in time :(

  2. Thank you for the clarification. Were you at the track that day?
    It really seems like the marshalls were late in throwing the debris flag, you see no flags even after the first car crashes...

  3. Se ti dico che stavo per mettere oggi sto video sul mio blog non ci crederesti...
    Poi ho rimandato perchè a scuola non riuscivo a concludere niente...
    PS: ti ho risposto ora sul mio blog per il fatto di Cadalora.

  4. Agreed that the marshalling could've been somewhat better!

    Wasn't there but have read threads with the 2 drivers in on various forums.

    Nathan (Straight On from justgofaster)

    Nice blog by the way :D

  5. Watching the vid it doesn't seem like the Caterham is pushing it too hard. Methinks the revving is when the wheels are losing grip.

    Sitting in the car is always the best thing to do, though I'm sure it would be a bit unnerving with other cars losing it in the same place.


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