256 Let’s taLk safety Welcome, the foundation for this safety section is based on my experience & opinion. I get on my soap box because I’m passionate about safety. No extra charge for the soap box. I am normally a pretty positive & happy guy. But this topic brings out a lot of memories for me of people getting seriously injured or killed needlessly. So this topic brings out my dark side. I am pretty passionate about safety, because there is no good reason not to be as safe as we can be. When I drove race cars I was one of the most aggressive drivers you could imagine. When I developed drivers, we were hardcore serious about getting to the front & winning races. I teach drivers how to drive at the very edge of the car’s limit … the tire’s limit and their limit … and frankly to push & find new limits. That is easier to do when the driver is confident … because every safety precaution has been taken … and stupid to even be on the race track if every precaution hasn’t been taken. I do not want to offend anyone or come off as a know it all. I do not consider myself to be the “ultimate safety authority” … but I have a lot of real world crash experience & want to share what I learned. I am passionate about building safer track cars and protecting the driver. Please do not take anything I say as condescending. I just want to see people get informed & make smart decisions. I won’t tell anyone “you have to do this.” That is not my place. I’ll share what I have learned and believe … and you can decide what makes sense for you. I respect everyone’s right to their own opinions and their own decisions. It’s your race car and your life. Well … it’s also the life of people around you on track. I believe in taking personal responsibility as much as is possible & reasonable. When I drive a car … any car … I take personal responsibility for my safety … and the safety of my passengers … and the safety of the cars & people around me. It doesn’t matter who built the race car or who worked on it. It doesn’t matter who caused the crash at 1xx mph … I am responsible for my safety and my passengers. Anything less is irresponsible. That is my belief. I am not naïve enough to think everyone has the same belief. Nor am I trying to “convert” anyone’s beliefs. I’ve simply seen too many people get serious hurt & paralyzed … and too many people die … in race track accidents. These have shaped my beliefs. Others do not embrace that belief. Some people may believe if someone built their car … and it breaks & they are paralyzed or die … someone else is responsible. Or if someone else makes a mistake and crashes them … and people die … someone else is responsible. Old Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty would surely say, “But you’re still dead … Jack!” Others want to pretend it won’t happen to them. Or they won’t drive hard enough on track days, or often enough, for bad things to happen. I believe those guys are kidding themselves & playing Russian Roulette with their lives. My hope & goal with this conversation is to raise awareness of the dangers & provide some knowledge to the guys & gals that also believe they need to take responsibility for their safety … and of the others around them. I have a comprehensive sticky Forum Thread on Lateral-G.net in the Safety section that outlines in detail, the methods I’ve learned to build safer cars. - Ron Sutton Safety Info