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Last Post 28 Sep 2003 07:28 PM by  GreenCrossle
Safety?
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Skant
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10 Sep 2003 12:23 AM
    I'm considering getting into the world of wheel to wheel racing. And my research into the matter is starting to point to Formula Vee as the class to get started (and maybe even stick around a good while).

    I figure I'm more interested in good competition than pure speed. Besides, from what I gather FV is slow by formula standards, but not sports car standards.

    But that brings up a question... you've got this wee little car buzzing along at 120mph on a straightaway... there's not much car there to soften an impact. How safe is racing FV?

    Not sure if I want to get into a sport where I should just assume I'll fracture my collar bone someday. I'd rather keep all my bones, thank you very much.

    Part of why I ask is... various web sites mention that the FV safety record is very good. But I read this guy's web site talking about race experiences and such with the Vee, and 2 of the 4 race weekends I read mentioned racers taken away in ambulances with serious injuries... crushed vertibrae, broke hips, broken legs, etc.

    That doesn't sound so safe at all. But then, maybe he's written about the only two such events that have happened in the whole sport in the last decade. I don't know.

    How safe is FV compared to production sports car racing? Seems to me like there's more car there to absorb a crash... equals more safety. But maybe not.

    Some statistics or something would be nice.

    I mean... realistically, there's danger involved in racing. Duh. But I'd rather the danger level was at 'I might get badly hurt some weekend' and not 'I will get badly hurt some weekend. It's a forgone conclusion'.

    - Skant
    aaonms
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    10 Sep 2003 07:09 AM
    Here are a few FV-related sites: [url="http://www.sracing.com/links.htm"]http://www.sracing.com/links.htm[/URL]
    My first FV race was @ Daytona. Having been in tin-tops before, it was a different experience being able to really feel the air move over you!
    fv11
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    10 Sep 2003 10:10 AM
    You might want to try formulavee.org
    You will get some responses on this topic and some more information on formula vees.
    NealeWeston
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    16 Sep 2003 01:40 PM
    I currently race F500 in SCCA. These cars (and FV) are very safe. I personally have never been involved in a high speed crash but know many that have. One incident included a flat out crash at the end of the straght of Summit Point. My friend touched wheels with another car and veered off the track only to hit that wall at 120+. He walked away with simply a stiff neck the next day.
    I think there is some danger that is inherent anytime you strap yourself into a car. That is just part of racing. All you can do as a competitor is try to earn the trust of those you race with and be as safe (and fast) as possible!
    Good luck, and I hope to see you on the track some day!
    GreenCrossle
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    28 Sep 2003 07:28 PM
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Skant:

    How safe is FV compared to production sports car racing? Seems to me like there's more car there to absorb a crash... equals more safety. But maybe not.
    This depends mostly on the prep of the car. A poorly built SS car with a cheap cage, weak seat, and minimal fire bottle is probably more hazardous than a well-built FV. The condition and mounting of your belts, seat, and cage mean an awful lot; at least with a formula car, the cage MUST be homologated, so it has been reviewed to meet a reasonable level of safety. Cages for street-based cars, however, vary as much as the installers do...

    [QUOTE]

    I mean... realistically, there's danger involved in racing. Duh. But I'd rather the danger level was at 'I might get badly hurt some weekend' and not 'I will get badly hurt some weekend. It's a forgone conclusion'.
    It's not a foregone conclusion. I hit the tire wall backwards in my old Crossle 32 FF HARD a couple of years ago - hard enough to require a completely new chassis, engine, and total rebuild on the tranny. I got out and ran away as the corner workers dumped fire bottles on it. I was sore for a day, then pissed off and broke for the rest of the season. Other than that, I've never had any injuries on track. I know LOTS of drivers who have raced for decades without any significant injury; you can't drive that long without having several incidents, so one could infer that driver safety is not as much of an issue as the layman might suspect.

    ...Actually, however, it IS a foregone conclusion that you'll get hurt in racing. It's just that the area of you body that's most likely to get the heavy damage is the wallet area....

    Marshall Mauney
    Steel Cities Region
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