Racing is dangerous.

General topics of interest to the vintage racing community
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Mike Clifford 2
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:13 pm
Location: Hopewell Junction, NY

Racing is dangerous.

Post by Mike Clifford 2 »

My father had a pretty serious accident yesterday.

I don't know all the details, but his formula junior went off the track just before the uphill at Lime Rock, went sideways, caught the grass, and rolled about three times.

Dad's pretty banged up, with a broken right scapula, three broken ribs, a broken L2 vertebra, and a bruised/slightly punctured right lung. His head and neck are completely fine.

The car is completely destroyed, pretty horrific to see actually.

I guess what I'm learning from the accident and its results is just how imperative proper safety precautions are, and how ridiculous it is for people to ignore them. I've always felt this way, but this accident was as clear a picture as possible to paint. The steel floor and roll bar we installed in the car are the only things that did not bend, and that probably played a bit part in saving Dad's life. His harness held him in place, his arm restraints saved his arms from serious damage, and his HANS saved him from a broken neck.

Two years ago at Lime Rock, a Pre-War driver was killed in a similar accident because he did not take the proper safety precautions. I'm going to be applying to become a tech inspector soon and I can guarantee you there will be no leeway when it comes to items like these. It's idiotic that it even has to be said, but this is all the evidence anyone should need.

The crappy thing for me was I heard someone rolled, then found out it was Dad, then saw the car before I saw or heard anything about Dad. Not a good time.

I'm not totally sure why I'm posting this, except maybe for cathartic reasons and to drive the point home that you should never skimp on safety if you're hitting the track (or even driving around on the road--people still drive without seatbelts!!).

-Mike
Interested in vintage cars and vintage racing? Photos, videos, our race schedule, and more can be found at http://www.michaelsvintageracing.com!
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Eric Russell
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:42 am
Location: Mebane, NC

Re: Racing is dangerous.

Post by Eric Russell »

Wow. Thanks for your post - a good reminder about why we need the best in (up-to-date) safety equipment. Glad to hear his injuries were not worse.
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Eric Russell
Mebane, NC

1961 MGA, 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider,
1991 Honda ST1100, 1999 Ford F250, 2006 Toyota Solara
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Mike Clifford 2
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:13 pm
Location: Hopewell Junction, NY

Re: Racing is dangerous.

Post by Mike Clifford 2 »

Thanks Eric, we appreciate it.
Interested in vintage cars and vintage racing? Photos, videos, our race schedule, and more can be found at http://www.michaelsvintageracing.com!
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Butchey
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:18 am

Re: Racing is dangerous.

Post by Butchey »

Well i would say all kind of sports are dangerous, even cheers, if we think for a minute. but especialy race of course. my uncle got an accident while racing and only the rx costs for meds made him stop racing... but the adrenaline is sometimes worth it :D
Last edited by Butchey on Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
johnfeng
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:06 pm
Location: MA, Boston Metro-West

Re: Racing is dangerous.

Post by johnfeng »

Mike,
One of the things that got me to start vintage racing was Mike Kaleel giving me a tour of the LRP paddock on a sunny Labor Day weekend, and introducing me to your father. After seeing some of the great cars you guys run/support, I decided I wanted to drive a sports racer. Although I ended up in an Alfa, i was and am still inspired by your Elva's.
Anyway, it was a shock to hear of the accident, and I'm glad to hear that M-senior will be ok despite the severity of his injuries. Speaking as a father and husband, I agree 1000% with your comments about safety. While I can emotionally understand why other organizations Strive for a different balance between originality and safety, I think we have an obligation to our families to utilize modern safety measures such as halo seats, fully braced cages with side-bars, etc.

Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.

John Feng
John Feng
Massachusetts
jake45
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:14 am

Re: Racing is dangerous.

Post by jake45 »

Too bad to hear about the accident, hope he is recovering very well.
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