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Old 15 Jul 2011, 00:56 (Ref:2926884)   #1
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Closed cockpits- Closer to reality then we might think?

Just unearthed this recent video of the FIA conducting crash tests on two different strength canopies.



Not quite sure what to think! All the drivers know that when they step into the car there is a chance they might not be stepping out alive, is this just a belated knee-jerk reaction to the accidents of Henry Surtees and Felipe Massa? I'd be interested in seeing what sort of damage a suspension spring could do to one of those canopies...
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Old 15 Jul 2011, 02:31 (Ref:2926894)   #2
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"All the drivers know that when they step into the car there is a chance they might not be stepping out alive,"

I find the above statement offensive. Just because a driver accepts a risk in order to do something he loves, does not mean that everyone should not continue trying to mitigate known risks.

The canopies would be a good idea!
We may still have Alan Stacey, Mike Spence, Helmut Koeinnig, Tom Pryce, Ayrton Senna, Henry Surtees and probably would have prevented Massa's injury.
Heading into an accident with your head exposed, when a car rides up over yours or an object comes toward you on a race track does not seem very bright. (Besides adds more road car relevance )
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Old 15 Jul 2011, 08:47 (Ref:2926962)   #3
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There is one of those canopies fitted to "my" aircraft and very strong it is too. Mind you we have to lift it off with a crane so there may be a weight issue there . Having said that mine is the two seat version so the guy in the back could play with all the dials and knobs while the bloke up front could concentrate on hitting his braking points and apexes -sorted!
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Old 15 Jul 2011, 09:41 (Ref:2926986)   #4
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Originally Posted by wnut View Post
"All the drivers know that when they step into the car there is a chance they might not be stepping out alive,"

I find the above statement offensive. Just because a driver accepts a risk in order to do something he loves, does not mean that everyone should not continue trying to mitigate known risks.

The canopies would be a good idea!
We may still have Alan Stacey, Mike Spence, Helmut Koeinnig, Tom Pryce, Ayrton Senna, Henry Surtees and probably would have prevented Massa's injury.
Heading into an accident with your head exposed, when a car rides up over yours or an object comes toward you on a race track does not seem very bright. (Besides adds more road car relevance )
Agree totally.

The purists may feel that it no longer looks like a single seater rather more like a sports prototype. But surely that's a very small price to pay. Let's get real here. None of us watch motor racing to see people decapitated and if this saves even one driver's life, it's a very good idea indeed.
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Old 15 Jul 2011, 14:31 (Ref:2927107)   #5
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None of us watch motor racing to see people decapitated
Wow... it seems I was wrong here. I'm quite shocked.
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Old 15 Jul 2011, 23:33 (Ref:2927257)   #6
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Wow... it seems I was wrong here. I'm quite shocked.
Ugly, distressing, and apparently totally accurate obsevation!
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Old 15 Jul 2011, 08:51 (Ref:2926964)   #7
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I really don't know what to make of this.

I understand why they'd want them, but does this mean all single seaters would have these fitted as standard?

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Old 15 Jul 2011, 09:15 (Ref:2926979)   #8
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I guess they would percolate down. My only concern with these would be speed of getting out of the car, which I feel sure the fly boys have already got sorted out.

Things that can hit the driver on the head are something that need to be avoided, that is probably the most dangerous thing in a modern single seater (well, toss-up between that and wheel over wheel crashes).

Off topic comment alert
I have to type this or my brain will explode!

As a sidepoint, not only single seaters have this problem, I remember in a BTCC support race (I think it was SEATs or Clios) where one of the tyres they stick on the corners bouncing in to a touring car windscreen, with the tyre winding up making a massive tyre-sized hole. Now if that happened in a single seater race, it could be curtains. Perhaps in some cases race track furniture could actually be a bit more thought out e.g. not having heavy stuff on the inside of corners, just stick polystyrene advert hoardings there or something equally breaky-uppy in case it gets hit.

Thanks for reading, you've been a wonderful audience. Don't forget to try the veal and tip your waitress. We now return you to the topic
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Old 28 May 2012, 17:54 (Ref:3080706)   #9
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I guess they would percolate down. My only concern with these would be speed of getting out of the car, which I feel sure the fly boys have already got sorted out.

Things that can hit the driver on the head are something that need to be avoided, that is probably the most dangerous thing in a modern single seater (well, toss-up between that and wheel over wheel crashes).

