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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dont want to go into too many details about what happened, but in one equation:

auto-x event + low fuel + shitty subaru tank design + air in fuel line at the wrong moment + slalom too close to wall = totaled subaru + injured passenger (my gf :()

it's been a month since the incident. i was fine after 2-3 days, my gf still is a bit sore but is almost recovered (doing physio). she submarined and bruised up her knee/back. car totalled = alot of frustration with insurance + grief over losing a special car. it hasnt been the greatest few weeks as you probably can imagine.

now alot of people close to me (parents, ciblings, and most importantly, girlfriend) don't want me to race anymore. racing is my favourite hobby and i've been doing it for two years now. i look forward to it imensly and it brings me alot of satisfaction and happiness. my gf always supported me by coming out to the races and it was a fun outing we both enjoyed alot.

so now what? what do i do? i dont want to give it up, but i do respect my gf's worries and fears that she developped from the wreck.

i appreciate any advice, especially from anyone who's been thru a big wreck at the track.
 

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I've never really gotten into something like that before, but I totaled my RS back in February, so I kinda know what it's like. Anastasia was my first real love. I was very attached, and now she's gone <3 It was tough for me to drive after that. I was extremely cautious all the time, constantly nervous, and I had flashbacks of the accident for several months afterwards. It can be somewhat traumatizing.

Let me ask you this. What do you do when you get knocked down?

Stand the fuck back up! Find another Subaru, build it back up and get your ass back to the track. If you enjoy what you do, its your hobby and you don't want to quit... then don't!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Stand the fuck back up! Find another Subaru, build it back up and get your ass back to the track. If you enjoy what you do, its your hobby and you don't want to quit... then don't!

i already picked up another car, but not a subaru... an E30. honestly, i have no problem getting back on the track. no trauma, no fears really. just obviously more careful.

the only thing holding me back is my loved ones :(
 

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They're concerned about you and your safety, naturally. They're showing that they care for you. However, that doesn't mean that you have to stop what you love to do. I don't go to the track, but whenever I decide to drive "spiritedly" (take some twisties, back roads, off-roading, racing etc), I refuse to have anyone in the car with me.
 

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They're concerned about you and your safety, naturally. They're showing that they care for you. However, that doesn't mean that you have to stop what you love to do. I don't go to the track, but whenever I decide to drive "spiritedly" (take some twisties, back roads, off-roading, racing etc), I refuse to have anyone in the car with me.
First off, never ever race a car with someone else in it. If you fuck up, the only one who should pay the price is you. Not innocent passengers. My ex-girlfriend never understood why I never took her on runs, just on Sunday drives, although she wanted to come. It's just one of those things.

now alot of people close to me (parents, ciblings, and most importantly, girlfriend) don't want me to race anymore. racing is my favourite hobby and i've been doing it for two years now. i look forward to it imensly and it brings me alot of satisfaction and happiness. my gf always supported me by coming out to the races and it was a fun outing we both enjoyed alot.

so now what? what do i do? i dont want to give it up, but i do respect my gf's worries and fears that she developped from the wreck.
As well you should, that shows real maturity and that you respect and love your GF. First thing I would do is have a heart to heart with her. She might -- no, she definitely has some resentment towards you and the sport. But then again, she might eventually understand that wrecks are part of the game. Be honest and let her do most of the talking. She's scared for you, it sounds like the people in your life really care about you.

Whatever you do, do not get behind the wheel of a race car until your GF is absolutely 100% recovered and out of physio. Kind of a douchey thing to do if you get back into it while she's still in pain.

I know if I was in your shoes, I'd have a HUGE chip on my shoulder and I'd want to start racing again to prove to myself that I didn't let it beat me. That's probably not the soberest way to think about it.

Sit on it for at least two or three more months. You sound a little pissed off, which is normal and healthy. Maybe take the year off while you get another car and prep it for racing. Volunteer as staff at autox events in the meantime if you want to stay involved. You might learn more watching other people. Watch videos and read auto cross books to learn a little more about technique.

How old are you, how old is she?

Remember, there will always be another car or another event. They are replaceable. There will never be another girlfriend like the one you have now. She's the only one like her you get in life.
 

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First off, never ever race a car with someone else in it. If you fuck up, the only one who should pay the price is you. Not innocent passengers. My ex-girlfriend never understood why I never took her on runs, just on Sunday drives, although she wanted to come. It's just one of those things.
+1. I always had my girlfriend(s) in the car with me... I love to drive and I have "a hot car", so I'd drive 9 times out of 10 anywhere we went. I care for her, even now, and wouldn't want to risk hurting her in any way because of my foolish behavior. Whenever I have someone I care about in the car, no matter who it is, I drive differently. I shift as imperceptibly as I can, I don't speed, I don't race, I don't accelerate/brake hard etc...

