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Thread: Fatality at Buttonwillow

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    Track Whore Pure EvoIX's Avatar
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    Hey guys.
    https://www.gofundme.com/renner/share/gfm/fb_d_5_q

    Here is the link to donate to his family to help ease their financial burden. I donated $200. So please if you have change to spare, please donate. Thanks! RIP Ivo, great competitor, well respected with alot of experience.
    He will be deeply missed by me and everyone's lives he touched. He was seriously a genuine, selfless, humble person.
    It was a pleasure racing and talking with him. I just talked to him in person like 3 weeks ago. Very tragic. Local motorsport community definitely lost a good person that day.
    He leaves behind 2 young kids, his wife, his brother, and nephew, and many others from the Renner family.

    Let's get this over $20k for them.
    Last edited by Pure EvoIX; 12-09-2015 at 05:58 PM.
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    Track Whore Pure EvoIX's Avatar
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    Double Post
    Last edited by Pure EvoIX; 12-09-2015 at 05:56 PM.
    Zhong (Evo IX) | Angry Panda Racing

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    2:03.026 @ Thill CCW Bypass - 12/20/14
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    Kam
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    Quote Originally Posted by bronson91 View Post
    No one in particular, but I am just thoroughly amazed at the amount of people justifying that less than MAXIMUM safety being ok.
    Stop trying to save people from themselves.

    Let THEM choose what's best for them, within reason.
    Educate people on the risks of not using all of the safety equipment, but let those HPDE drivers choose if they want to use more than the current required equipment.

    The other side of the equation you're forgetting about is... when you force people to do something, you're going to get a lot of people who do in improperly, finding cheaper ways of doing it, or simply do it all wrong. All of which are much worse.



    Quote Originally Posted by Piripi View Post
    I could not agree more with all the statements about improving personal safety to the maximum level, I could not agree more about choosing the safest organizations out there also. But I cannot stop comparing the safety measures of the tracks in the Socal area with the safety of other tracks.
    This.

    There are tracks I will not drive in SoCal (mostly anything with "Willow" in it), because of safety issues with the tracks.
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    Senior Member albertg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tq3z View Post
    Someone in the thread earlier said it best - sometimes you just need to go off. You can't/won't save them all. This is a case where ego/trying to save the car got the better of a good driver. I don't say this to be insensitive, but the car could have just gone off when he went 2 off on the exit of the esses.

    Some laps just aren't worth it. And sometimes you can't be prepared enough.
    Ameer were you able to see what actually happened. Was it a tank slapper?

    Sometimes there isn't enough time to even try saving once you put wheels off there. Get caught between track and dirt and the car gets easily upset, and then you are just along for the ride.
    1990 S2 SuperMiata

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    Track Whore Pure EvoIX's Avatar
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    I believe the last death at Buttonwillow was in 2004.
    Two men die in crash on Buttonwillow track - MX-5 Miata Forum

    Convertible sports car flips during midday drive-around in non-
    racing event

    By MARK BARNA, Californian staff writer


    Posted: Sunday September 26th, 2004, 9:30 PM
    Last Updated: Sunday September 26th, 2004, 9:42 PM

    Two men were killed Sunday at Buttonwillow Raceway when their
    convertible sports car overturned while motoring on the track during
    a non-racing event.
    The driver, Ronald Burnett, 46, of Cypress, died while being
    transported by helicopter to Kern Medical Center, said Kelly Cowan,
    deputy coroner of the Kern County Sheriff's Departm ent. The
    passenger, Ronald Yates, 70, of Mohave Valley, Ariz., was pronounced
    dead at the scene.
    Both men were wearing a seat belt and helmet, Cowan said.
    The accident occurred during a mid-day drive-around in which
    visitors pay a fee to motor their cars on the Buttonwillow Raceway
    track. Burnett was driving an Austin Healy, a convertible that
    racers at the track said was a street vehicle with no roll bar or
    other safety accouterments found on race cars.
    Buttonwillow Raceway officials were not available late Sunday
    afternoon for comment on the wreck.
    Bakersfield residents Martin and Twila Willey, there to race their
    Formula V car, were having lunch in the racers parking area when the
    accident occurred. They were about a quarter-mile from the accident
    site, which is near a remote stretch of track called Lost Hill,
    known to racers as Magic Mountain.
    "I just heard an ambulance and everyone started running," Twila
    WIlley said.
    After the rise and fall of Lost Hill, the track straightens out,
    then is followed by a sharp C-turn called the Sweeper. It is this
    general area where the accident occurred, Twila Willey said. Martin
    Willey said he typically motors around the Sweeper at 70 mph in his
    Formula V.
    Willey said he feels safe on the track because his race car has roll
    bars, and he wears a seat belt and a helmet. But he acknowledges
    that things can go wrong quickly.
    "It's a dangerous sport," he said.
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    2006 (Dan Lawson, factory five) and 2010 (Jae Lee, rider). RIP

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    Track Whore Pure EvoIX's Avatar
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    i stand corrected. RIP.
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    1:23.128 @ SOW CW - 7/27/14
    1:22.2xx @ SOW CCW - 7/26/14
    1:46.0xx @ ACS Roval - 11/23/14
    1:11.299 @ ACS Infield - 5/18/14

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanB View Post
    2006 (Dan Lawson, factory five) RIP
    I was there with NASA that day in my first w2w race as a rookie.

    Never forget the words a fellow racer said: "You don't tell your wife or gf about this."