Off topic comment alert
I have to type this or my brain will explode!

As a sidepoint, not only single seaters have this problem, I remember in a BTCC support race (I think it was SEATs or Clios) where one of the tyres they stick on the corners bouncing in to a touring car windscreen, with the tyre winding up making a massive tyre-sized hole. Now if that happened in a single seater race, it could be curtains. Perhaps in some cases race track furniture could actually be a bit more thought out e.g. not having heavy stuff on the inside of corners, just stick polystyrene advert hoardings there or something equally breaky-uppy in case it gets hit.

Thanks for reading, you've been a wonderful audience. Don't forget to try the veal and tip your waitress. We now return you to the topic
That is exactly the thought I was having. It's all very well having something like to protect the driver from projectiles, but what happens when he/she needs to get out in a hurry (e.g. in case of an engine fire) or medical people need to get in?

A solution for this would be a Co2 release system with buttons inside the cockpit and on the engine cover/side pod.

Also, if you're going to have what is effectively a 'windshield' then you're also going to need a windshield wiper for when it rains (unless you use Rain-X or a similar coating system).
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Old 30 May 2012, 01:53 (Ref:3081580)   #10
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This video of the Mike Conway Will Power crash at the 2012 Indy 500 graphically illustrates the dangers facing open cockpit drivers.
Conway's head on the wall, fortunately the car was going backwards, Power's car going underneath Conway's car, Power's wheel prevented from hitting him in the head by the tether. Loose wheel very nearly impacting passing cars (Helio Castro-Nevis' incar shot - close call), further loose wheel just running down the circuit.

The fact that nobody got hurt was way more good luck than good management!

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/sport...dianapolis-500#

Last edited by wnut; 30 May 2012 at 02:05.
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Old 14 Jun 2012, 02:46 (Ref:3090501)   #11
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Toyota open cockpit EV for Pikes Peak with forward cockpit protection.

http://www.racecar-engineering.com/n...on-pikes-peak/
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Old 15 Jul 2011, 10:08 (Ref:2927002)   #12
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I'm not totally against it by any stretch of the imagination. It's just a huge change, isn't it?

I guess it's the next in the cycle of no helmets, to small helmets, to full sized helmets, now to this.

It perhaps offers a chance for other series (Superleague etc) to not follow suit (for better or for worse...).

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Old 15 Jul 2011, 12:16 (Ref:2927042)   #13
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Why not just stop motorsport altogether? Then there'll be no risk at all.

I don't think it is necessary. Firstly, in my opinion it would look ridiculous and secondly, there will presumably be an issue with vacating the car within X seconds. Thirdly...just no. What next, wrapping the cars in cotton wool?
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Old 15 Jul 2011, 12:28 (Ref:2927052)   #14
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Why not just stop motorsport altogether? Then there'll be no risk at all.

I don't think it is necessary. Firstly, in my opinion it would look ridiculous and secondly, there will presumably be an issue with vacating the car within X seconds. Thirdly...just no. What next, wrapping the cars in cotton wool?
I can't believe they put canopies on jet planes either - bunch of pansies. Open face helmet should be more than adequate.
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Old 17 Jul 2011, 14:21 (Ref:2927710)   #15
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Why not just stop motorsport altogether? Then there'll be no risk at all.

I don't think it is necessary. Firstly, in my opinion it would look ridiculous and secondly, there will presumably be an issue with vacating the car within X seconds. Thirdly...just no. What next, wrapping the cars in cotton wool?
HEAR HEAR! Let's go one further and go back to wearing leather helmets. Hey, why don't we close all the roads and railways, ground all the planes, dig up all the airfields into crop fields and un-invent the wheel. I think we were much better off in the stone age!

Sarcasm aside, I think this could be a very good idea. I mean, if we've exhausted all our options with head and neck protection and so forth, this would probably be the next level. Also, with regards to extraction time, surely some of those LeMans cars are a bit awkward? I didn't hear of anyone moaning about those!

Motorsport is evolving all the time, and I think this is one idea that could work, if it's implemented correctly. Let's face it, you can't get much worse of an idea than "controlling the weather", now, can you? It just shows that not all these ideas are from La La Land!

[EDIT] Idea!: Why not have a device that, upon releasing the belts, releases the canopy too? That would work for the driver. For marshals, I don't suppose an extra button to push would be that horrifying of a thought... Would it?

Last edited by Drummer; 17 Jul 2011 at 14:29.
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