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Caution follow-up

I saw this and it is clearly a tragedy. My background is as an automotive engineer who deals exclusively with vehicle crash analysis. Additionally, I have been a Nationally license SCCA racer for many years.

I don't know the background of the people involved in this terrible crash so have no insight with respect to what occurred here. The driver may have been very highly skilled - I simply do not know. Bad crashes do happen to very good drivers sometimes.

My reason for writing is that as car enthusiasts, we should try and get a valuable lesson out of this. I would like to caution anyone who goes out with a car club to please get proper training before driving our fun vehicles fast. Skip Barber, Russell Racing, Bob Bondurant all have fine programs for what amounts to only a couple of months payments on a Maserati. If you can afford the car, you can afford proper training - no excuses. If you have not had proper training from a reputable racing school, you simply do not know what you are doing (no matter how many Ferrari's you have owned).

Have fun all and remember to always respect what can happen in a car.

I wish the families of these guys the best.
 

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From what I have gleaned from web forums, some posts being from eyewitnesses to the crash, the ultimate cause for the crash was human error, but not necessarily on the part of the driver.

Apparently, the track marshall saw a clear zone ahead of the Carrera GT and he signaled the driver of a 360 Modena CS to enter the track. The driver of the 360 hesitated to look over his shoulder at the track. The marshall then tried to signal the car to stop but the driver of the 360 did not see it and he entered the track directly in front of the Carrera GT, which was purportedly traveling in excess of 150 MPH. The Carrera GT swerved to avoid the 360 Modena and subsequently crashed into the wall.

One might point fingers at any of the parties involved, from FOC to the drivers to the pit marshall. However, it seems that the crash was the result of series of small errors that resulted in the horrific crash.

Ben Keaton, the driver of the Porsche, was a very skilled driver and had tracked his car a number of times without incident. He had, in fact, already worn out a set of brake pads and tires in about 4,000 miles of hard driving. Corey Rudl was the passenger, and his Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster had overheated earlier that day. Ben took him for a hot lap in the Carrera GT as Corey apparently had expressed some interest in purchasing one.

Both people will be missed, and they both leave loved ones behind. If you are considering taking your car to the track, safety should always be your first priority. Don't let this tragedy scare you away from the racetrack, but let it stand as a reminder that anything can happen. DE events are a lot of fun, but one must spend a lot of time at 5/10's before progressing to faster lap times.
 
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