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Car Strikes Bear on Highway, Bear Breakdances: Video 31
Posted by Darryl in Automotive, bear, crash, Crashes, video on 05 31st, 2013


We have all seen the infamous breakdancing ‘human’ bear get down and dirty but never have we seen a real bear pull off stunt like this where a car takes it head-on on a highway while the bear gets another day to live. The interesting thing about the video below is the camera vehicle is overtaken at the last few seconds before making contact with the bear. Fortunately, no one appeared to be hurt while the bear does a little breakdance stunt before walking off. Talking about a quick change of fate for both the blue Suzuki and bear. Enjoy!

Mitsubishi Evo Crash Reminds Us Why Safety Gear Is So Important: NSFW Video 6
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Crashes, Kurt, Mitsubishi, racing, video on 12 6th, 2012

The Evo X logs flight time following a tire failure at speed

In all honesty, you’re probably safer competing in SCCA Club Racing than you are driving on the average interstate highway. On the track, drivers around you have the proper training, you’re wearing a fire-resistant Nomex suit and a helmet, your car is fitted with things like a roll cage and a racing harness and none of your competitors are drunk, high or busily texting to their BFF. That said, driving at high speed still has an element of risk, and when things go bad at speed they do so quickly.

We’re labeling this video (found on Motor Authority) as NSFW, since the driver clearly curses when he realizes that he’s about to get up close and personal with the armco while carrying some serious speed following a front left tire failure. The impact is severe enough to throw the car in the air to a rather impressive altitude, before gravity takes over and the car sticks a landing on its roof.

Fortunately, the driver escaped the “giant washing machine of pain and violence” (to quote the co-driver of the Evo that crashed at Pikes Peak last summer) with only scrapes and bruises. If you need a reason to justify a roll cage in your daily driver, we’d say this video delivers.

Rule Number One – Don’t Stack A Borrowed Race Car: Video 15
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Ariel Atom, Automotive, Crashes, Kurt, video on 11 15th, 2012

Just before the moment of impact

There are certain unwritten rules in motorsports that have existed since two guys in horseless carriages decided to have a go to see which one was faster. Prior to a race, for example, you’ll do whatever it takes to help your competitors, including the loaning of tools, parts, donuts and coffee. During a race, you don’t pass until you see the green flag wave, and you never pass under a yellow flag. While you should always do what you can to save your race car, rule number one is that you never stack a borrowed race car.

As Autoblog explains, this video was captured during practice for an Ariel Atom spec race at Virginia International Raceway’s North Course. We’d be the first to tell you that VIR is a challenging track to learn, made more difficult by traction-robbing elevation changes. The good news is that there’s plenty of run-off area, meaning that mistakes generally aren’t as costly as they’d be at a track like Road Atlanta.

We say generally, since there’s an exception to every rule. We can’t say for sure what happened to the driver in this video, but it appears as if he lost traction when the car unweighted after cresting a hill. His steering wheel was going in the proper direction, but the front tires failed to get that particular memo. Judging from the skid marks in the corner, more than one driver made this same mistake.

Though it looks like the driver had plenty of time to collect the car, racing tires don’t offer up much grip on grass, and race cars are mysteriously drawn to concrete barriers. We’re not sure how much damage the Atom sustained, but the driver walked away unhurt, except for his pride. On the other hand. since it was his brother’s car, holiday gatherings will likely be a bit awkward for the next few years.

Nissan Delta Wing Crashes In Petit Le Mans Practice: Video 18
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Crashes, Kurt, Motorsports, Nissan DeltaWing, Petit Le Mans, video on 10 18th, 2012

Nissan’s DeltaWing racer, sideways in turn 11

We’re not ones to give in to superstition, but there’s a growing body of evidence to suggest the Nissan DeltaWing racer is cursed. The innovative race car crashed hard at Le Mans when it collided with a Toyota TS030, and many thought the car’s racing days were over. Fans were thrilled when it was announced the car would return to the American Le Mans Series for one more race, this weekend’s Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

As the video below (from HighcroftTV, via ALMS) shows, driver Gunnar Jeannette ran out of luck as he headed into turn 11, the steepest drop-off on the Road Atlanta circuit. It’s a blind corner, meaning that you can’t see the entry until you’re right on top of it, which makes it… entertaining at high speeds. The correct line is essential, as turn 11 ultimately leads on to the front straight.

