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Author Topic: A few observations from Tuesdays event  (Read 373 times)


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A few observations from Tuesdays event
« on: 14 August 2020, 11:14:37 am »
Gentlemen, while good fun was had at Tuesdays event there was a few things that I think require
at least acknowledging and consideration of how they might be avoided in the future.
I have been encouraged to write this after talking to one of our CK'ers.
Please note, names are not mentioned deliberately other than mine...because I was an idiot!

Firstly, refuelling.

I saw one case where two people were working together to refuel a CK, no fire extinguisher was evident, and even if there was one present, both people were occupied with the act of refuelling.
Conclusion, there should be a fire extinguisher at each refuelling, and if it takes two people to refuel a CK, a third is required to be ready with the safety device.

The second case, I was involved in myself (promptly shoots myself in the foot) three people were stood at a CK, it was about to be refuelled, one person said shall I get a F/E and I said 'Na it's ok, there's three of us everyone will assume one of us has it'
Clearly I'm an idiot, and conclusion the more people stood around a CK being refuelled the more people can get burned! Get the bloody safety gear! Yes let me award myself Donut of the year for that one!

Also I can't help wondering if we shouldn't just all donate a couple of quid each, rather than relying on peoples good will to bring a F/E and just buy one or two, and also maybe a bloody great first aid box?

It was also suggested by a CK'er if maybe we should have at each event a specific refuelling station, with the safety gear set up? Thoughts?

Driving and overtaking.

Couple of observations.
First a near miss, I was following a CK, we entered the main straight and I was kindly waved through, however despite being on the loud pedal I had only just got my front wheels to the rear of the front CK when quite justifiably having not been overtaken despite not being on the gas pedal he went to take his line. This manoeuvre almost sent me into the barriers.

Secondly, a chain of CK's went past one at the 'bottom hair pin' this in itself was fine, however the last CK in the chain rear wheel touched the front wheel of the CK being past. I feel wheels touching in these machines is a 'never happen' event. Space must be given at all time.

A few thoughts re overtaking, in the case were the car in front gives way.

From my experience, the best/safest place at Stretton is the bottom hairpin, the CK giving way can just take a wider line, waving the following through on the inside. I have done this both the letting through and the being let through on many occasions with no problems.
Trying to let people pass on the straight is not so easy. the best place I have found is (when going clockwise) the wonky straight just after the bottom hairpin where the road is very wide. Unfortunately this is where the wheels touched on Tues I believe.
On the main straight (again in the clockwise direction)this has worked best when the CK giving way goes to the left, and the passing car stays right.

Also I think we should consider when going past that each CK can get very squirrely at the best of times and allowance made for fronts understeering and tails oversteering.
And finally looking over your shoulders should be happening a lot more, especially if changing line/following a CK/being followed by a CK. I don't think any of us has working mirrors, if you are driving so hard you can't look over your shoulder, you are driving to hard.

Please no one take offence, or let this go into a he said she said type argument, accidents can and will happen, when they do or nearly do the important thing is to learn from them. Suggestions and thoughts as to how we can improve safety are welcomed and encouraged.

Moderators please feel free to edit this to your harts content.
Sorry to everyone else if this has been a bit waffly.

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Graham Hill

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Re: A few observations from Tuesdays event
« Reply #1 on: 14 August 2020, 11:44:57 am »
All good points Bill, thanks for taking the time to set it out. I have picked up similar rumbles; you are definitely not alone.
We are all still learning as a group but anything relating to safety needs timely consideration.
You will have started a discussion here, following which, I hope we can agree some action before our next meet (date to confirm).


