2019-05-07 23:47:32 UTC
The reason it's worse is that with less than 5 minutes to go, after
lapping a slower car driven by a novice for the second time, he decided
to try to out-brake me into turn 3, and got it so very, very wrong.
I was about 60 degrees through the nearly 160 degree turn when his Lotus
23 sports racer's front right corner ran into my left rear tire,
starting the climb of his car over mine, very fortunately making contact
with my roll bar before his right rear tire struck my helmet.
As this was an extremely slow corner and he made contact with me as I
was reaching the slowest part of it, I came to a stop almost
instantly—amazed to discover that my head was still attached to my
shoulders, and that I wasn't even hurting (except for the battering my
elbows took on the frame tubes in the cockpit, but even that doesn't
more than twinge today).
I quickly looked to my right to see the Lotus sitting inverted on its
roll bar, and found I could drive the car off to the side where no cars
coming through could possibly make contact with it, and gave the turn
workers a double thumbs-up, so they could communicate to the safety
crews I could already see approaching through the tire barriers that
separate the turn one runoff area from turn three.
As the safety trucks came closer, I made sure they knew that I needed no
immediate attention and direct them to see to Leigh, whose condition was
uncertain. When the wrecker (tow truck) came through last, I flagged him
down, and when he stepped out, I asked him to quickly examine my car to
ascertain if it was safe to simply drive it back to the paddock. When he
told me that my left rear wheel was "toed in pretty badly", but that
that he thought it was safe to slowly drive back to the paddock, I did that.
Once I was out, I checked in with race control to, firstly, radio my
friend, G, who was working at turn 2 and therefore couldn't be sure that
I was alright, and then I had one of the EMT's working the track that
day do the standard tests for head, neck injuries, etc., and I got a
clean bill of health with a strict admonition to seek medical assistance
if ANYTHING changed for the worse.
So the final tally appears to be (and I haven't yet done a comprehensive
examination of the car):
4 bent A-arms; 3 which might successfully be straightened (just gentle
curves with no kinks or wrinkles).
Damage to 3 body panels; none very bad (I could race with them as they
are with just a little duct tape on one).
Cosmetic damage to the car's roll bar.
Possibly, one brand-new Bell SA2015 helmet rendered unfit for continued use.
We (G, and I) tried pretty hard to replace the damaged A-arms starting
Sunday morning in the hope that we might be able to make the last race
of the day, but we called it off when we realized that one of the spare
A-arms I'd been sent was the wide-track variant rather than the
narrow-track that my car required. Sadly, there was no good way to check
the spare when it arrived as that particular A-arm has one leg buried
deep behind the pedals.
The only thing fortunate for me is that the next race isn't until
mid-June, so I've got all the time I need to put things right.
...what are you going to do?