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Old 15 Aug 2001, 08:08 (Ref:130661)   #1
NICKR
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Gravel Traps

Do you think that gravel traps are the best method of stopping a car when it leaves the circuit.

My feelings about them are mixed. Yes at certain speeds they do their job but at high speeds, in the wet and when a car enters them sideways their performance is suspect.

What do you think ?

What alternatives are there ?
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Old 16 Aug 2001, 09:32 (Ref:131166)   #2
Paul V
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Gravel Traps

As far as i can see the best form of arrestor is good old tarmac, one of the things a racing car is (hopefully) good at is sticking to tarmac.

A possible solution would be to have a strip of grass at the edge of the track, and the rest up to the armco to be tarmac (coloured green if they want).

Have some of the superspeedways done this already?
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Old 16 Aug 2001, 11:16 (Ref:131206)   #3
AndyF
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AndyF should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridAndyF should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Gravel traps seem to work some of the time, but usually they are either too deep (cause the car to roll if going sideways) or not deep enough so that cars can just drive out of them. I am not sure about replacing them with tarmac or grass, as you would have to extend the run-off areas a great deal.
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Old 16 Aug 2001, 14:15 (Ref:131270)   #4
Marshal
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Marshal should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridMarshal should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Not gravel, damages cars and makes Marshalling very difficult (have you tried running through gravel with a fire extinguisher? -or moving a car through a gravel trap out of a dangerous position). I'd be in favour of a strip of grass with high grip tarmac behind it.

Andy, why would a tarmac run off area need to be larger?

Last edited by Marshal; 16 Aug 2001 at 14:18.
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Old 16 Aug 2001, 17:14 (Ref:131326)   #5
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Dan Friel should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridDan Friel should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Marshalling with gravel is always a pain, surely there's a better alternative these days.. even for somewhere like Paddock at Brands??
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Old 16 Aug 2001, 18:59 (Ref:131369)   #6
AndyF
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I dunno....at high speed corners (180mph F1), surely tarmac will not have the same stopping effect as gravel??!!
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Old 16 Aug 2001, 20:56 (Ref:131411)   #7
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It's better to hit gravel if your brakes fail!!!!
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Old 17 Aug 2001, 06:49 (Ref:131527)   #8
Dom
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I think replace gravel with tarmac and armco with big n bouncy airbags. I believe they also use water bags in the US to stop monster trucks.

Last edited by Dom; 17 Aug 2001 at 06:50.
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Old 17 Aug 2001, 13:40 (Ref:131692)   #9
AndyF
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I think it depends on the corner that you are talking about. For example, I don't think that you could put tarmac at Paddock Hill Bend, as cars would just run over it to go faster. Likewise, I think the gravel does an excellent job at Druids bend at Brands too -I don't think that tarmac would stop the cars hitting the barriers. Also with Druids, cars very rarely go into the gravel at such a speed or angle that they roll.
Many corners use grass, and although they don't have as much grip as Tarmac (especially in the wet) are useful at large circuits like Thruxton.
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Old 18 Aug 2001, 22:49 (Ref:132250)   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dom
I think replace gravel with tarmac and armco with big n bouncy airbags. I believe they also use water bags in the US to stop monster trucks.
I think they already use water-airbags on the exit of the tunnel at Monaco. Remember Alex Wurz's crash in 1998?
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Old 19 Aug 2001, 23:59 (Ref:132822)   #11
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Race Circuit Safety

The safety aspects of most race circuits are not optimal....
obviously, gravel traps slow cars fairly safely if they are not too sideways....highway design features should give some great ideas about what doesn't work, as should Indy and the NASCAR tracks....Charlotte Motor Speedway is experimenting with encapsulated energy absorbing foam....I think that's an excellent idea, but potentially only a one shot....race cars and drivers can take a hell of a beating without permanent consequences....
several ideas come to mind....US buses have water filled bumpers that absorb some halacious energy levels...then just fill them back up with water....that suggests a water filled wall with orifices that permit the water to be exhausted into a reservoir, then quickly re-filled after a collision....of course, some drivers just don't get off the track that often, and seem to win most of the races....maybe more skillful drivers need to be recruited....
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Old 29 Aug 2001, 12:22 (Ref:137685)   #12
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RickP:Clio51 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridRickP:Clio51 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
While racing at Spa this year, I had a tyre deflate on the run into Blanchimont (at around 150mpg in the Clio V6).
As I turned in, the car swapped ends and I went across the new tarmac, where the gravel was until this year, and into the wall.
Undoubtedly, I scrubbed off a lot of speed before hitting the wall spinning on tarmac, and I didn't have the risk of rolling over (which probably wasn't that likely at the angle I went off at) but I doubt I would have been stopped by gravel at the speed I was travelling.
It certainly lessened the ferocity of the corner which used to be terrifying and stopped several major accidents during the weekend.
I am still unconvinced, but watch the Belgian GP and form your own opinions as they are the first to have replaced large areas or gravel with tarmac.
Cheers
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Old 29 Aug 2001, 13:54 (Ref:137730)   #13
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gravel v. asphalt

Quote:
Originally posted by RickP:Clio51

Undoubtedly, I scrubbed off a lot of speed before hitting the wall spinning on tarmac, and I didn't have the risk of rolling over (which probably wasn't that likely at the angle I went off at) but I doubt I would have been stopped by gravel at the speed I was travelling.
Here in California, we have gravel traps to stop runaway trucks. The traps seem to work due to the loose nature of the gravel, and the deep penetration of the heavily laden and relatively narrow tires into the gravel. I don't think that the parameters that make gravel traps work for trucks are necessarily operative with race cars. Even on so-called "showroom stock" cars these days, the tires are very wide and lightly loaded.
MIRA (the test track in England) has a parabolic banking which permits very high cornering speeds with relative safety....I wonder if this principle could be applied to auto racing....with a significant penalty for exceeding the confines of the marked race surface....
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Old 29 Aug 2001, 21:50 (Ref:138069)   #14
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Surely this would just make the racing confusing - you wouldn't know the winner until hours after the event!
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Old 30 Aug 2001, 03:10 (Ref:138276)   #15
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confusion

OK...how about the old airport circuit rule....you have to return to the track where you left it....that way you couldn't use the banking as part of the track....
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