As well you should, that shows real maturity and that you respect and love your GF. First thing I would do is have a heart to heart with her. She might -- no, she definitely has some resentment towards you and the sport. But then again, she might eventually understand that wrecks are part of the game. Be honest and let her do most of the talking. She's scared for you, it sounds like the people in your life really care about you.

Remember, there will always be another car or another event. They are replaceable. There will never be another girlfriend like the one you have now. She's the only one like her you get in life.
+2. Awesome words of wisdom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
thanks for the great advice oldhat, some good words to sleep on.

just for the record, im not angry or pissed off at all. just sad i may not be doing as much racing as i would like in the future.

edit: were both 23 years old
 

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Man you guys are so right. It would suck to hurt the one you love racing. But That's why I hate to take other with me on the track. But Man you have to get back into racing. You cant quit just because of a a wreck. Man I have hit lots of stuff with my car. Yes I am more careful now. But that want stop me. But just buy a new suby and get back at it. Do it Do it.
 

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Just get back into it slowly. Everyone knows that racing is dangerous, just like driving in general is dangerous, just like riding bikes, swimming...etc... and generally getting out of bed in the morning is dangerous. A lot can be done to minimize the risks however. Just analyze your mistakes and learn from them:

A couple things -
* Why did you loose control? Is your car too tail happy? Or just has too much power for you skill level (not trying to say you're a bad driver, but you need to look at this objectively yourself)?
* Why did your gf submarine? Was she not wearing the seat belt properly? Are you using a harness that does not protect against this (i.e. most 4 points)?
* Don't take passengers with you if there is a chance of them getting hurt.
* Make sure you're in control of the car at all times.
* If you see something unsafe at an event, point it out to a safety stewart. The should be NO WAY for you to hit anything at a properly set up autoX. (What kind of retard would set up a slalom, the element that tends to unbalance cars the most, next to a wall??!!) If you see something unsafe, it is YOUR DUTY to report it immediately. If the people on site don't do anything about it, get a refund and go home... and report it higher up the food chain (i.e. SCCA main office, if it's an SCCA event, NASA main office if it's NASA...etc). Safety should *always* be #1. Always.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just get back into it slowly. Everyone knows that racing is dangerous, just like driving in general is dangerous, just like riding bikes, swimming...etc... and generally getting out of bed in the morning is dangerous. A lot can be done to minimize the risks however. Just analyze your mistakes and learn from them:

A couple things -
* Why did you loose control? Is your car too tail happy? Or just has too much power for you skill level (not trying to say you're a bad driver, but you need to look at this objectively yourself)?
* Why did your gf submarine? Was she not wearing the seat belt properly? Are you using a harness that does not protect against this (i.e. most 4 points)?
* Don't take passengers with you if there is a chance of them getting hurt.
* Make sure you're in control of the car at all times.
* If you see something unsafe at an event, point it out to a safety stewart. The should be NO WAY for you to hit anything at a properly set up autoX. (What kind of retard would set up a slalom, the element that tends to unbalance cars the most, next to a wall??!!) If you see something unsafe, it is YOUR DUTY to report it immediately. If the people on site don't do anything about it, get a refund and go home... and report it higher up the food chain (i.e. SCCA main office, if it's an SCCA event, NASA main office if it's NASA...etc). Safety should *always* be #1. Always.

i lost control because my engine cut fuel (air bubble sucked in during previous high G turn) right on the turn in to the slalom. in 2nd gear, at turn in, a sudden lift of the throttle like that is deadly. the car instantly distabalised and went into a 4 wheel drift. the wall was less than 12ft from the cones, so no time or chance to correct.

my gf submarined because she is smallish, and the stock 3 point seatbelt didnt do its job so well. for auto-x, a harness usually isnt necessary.

i will never take my gf with me again. i dont think she wants to either way. she and i will be very happy if she stays on the side lines cheering.

about reporting something unsafe: it was the first time i went to an event organised by this particular club. in the past, all the events organised by my local club seem to be more safety oriented. but you know how it is, they push the cones closer every year (to provide a better course) until someone gets hurt. im sure next year the course wont be the same! sucks to learn the hard way.

and i will follow your advice about refusing to race if i feel the course is setup in a dangerous way.
 

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1. Don't take passengers. Racing ain't a joy ride. And if it is, you ain't racing.

2. WTF is up with the course design? Yeah, course designer ain't that bright (and if nobody brought it up, neither is anyone else in the club)

3. Don't blame "shitty Subaru tank design" - especially after you tell us that you ran with LOW FUEL. Too bad you couldn't experience this fuel cut in a safer place. First time I remember fuel cut was on a looong right hand sweeper in Wedge's old RS, luckily, I just lost powAh. And learned that running with under a quarter tank of gas isn't so bright if I want to do well.