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Re: A few observations from Tuesdays event
« Reply #2 on: 14 August 2020, 12:54:12 pm »
My tuppence.
If you have a look at Stretton the apexes are all indicated on the track with the white and red rumble strips.
Normal practice for the car being overtaken, and as was stressed at the briefing is for the car being overtaken to keep the line that they would take if there was no other car on track. On the "front straight, that means coming out of the hairpin which you would be tucked tight to the left, flow out to the right hand side (rumble strip shows where) then stay there to clip the apex on the gradual right, then straight line to clip the left hand rumble just past pit lane, then lock over to the right and clip that apex, straightline taking the next left rumble with your left hand wheels and probably braking about the start of the tyre stack.
A driver being overtaken is totally entitled to take that path. Overtaking driver obviously can't overtake without using a totally different line.
One of the occasions Bill is referring to involved me in Adrian's Renault and Bill. I had been waving him and others past for over a lap and nothing happened. I took exactly the line I have described above, however as apparently the Renault (to my absolute amazement) out accelerated Bill from the hairpin he was not in a position to try the overtake until about the end of pitlane, by which time I was moving to the left. Again, as per briefing was the front of his car as far forward as me (driver) answer is no, was I aware he was there at all, answer no, how much overlap, I have no idea.
If you follow any driver for over a lap you know, if they are consistent, what line they are likely to take, so you have to plan how you can go past.
I can't agree that the car being overtaken at "Oak Tree" should go wide, that's unpredictable, and that's what creates incidents. The overtaking car can readily take a different line which positions them for being on the right hand side of the track while the other will stay left all the way down to the far end.
Other observation from me, when someone indicates they want you to pass, just get on with it. I was running most of the time on about 1/4 throttle in the Renault, surely all the others go better than that? If you don't pass there will be a time when the driver gets fed up with compromising their enjoyment and stops bothering to give you the chance.
I did see a bit of stuff that would have you having a chat with the "track controller" in the US, and a couple where you might be suggested to take a break from the next session to chill. Let's not go there, these things are NOT safe racing cars. I don't want to help with first aid, and there are times you might take an innocent party with you due to your enthusiasm.
« Last Edit: 14 August 2020, 12:57:35 pm by RhysN »


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Re: A few observations from Tuesdays event
« Reply #3 on: 14 August 2020, 01:08:52 pm »
Thanks Bill. Some good points raised. The idea of a refuelling zone seems very sensible, especially seen as moving a cyclekart by hand is very easy to do, so moving a kart to said zone would not be much effort.

When driving clockwise around the circuit it is hard to see CKs exiting the pits if you are driving down the straight and it is hard to see CKs coming down the straight when exiting the pit, especially when you cannot hear them over the sound of your own CK. This can lead to things happening like when I drove out of the pits not seeing another CK'er doing his hot lap of the time trial (which I take complete responsibility for). The danger here is further greatened by the speed difference between CKs joining the track and CKs already on the track. Note that when going anticlockwise karts exiting the pit are: 1- travelling at a similar speed to CKs on the track at that point and 2- the visibility of CKs on track and CKs exiting the pit is much better than when travelling clockwise.

I guess what I'm trying to say is emphasising the looking over the shoulder that you were talking about and making sure we are properly careful when joining the track, especially when running clockwise.

One safety feature I would also like to point out is steering wheels. We had 2 CKs have their steering wheels come off while driving (I didn't see either happen) but I think it is just worth adding to the list of things to check before each drive. Making sure any quick release is properly engaged (with a tug) and checking for cracks in any attachment method is easy and quick to do and is important because if your wheel comes off when travelling at speed or when needing to turn or avoid something then the consequences could be (at worst) fatal.


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Re: A few observations from Tuesdays event
« Reply #4 on: 14 August 2020, 05:12:53 pm »
You are right about the steering Marek, if you include the other steering failures from other times I know of 6, and that's really scarey. Thankfully it hasn't had the outcome you might predict, but that can't be counted on.
In regards leaving the pits, anywhere, any direction the answer to that is to have a marshal wave you out. There are plenty of people at events to allow this.
« Last Edit: 14 August 2020, 05:35:10 pm by RhysN »


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Re: A few observations from Tuesdays event
« Reply #5 on: 20 August 2020, 07:18:41 pm »
As we discovered that trying to communicate from a bit of distance was a failure, and only a chequered flag available, I have acquired a few metres of various fabric of the appropriate colours.
CKGB will have it's own flags for the next event.