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Agree, but then I disagree also (more) (archive)

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Posted by TBell on October 23, 2000 at 18:53:03:

In Reply to: Another Reason Against Tracking Your Z... (long) posted by Joel Smernoff on October 23, 2000 at 18:19:42:

Hi Joel, I agree that in the stock configuration, the Z3 is not safe enough for track events...the stock roll hoops are not tall eneough and the stock seat belts inadequite to keep our butts planted in an inverted position...

I disagree however, that, IMHO a properly prepared Z3 with an SCCA approved Roll bar and a 5 point harness, with arm restraints is probably safer than a stock sedan with a OEM 3 point safety belt...I firmly believe that my roll bar and the windshield would stand up better in a roll over senerio than a stock E30 or E36...The only senerio that the tin on the roof would afford more protection is in a very rare event of an intrusion between the windshield frame and the roll bar during the incident...

But your comments serve as a sobering reminder that "stuff happens"...and I am going to Sears Point in 2 weeks and Laguna Seca in a month this is the kind of reminder that keeps me at 8/10ths where we are suppost to be!!! Remember the best roll over protection for our cars is located between our ears and contained in our helmet...we just need to use it more often :) Take care and thanks for your comments, sorry for this accident as I'm sure it put a damper on the week ends activities....Tom

Just finished up the 2 day BMW school at Summit Point this past weekend in my '88 M3 track car), and saw the most horrific crash I have seen at the track.

Novice student in a modded e36 M3 sedan on Rs entered Turn 10 (high speed righty), got loose, overcorrected and swapped ends. He went off into the gravel backwards/sideways, slid 30ft, until the tires planted. The car then pitched 10ft into the air barrel rolled 3 times and landed on the passenger door on a tire wall. The M3 was completely destroyed (8" narrower and 6" taller than before!), but incredibly, both driver and instructor walked away without a scratch. The driver's door was flung off, all windows shattered and trunk and hood blew open in the roll.

I have also witnessed a brand new Boxter S go off in the very same spot last month and rolled onto its driver's door in the gravel.

I too have a Z3 (even with a roll bar/6 pt harness for autox) that I desperately wanted to do a school with, but after witnessing a roll over at 80-85mph, you definitely do not want to be in an open car. Rollovers happen much more frequently than you would believe...

Please be safe out there!
-Joel Smernoff
'96 Z3
'88 M3

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