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Re: [Shop-talk] Nova - PBS show

Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Nova - PBS show
From: Mark J Bradakis <>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 22:02:02 -0600
> The good thing about new designs is that the vehicle dissipates and redirects 
> all the energy and the occupants walk away.
Well, not always walk away, but close.  A couple of years ago as part
of activities related to his new race track here in Utah, Larry Miller
put together an event called Utah Fast Pass.  Basically a tour of the
state for high rollers and their exotics.  3 days of driving with an
autocross one afternoon and the high speed section the next day.
I was part of the road events crew, basically we drove around the
state looking for suitable sections of long stretches of road free of
most hazards.  We ended up using a piece of decent two lane
highway with a 13 mile  top speed section and a  couple miles
of cool down.  Near the end was a state trooper with a radar gun who
would write a "ticket" for the speed he recorded, and the drivers paid
the "fine" at the banquet by donating that many dollars to the charity
for which this was a benefit.

Geez, enough background already.  So the appointed hour comes
for the high speed day and we start folks off at various intervals.
The last car to get a speed was a RUF prepped Porsche that hit
197.something.  Next in line was a fellow with a Ferarri Enzo,
a car worth about 1.3 million.  Well, at least it was at the start.
He really wanted to be the first to go over 200.

About 10 miles into it, apparently he crested a small rise, probably
doing 180 - 190 at the time.  I was working at the starting line, I
didn't see, but the one trooper who did said the car got slightly
airborne and when it came down the front wheels were pointed
in a different direction than the rest of the car.  Ferarris being
what the are, the car went the direction the front wheels pointed.
Not good.  The trooper said he rolled about 6 - 7 times before
coming to rest.  Well, most parts of the car came to a rest along
the way.  The suspension corners were scattered about, the
engine was over on the west side of the road, the trans about
200 feet to the east. The car, of carbon fiber construction
basically disintegrated.

Except for the cockpit.  The roll cage structure built into it
worked.  It really worked.  The seating area was basically intact,
other than the scratched paint.  Everything else hanging off of this
core piece was totally destroyed, but I was sure impressed about
how well that carbon fiber cage worked.  Wow. The guy had
some injuries, nothing terribly serious, but he's alive and well.

I thought I had some photos handy that I took at the scene,
maybe I'll find them and post somewhere.

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