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seanmiller
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:40 pm



Having a wheel come detached like it did in a single chassis series is particularly worrying... it means, effectively, that the safety of the entire grid in the event of an accident is in doubt. In F1 at least you'd only have 2 cars to examine, here it's 20 or so.

The Williams designers at Grove must be fairly gloomy today, but they have to get their fingers out and explain why this happened.

Sav, you mentioned that it highlighted how dangerous Brands Hatch was but I can't really agree. It is significantly less dangerous than, say, Monaco or your favourite circuit in Canada. There are runoff areas, albeit not particularly large ones in certain areas, but Brands doesn't have the "driving an inch from the armco" situations. Had the same situation arisen in Monaco I don't think it would have been any different, so they need to find out why the rear wing and the wheel detached so easily before somebody else gets killed.

Not a particularly auspicious start to a new series is it? Halfway through the season and already one man down. Looking on the bright side they do at least have 4 weeks until Donington to do something.

And, to cheer the thread up, here's a picture of that section of the Brands circuit in happier times - during last year's A1GP weekend.



I like to think the spirits of the great drivers and riders who've died at Brands over the years still walk those woods, chatting about the state of motor racing today and how much better it was "in our day"... wonder if Jo Siffert has caught up with Henry yet? I know it's a romantic notion, but one that I like to hold onto. It's why I like Brands. The thought of some poor unfortunate spirit having to wander for eternity in a cold airfield like Silverstone doesn't bear thinking about!!

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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:00 am

That sounds awful. Tragic news. Will check it out in more detail later. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:32 am

Bravo to John Surtees...

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/77099

Must have taken a lot to make a statement so soon after his bereavement.

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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:13 am

that is 2 deaths in 2 years at brands

very very sad today
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:02 am

Yep sad news for all concerned, it is not nice being at a meeting where somebody has been badly injured or killed, as I was at Brands when Jonesy got killed and the rest of the meeting was under a huge cloud.

With regards to the safety debate, the two fatal incidents that have occured at Brands have been complete freaks imo and there is very little that could have been done about either of them imo. A tyre could have bounced into an incoming car's path at any race circuit in the world, and we know that any impact with the head at that speed is not good. I'm sure Brands will be reviewing safety procedures at the circuit, but there is very little that they could have done imo. I think the designers of the cars might be having a think about how to keep the wheels attached better in a accident before the next round.

The main point here is that a life has been lost too young

R.I.P. Henry Surtees
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:37 am

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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:51 am

Just to echo those sentiments above.

RIP Henry

your up there with some of the greats!

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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:27 am

I heard about this on my way back from Reading but car radio kept breaking up (stupid radio reception down there nowt like it is up here) I couldn't belive I heard it was such a shock and as many have said such a loss at a young age, just a huge shame he couldn't try and re produce what his dad did all those years ago a big loss to the world of motorsport and he'll be duely missed too

R.I.P Henry
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:31 am

It's little consolation but the one thing that we can be grateful for is that I doubt Henry even knew it was happening.

One moment he was alive, the next he was dead. I doubt he even knew the wheel was there. There's never a "good way to die", but it's merciful for it to be instant.

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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:43 am

Yep sounds like it was pretty instant, which can only be a good thing considering how bad the injuries sound to have been.
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:53 am

My sincere condolences to the Surtees family

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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:29 am

I've now watched it on YouTube. It's just such an unfortunate, freak incident. It makes you realise just how these things can happen and that anytime you are racing, you're life is in danger.

It's truly saddening to see such a young life taken away and John Surtees's comments regarding his son are very nice. He understands that motorsport is dangerous and that this sort of thing can happen. I guess John saw alot of drivers and riders get killed when he was racing so it is maybe easier for him to understand the meaning of this compared to nearly all of us who have grown up in an era where fortunately death is rare rather than common.

In my opinion, the circuit was not to blame for this incident - if you blame the lack of run-off you would never ever race on a street circuit. It was a freak incident and the only "blame" can lie with the untethered wheels. Even this is harsh as it is incredibly rare for a loose tyre to hit a driver full on like that.

