From: Karl Witt <email@example.com>
>another story regarding this (don't know who the author is):
> > After walking the course I could clearly tell that the course they set
> > was too large for the lot space and set too close to the curbs. It was
> > to see that a novice could get into trouble rather easily. I made two
> > on the course and decided that I wanted no part of this particular
> > autocross. There were three main reasons. One, was that a few of the
> > workers were sitting down at their stations! The second was that the
> > sweeping turn before the slalom had a patch of oil that couldn't be
> > the way they had the course set up. No amount of kitty litter (or
> > it is they used) seem to clean it up. Every time I came through that
> > would get squirrelly going into the slalom and have to slow down to keep
> > from losing control (oil on my tires?). The third was that the slalom
> > setup parallel to the curb and maybe a car length and a half away from
> > curb.
Too bad this anonymous author or some other knowledgeable autocrosser did
not approach the organizers with these concerns. If they did, it is too bad
they were not listened to. I remember once I pointed out an obvious problem
and was called a crybaby. At least nobody got seriously injured, but a
Sunbeam Tiger suffered some major front-end damage (concrete light-bases
will do that). THEN they changed the course. Idiots.
> >The blue vette in the clip lost control midway through this slalom
> > section, jumped the curb and hit the worker who, according to
> > had asked that witnessed it first hand, had been sitting in his folding
> > chair and was trying to get up and out of the way when he got hit.
> >From the video it looks as though he was
> > already standing but I think if you look closely you will see what I
> > is a red folding chair go flying in the air. Still no real sure if he
> > actually sitting, I can only go by what I was told by a few people at
> > site.
In the video, the first time we see this worker, he is already running.
Unfortunately, he is running the wrong way. He is running the same
direction as the car. Everyone who thinks they can outrun a Corvette, raise
Several obvious points here:
Don't be too close to the path of cars. The intended path of the cars
didn't look that far from the curb. The worker looked to be essentially
right at the curb.
Don't be sitting down when cars are running. When the course is hot, be
Never turn your back on an approaching car. You need time to react, so you
want to know ASAP if something is going wrong.
When the car approaches, bend your knees a little. Go into a little crouch.
This will save vital time if you need to run. Look carefully at experienced
autocrossers. Many of them do this. Don't be caught flat-footed, have a
little bend in your knees and be on your toes. You can straighten your
knees and relax in the twenty seconds or so before the next car shows up.
You will be ready to run to replace pylons quicker, too, and have a more
comfortable margin of safety.
And the biggest one to remember, the one that would have saved this
uninformed (people have been telling me that "ignorant" sounds too
pejorative) victim is RUN PERPENDICULAR TO THE CAR. This is the first thing
they teach you at corner-worker school for road-racing. This guy was
already running when the car hit him. He had already gotten at least one
step in by the time he came into the camera frame. He put in at least
another full step at speed before the car caught him. I was not there, and
a ground-level camera is not as good as an overhead blimp shot, but I think
if he had put in the same two steps running perpendicular to the car and the
curb (that is to say, directly away from the camera) he would have been out
of danger. Combine that with the extra time he would have had if he had
been standing in a slight crouch and not sitting in a chair, he would have
Don't be afraid to move when you really don't have to. If something looks
like it is getting out of control, start moving perpendicularly away from
the course, keeping your eyes on the car and a good bend in the knees. If
the car passes, you can edge back. If you anyone calls you a coward, just
give him a look like he's an idiot.
>1) dunno if i believe the oil bit
>2) it IS a chair that goes flying with the worker...once you know what it
>is, there's no question.
I believe that. There is not enough there to be a person.
Phil Ethier Saint Paul Minnesota USA
1970 Lotus Europa, 1992 Saturn SL2, 1986 Chev Suburban
LOON, MAC firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.mnautox.com/
"If I can do it, it's not art" - Red Green