From what we can tell in the video, the driver of the green Porsche 911 went wide on the entry to turn 11. Given that he abruptly turns into the DeltaWing, causing the crash, we’d say the Porsche driver never even saw the car closing on him. Could that be the issue behind the DeltaWing’s string of bad luck? It’s low profile and stealth color make it nearly invisible?

That makes more sense to our logical minds than the car being cursed. Word is that the car will be repaired in time for qualifying, and it will run in Saturday’s Petit Le Mans. Let’s hope the ALMS is able to address the visibility issue before the race, because we really don’t want to see another DeltaWing crash video.

BMW M3 Flips In Horrific Rainy-Highway Crash: Video 7
Posted by Darryl in Automotive, BMW, BMW M3, Crashes, Live Crash on 08 7th, 2012

Our friends at BMWBlog have shared a wake-up call for all drivers in rainy weather. The video posted below is of a BMW M3 Coupe under control of a driver who obviously cannot handle their vehicle in the rain. The BMW M3 loses control and hits the center guard causing it to flip several times. The good news to come out of this is that the driver and passenger were able to walk away from this horrific crash.

Let this be a cautionary tale for everyone to make proper adjustments to your speed during inclimate weather situations, even if you are behind the wheel of ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’. Please be safe out there!

First Camaro ZL1 Crashed At Virginia International Raceway 28
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Camaro ZL1, Automotive, Chevrolet, Crashes, Kurt, News on 02 28th, 2012

The first non-GM crashed Camaro ZL1. Image: Aaron Gold

There is an unwritten rule in automotive journalism that says, “though shalt not stack the press fleet cars.” While the rule applies to any car you’re given the keys to, it applies to a higher degree with pre-launch cars rolled out by automakers to get good press prior to availability. Stack a pre-launch car, and you reduce the population for other journalists to drive. You also become “that guy,” and no one wants to be “that guy.”

This week, “that guy” is Aaron Gold, who just happens to be the vice president of Los Angeles’ Motor Press Guild, as well as a producer at Top Gear USA and an editor for About.com Cars. In other words, lapping VIR in a Camaro ZL1 wasn’t Mr. Gold’s first time on a track in a high-powered car. We don’t know what his driving background is exactly, but as Gold explains on About.com, the accident wasn’t caused by pushing the limits at high speed.

Instead, rain began to fall on the track, bringing oil to the surface. Approaching a corner, Gold was admittedly off-line and fed on too much throttle at the apex. The result, as anyone who’s ever driven a high-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive car in the rain will tell you, was throttle-on oversteer. To his credit, Gold admits that a more talented driver probably could have kept the car off the tire barrier, and GM claims the damage to the press fleet ZL1 was minimal.

What can we learn from Gold’s off-course excursion? First, most of us tend to over-rate our driving abilities. On a track, in a fresh rain, a 580 horsepower car demands instant respect, and everything must be done to keep the car balanced. We’re guessing that Gold was lapping with the electro-nannies turned off, which makes for impressive, tail-out power slides through corners on dry pavement, but ups the penalty for a mistake in the rain exponentially. A higher gear, as Gold admits, probably would have been a better idea, as would sticking to a clean part of the racetrack (staying on line).

We’re off to drive the Nissan GT-R at Palm Beach International Raceway tomorrow, so Gold’s lesson will be fresh on our minds. Gold’s time in the “that guy” seat will be limited, but we sure as hell don’t want to be the journalists who displace him.