How to crash a vintage car and make people not notice

Have you even heard of the blame rule that says" no one is looking at you as long as you are pointing at someone else." ? Sometimes when a driver, and I use that term loosely, runs out of talent, he or she will not want to admit that lack of talent was involved. Lot's of things tend to pop up in the blame department. " I had the sun in my eyes, I have new tires, I have old tires, The mechanic reset the shocks, It was the other guy who did something, cut me off," etc. etc. feel in the blank. I have heard many. I understand the need to save face especially if you are a type A fast win at all cost driver/hotshoe.
I think I have heard a new one now. A driver who shall remain nameless was driving all by him/herself on the track. This driver runs out of talent and ends up in a particular position off the track...way off the track in the racecar. Time has now passed. The wreck is old but sad news because another "vintage" racecar is destroyed. Having been alone on the track and at speed when the loss of control happened the blame could not fall on any other driver and the old mechanical failure was not going to work because it has been over used and there were witness's.
The blame now according to the driver is "The Track". The driver sites the fact that another "driver"(and there is another story here ) had crashed there too and had also ended up in a very peculiar position as well. Never mind that they both ended up in different places off the track. They did make the error at about the same turn with similar but slightly different endings. The hotshoe driver has been involved in a number of crashes and offs over the years. In fact the driver has now been involved in the destruction of two "vintage" cars. So ends another chapter in the sad story about the destruction of " old" racing cars.
I am now afraid to race on that evil "vintage" car eating track. I know that over the years many SCCA cars and IMSA cars and even a Chaparral or two raced on that track. I am sure that many drivers have performed many off track tricks at every turn on the track. I don't recall any drivers blaming the track. The good driver will say "man I screwed up bad in the wrong place and put my car and me in a peculiar position " I too have looked at places on the track and said to myself "man if you screw up here things could get don't screw up here" But now I know that it's..... SSSSHHHH! the evil track!
The next time I make a mistake on the track I can just blame the track and maybe nobody will notice that I screwed up and created the concern in the first place. There is more to the story but this fits the title. The rest of the story will be left to another blog.
Roger Williams

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Comment by Brian Goldman on December 17, 2009 at 6:23pm
Roger, while often I agree with you, in this instance I believe that you are failing to understand the forces of nature that are at work in this situation. Your interpretation of this event makes an assumption that the individual should accept fault for their action or as the case may be inaction. You have failed to recognize that either the alternate ego of the individual or perhaps their true ego often convinces them that they are not capable of doing wrong or are above making mistakes.
It is the akin to the attitude of the "me generation" that desires instant gratification and lacks any personal responsibility. These individuals feel an entitlement to play their games much like the ones they play on the computer where there is no consequence for their actions and if they fail to win they just hit reset. They have decided to seek gratification by being a "race driver" Yet they possess little skill and probably never sat in a race care let alone drove in competition prior to becoming a "vintage driver".
That in its self is not a crime. Many of today’s vintage drivers could not in their early days afford to race and only took up the sport when they finically were able. Those who had some amount of skill have taken time to learn how to be excellent drivers. A certain Formula Ford driver I know has over time moved from a back marker to become one of the most safest and consistent drivers. He did this by listening to others, watching more skilled drivers and honing his skills. He today is a great example of a vintage driver.
Other drivers in vintage come with a pedigree. They learned to drive in true competition and for the most part they are more than willing to mentor others along. They recognize vintage is suppose to be a place where the car is the star and participate with control and skill.
Lastly you have the group that you are shining the light on. It’s a small percentage of driver want to be’s that have no talent yet feel they are above being told anything by the people with knowledge. People who they view as being a bit lower on the social ladder. Funny thing is they remain incapable of maintain or building a car and are quite willing to pay those journeyman types to do it for them. You can recognize them by the way they assume the alternate personality of famous drivers dressing in the same manner, using their likeness as the ID’s on websites and setting up catered pits with tents and trailers while racing mundane cars.
All of this reminds me of two incidents I’ve been exposed to in recent years. The first was ruled a mechanical failure where a car went into tire wall at speed. The driver claimed to have lost his brakes and having a stuck throttle. I saw a series of photos taken of that incident and blew them up. In every frame you can see where the tires have not rotated at all. In fact not only were they not rotating, but no attempt was made to turn to miss the wall. I’m trained in incident investigation, the conclusion on my part says the driver locked his brakes on the grass and did not react to let off the brake in order to recover steering.
In another incident a driver in a Formula car could not tighten the seat belts and under hard braking approaching a certain corner slid up under the steering wheel and went off course into a fence. In talking with me later and unaware that I had overheard the conversation earlier where he and teammates were talking about the seat belts he showed me the scrapes on his shins and told me how his chest was against the wheel and he couldn't turn the car (things that happen when you slide down into the car). He went on to say how unsafe the track was. I’ve watched a huge number of cars go through the same section including some Indy cars but never have I seen anyone else go off into the fence .
To sum this up I wouldn't worry about the car eating track. The track seems to be fine. The anticipation of a significant moment is rarely meet by the satisfaction of the actual event. Some folks expect to be treated in the same manner they see professional drivers afforded. The reality that they are a hack is incomprehensible. In their minds it has to be the fault of somebody else or something else.

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