4. If you want to really be IN CONTROL of your car, a harness IS necessary for autox. Even more so than road racing, as the transitions in an autox course are much tighter and more frequent, throwing you out of your seat quite often. If you're busy hanging on to the steering wheel, then you're not CONTROLLING the car. Right?

5. If you wanna get back into racing, get something that you don't mind losing. Or, don't be so aggressive on these courses. Smoothness is what makes you faster than the rest anyway. ;)

6. No passengers.
 

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A typical rule of thumb most clubs follow is that at no time should a car be closer than 25-20ft to any obstacle... especially in a higher speed section (such as a slalom).

Most of the clubs stateside have to follow rules like that for insurance reasons.

On a side note, if your gf submarines under a stock seatbelt, she might want to invest in a booster pillow or something similar to keep that from happening. I'm not joking... if she got hurt at the relatively small autoX speeds, imagine what would happen if she were to get into an accident on the highway.

You seem to be keeping a cool head about this. Hope your gf recovers soon, and good luck with whatever decision you end up making!
 

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* If you see something unsafe at an event, point it out to a safety stewart. The should be NO WAY for you to hit anything at a properly set up autoX. (What kind of retard would set up a slalom, the element that tends to unbalance cars the most, next to a wall??!!) If you see something unsafe, it is YOUR DUTY to report it immediately. If the people on site don't do anything about it, get a refund and go home... and report it higher up the food chain (i.e. SCCA main office, if it's an SCCA event, NASA main office if it's NASA...etc). Safety should *always* be #1. Always.
+11 billion

Setting up a slalom next to a wall is really, really Mickey Mouse. In fact, I would write a letter to SCCA or NASA or whatever the organizing committee was and let them know what happened. Include pictures of the wreck and let them know about you and your gf's injuries. CC (carbon copy) the organizer of the event you raced at.

And never, ever race at one of their events again. Too bad you had to be the example but imagine if something like this happens again. What if next time someone gets paralyzed or worse?

Blow the whistle on these chumps and don't let them put on unsafe events again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i've never had gas cut problems before. it was just this particular course (tight loop before the slalom) that brought out the weakness of the full tank. i had 1/4 of fuel the first run, and i had alot of cuts, so i backed off. then i added 3 gallons of fuel and went for the second run. no fuel cuts so i started pushing again, and then BAM, fuel cut at the worst possible moment.

in hindsight, i should have been more cautious, especially after experiencing fuel cuts during the first lap.

because of this, i dont think all the blame falls on the event organisers, and i dont think it's fair to put all the blame on them. yes the wall was very close at a dangerous part of the course. but i dont really see what making a formal complaint will accomplish. they arent idiots, they realised their mistake, and so did i.
 

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just 2 months after i got my license i got in a major accident involving my 95 outback and a tree. I loved that car and after the accident i really didnt care if i ever drove again. The next morning my dad handed me the keys to his car and made me drive to the store with him. (i really didnt want to) I am glad he did because youve got to get back up and do what you love and i learned alot from the accident.

GL
 

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Homer, so sorry to hear. Glad everyone is alright ~ sad to know the Suby is gone.

I think you will have to address your GF's fears. But the bottom line is, there is NOT another form of auto racing as safe as auto-x. It is a VERY, very rare day there is a serious injury on a track, let alone even an accident. So, explain the joy it gives you and that you are involved in the safest from of auto racing and being conservative in your pursuit of something you love. It will soon be winter anyway and you can take your time building her confidence and understanding back up till next auto-x season.

I do know what you are going through with the loved ones, I listened to their concerns and pleas for many years racing shifter karts, Formula Ford and Atlantic and then SCCA and into IROC. Yeah, I had crashes... but luckily no injuries that counted.

But, 10 years ago, with my other passion (sport bikes) I was not so lucky! After riding for 20+ years on the street and canyons it bit my ass hard. I high sided @ about 150 mph and ended up over a guardrail and 600 ft at the bottom of a cliff. I only had a broken wrist (when the bars snapped back on the tank slap) and two broken ribs (from the tree that stopped me). I was truly lucky to be alive. It was a BIG wreck... while in mid-flight I watched my bike disintegrating down the road ~

My little girl was only 2 weeks old and when my entire family arrived at the hospital, there was little debate. I sold the other 4 Ducatis in my garage and have not been back on a bike since.

So, if the family will not get back on board with you ~ then you face a decision that could end as mine did. I chose 'family' and don't regret it. But, when a sport bike passes me in the curves on full song... I sure the hell miss it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks for the stories/advice guys.

after reading through this post, i've decided i wont go to the last event of the season. ill wait until next year. unfortunately, ill probably have to wait a good 6-7 months before they return to the safest track of the calendar (where i want to ease back into it).
 
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