Anyway, it's a terribly sad loss and a reminder to us all about the dangers.

RIP Henry. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:05 pm

I do believe wheel teathers are a very good idea

I think your right about growing up in an era were motorsport has been safer that it ever has been, a death of someone so young should envoke a kind of terror (perhaps the wrong word), as it's not ok

There is one thing brands dosen't have and thats a wide track it's very narrow in places and an extra metre track width (wound't have saved anyone) but might make that turn 2 pill up just 1 car smaller...

I havn't seen and won't watch the accident, so i don't know when and where it happened.
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:27 pm

Well the F2 cars are built to 2005 F1 standards and they did have wheel teathers on the cars, but in an extreme impact they are going to be rendered useless, which is the case here.
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:49 pm

cerca_trova wrote:
I havn't seen and won't watch the accident, so i don't know when and where it happened.

Run up to Sheene Curve, on Dingle Dell... ie. start of the return from the furthest point in the woods on the GP Circuit...

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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:12 am



Here's Jack Clarke hitting the barrier. Surtees is out of picture left.



After the crash the wheel flies across the track... Surtees is about to come into shot (he's close behind the white car who I think might be Jolyon Palmer), in the wrong place at the wrong time. **

I've copied this to show the run-off situation. Sure it isn't Silverstone, but there's a hell of a lot more runoff there than somewhere like Monaco.

Maybe gravel traps rather than grass wouldn't go amiss?

Sean

** I've deliberately avoided posting any pictures of Surtees's car as it's clear you don't want to see the actual accident.
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:15 am

I do think that this was a freak incident, and incidents like this rarely ever occur. However, that does not mean that the circuit organisers do nothing. Look at Silverstone, Oulton Park and other British circuits. In the most critical areas, they have plenty of run off areas so that when drivers do lose control at high speed, there is adequate run off area.

On the Grand Prix loop on Brands Hatch, whenever a driver in a high downforce, powerful single seater loses control, the accident is always going to be an extremely nasty shunt. Perhaps Jack Moore’s crash at Westfield bend has highlighted this very well, here was a driver who was going through an extremely demanding bend, with barley any run off area. In fact, the GP loop has a number of fast corners, and if you loose control – your going to have a nasty accident. Of course, wheels falling off can happen at the safest of circuits, like this year’s Chinese Grand Prix when Sutil lost control at high speed. However on the GP loop at Brands, its always going to be a massive shunt. So if its always going to be a massive shunt, then why race on there?

If there was more run off area, the wheel would not have been so violently ripped off, and therefore would not have travelled so fast out of control. My main point is, is that either increase the run off area, or simply don’t race powerful open wheel cars at all on the GP loop. Of course, the run off area perhaps maybe adequate for a touring car with lower cornering speeds, but what if an A1GP driver loses control, its going to be a nasty accident isn’t it? The issue about street circuits is the cornering speeds are relatively low, therefore less chance of flying wheels. The Montreal track has no fast corners at all, it consists of slow corners with long flat out sections – therefore a driver losing control at high speed through a corner is less likely to happen. Its when a circuit has fast corners, then it gets worrying. If the GP loop had slow corners, then the amount of run off would be less of a worry, however cornering speeds are key.

Ultimately, I’m sure Jonathan Palmer will take the necessary precautions that he thinks are appropriate. But in general, I don’t perceive the run off area on the GP loop to be enough, given the amount of speed high downforce single seaters are carrying through there. Sean’s picture on the previous just shows how woeful the run off areas are, and if an open wheel car crashes, then its obvious that the flying parts that come off will be more out of control. I would be fairly surprised if anyone thinks that by looking at that picture, the run off is enough in case vehicles with high cornering speeds crash. I don’t think “ifs” and “buts” are useful, however I am not just referring to Henry’s death. Anytime a driver who is driving a high downforce, powerful on the GP loop loses control, its always going to be a massive shunt. Personally, I don’t consider that as acceptable. Why should that be acceptable, when other circuits have improved massively?

At Monaco, if a driver stuffs his car into the barriers, the cars behind are most likely to lift off because there simply isn’t space to go fast. And the cornering speeds are relatively low. Cornering speeds are crucial here, street courses have low speeds, so when a driver stuffs it into the barriers, the impact is reduced and therefore parts are less likely to violently come off. Now lets compare that exact example with Brands GP loop, what happens when an open wheel driver loses control? He/she slams into the barriers at great speed, massive de-acceleration and parts get violently ripped off the car – therefore more out of control. My case for more run off area, or no open wheel races is mostly based on cornering speeds. Are the run off areas proportionate to the speeds carried through the corners on the GP loop?

The second video clip that Sean posted highlights another issue when a powerful open wheel car capable of high cornering speeds at Brands, the car comes back onto the circuit, but considering how committed drivers can be to a corner, will everyone of those drivers dodge the stricken car in time? In my opinion, any circuit which has open wheel motor races with extremely fast corners must have large run off areas.

I think Palmer has done a fantastic job with Brands Hatch, I like it as spectator, the facility is brilliant, and the circuit layout is great (even though car racing can be dull), he has managed to attract a lot of prestigious series over the years. But if I were him, I would be reviewing which cars race on the GP loop – especially open wheel cars. You can never, ever eliminate the dangers of open wheel motor racing – but you can improve them by either increasing run off (which isn’t feasible) or not running open wheel car races on the GP loop at all. The incident itself was a freak incident and could happen on any circuit in the world, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot question the safety of Brands Hatch, which lets be honest, has not changed an awful lot – despite modern race cars now corner faster than ever. I know Brands Hatch fans may disagree with that, but in my opinion given the cornering speeds of even the most basic open wheel cars these days, let alone top-spec machinery – that level of run off is simply not acceptable.

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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:14 am

As much as road racing gets slagged off, this is another incident that shows circuit racing is still very dangerous

RIP fella Sad
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:14 am

well im off to brands tomoz as im planning on taking down some flowers !! Neutral ......
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:42 pm

Yes I agree with Sav in that it is very questionable whether Brands should run any cars faster than F3 on the GP circuit - it's always been an issue since Johnny Herbert was injured 20-odd years ago. I'm not sure whether it was the lack of run-off that was to blame for this but it certainly didn't help. Still, a wheel coming lose and hitting a driver is very unlikely.
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:45 am

well i just got back from my day out ...i took some flowers down to brands today and placed them at sheene curve.... it was awfull i had cold shivers and felt wierd too.. the gravel traps other than where jack went off look fine.... the spot where jack went off deffo needs a change which i already knew anyway but today i..annalysed it iff you like and without a doubt the spot where jacks car made contact is stupid... totally ludicris ... Neutral
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:46 am

Can you explain your relationship with the Surtees, perhaps? You are a photographer?

Sorry - you've probably said before but I've forgotten.

But clearly you are much more personally involved in this than most of us.

Thnx,

Sean
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:47 pm

seanmiller wrote:
Can you explain your relationship with the Surtees, perhaps? You are a photographer?

Sorry - you've probably said before but I've forgotten.

But clearly you are much more personally involved in this than most of us.

Thnx,

Sean

well i met john a few years back just as a normal fan since then ive seen him all over the place and has always had henry with him. i got to know john more when he became seatholder of team gbr in the a1gp series where i spent a lot of time with him and chatted about his racing days ect. and yes i do do a little photography work for a1gp.com and did a another few peices for john directly. ive also cotributed to the jackie ickx website too plus other various little bits and bobs. but on the whole i got to know john from around pitlanes and paddocks then through a1gp where ive had invites ect from him to be guest with the team and so on !!. i hope this helps answer you're question sean !! Neutral Smile

ps: just to add to above.. 1 of my fave moments was actually this year at the officiall f.i.a f2 launch where i managed to snap sir john, along with sir frank williams and henry. not much you may say ?? but a moment i like to remember and was great to see !!
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:51 am

DID THAT ANSWER YOU'RE QUESTION ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
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PostSubject: Re: F2 Brands   Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:59 am

Yeah, that was a good answer!

Sorry, forgot to say thnx

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