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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanB View Post
    2006 (Dan Lawson, factory five) RIP
    how did he die ? HPDE ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    how did he die ? HPDE ?
    Fatality at Buttonwillow

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    Dan was racing in factory five. This was back when the fields were large for the class in NASA socal. Two cars got together at the exit of the esses CW. Dan's car rolled. Oddly his helmet flew off and was some distance from car. At the time there was speculation about Dan's helmet. But the forces of an impact can't be underestimated, especially at the race speed on this section of track. I recall the car looking more like a ball when it came off track on the crane.

    There was also another rider that died in 2013.

    I've heard several times there was a sports racer that buried itself in the wall from the off-ramp many years ago. I've heard it retold in different ways so I'm not certain the details.

    Overall BRP is a relatively safe track most times of year IMHO. Better than most others, with lots of runoff area. Like all tracks, every inch of it is capable of wrecking a car, some corners more than others. Drivers have a way of finding targets to hit. Offs are like expeditions. As soon a driver finds a new spot they hit it. And then the next car follows them off and hits it too.

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    Track Whore Pure EvoIX's Avatar
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    Here are 2 articles written just 1-2 months ago about Ivo, his roots, his life, his passion, and his Renner Motorsports Racecar prior to his untimely passing. Kinda eerie reading it after his death.
    1998 Subaru Impreza RS - The Champion
    Subaru Hero: From The Highway To The Circuit - Speedhunters
    Zhong (Evo IX) | Angry Panda Racing

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    Quote Originally Posted by albertg View Post
    Ameer were you able to see what actually happened. Was it a tank slapper?

    Sometimes there isn't enough time to even try saving once you put wheels off there. Get caught between track and dirt and the car gets easily upset, and then you are just along for the ride.
    I was a ways out but I always look ahead in my view. From where I was I didn't even see the two off occur (I'm going by what claim the person directly behind him made).

    It looked to me like the car snapped or something broke and pitched him in - it wasn't a natural motion but it did occur VERY fast. He basically got jack-knifed into the barrier.

    I can however see coming back onto the pavement from 2 off causing that sort of loss of control. There is a gap of 1.5-2" of dirt to concrete lip there that I don't **** with. Luckily for me I drive slow N/A cars so it's not a huge deal. Not that an E46 is a crazy fast car in NA form anyhow. It's the same thing on the front straight after sunset pending conditions. And if it's rained in the past few weeks I 100% mentally prepare myself to go off if I dip 2 off there. I thought this was common practice.
    Do you understand?

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    Hey guys I didn't want to respond without first making sure the families involved were notified and they had time to process what had happened.

    I was in the red group in the same session in approximately the same vicinity (Stock Black S2000 CR). I believe I was entering sweeper just as Ivo was going through the Esses. 2 of my friends in s2000s were between myself and Ivo. All of us had ample space and there were not many drivers on track in this session. I think maybe 12-15 cars in total were on track at the same time during this session. When I reached the flag station, I saw the e46 bounce/riccochet slightly and someone (flagger?) running towards the stricken vehicle. By the time I entered Sunset, red flags were being waved vehemently and everyone on track slowed and stopped as responsibly as they could to allow the emergency response services to get on track to help Ivo and passenger.

    From my friend's video which we reviewed upon exiting the track after being released from the red flag, it appeared that Ivo was in complete control of the m3 and moved to the extreme right of the track to setup for sunset, as I believe most Time Attackers do (My assessment is based on my study and review of Buttonwillow Youtube videos). half of his right rear tire was off the track and the next moment you see both tires drop into the dirt. Immediately, after the car jack knifes 180 degrees into the flag station with almost no time to bleed speed or kinetic forces.

    One thing I do want to point out is that we are getting off topic by talking about racing level safety and equipment vs HPDE. Track days serve a vital role in converting people from dangerous road racing, canyon driving to an introduction of high performance driving in a controlled environment. Even in the advanced/open passing groups the range in skill and experience is wide and varied that people attending such events should never consider it "racing". As such, attendees/drivers should not be driving 10/10ths...ever. As far as safety equipment goes, I support track days and lowering the barrier of entry with regards to equipment when compared to a sanctioned amateur/pro racing event. If the requirements for attending track days were too steep; perhaps we wouldn't all be here and we would still be causing hell on public road ways.

    I always tell students or new drivers that racing seats, harnesses and harness bars are nice to have but not necessary; provided that you as a person can safely fit in your street car with air bags and stock seat belts and can clear roof/roll bar without doing any kind of funky seating things to make it look like you fit (the roll bar test serves a purpose). But that once you go down the path of a harness, proper installation, seat and hans device are all required or else it does not serve the purpose of protecting you any better than the oem safety system.

    The questions we should really be asking ourselves in light of this tragedy are the following with regards to Track Days:
    1) Are we participating in a dangerous activity? Yes
    2) Should we always be mindful of our margins of error? Yes
    3) Should we minimize margins of error, decrease safety and increase potential risks unnecessarily? No
    4) When taking passengers should we be pushing beyond what's safe? No (especially for advanced/open/instructors; most passengers that we take will already be impressed with our skill/speed @ 60% effort)
    5) When driving someone else's car, should we push the envelope? No, we don't know how it's maintained, what it's operational capacity is, we don't know how it's setup or even if it is setup correctly, so again, wide margins of error.

    I have known Ivo/Renner from attending Xs and RTA events as track acquaintances and as everyone states he is definitely an all around good guy who is very very skilled in driving. Unfortunately, I know it will be tough to hear but this situation could have and should have been avoided. People will and have bashed Extreme Speed on social media with regards to this event, but the fact of the matter is if the same incident had occurred under the same circumstances during a Speed SF, NCRC, NASA or even an open test day, the results would have been the same.

    I absolutely agree with Ameer that sometimes you just got to go off, not just for your own safety but also for the safety of others. Throughout the day, I was near multiple incidents (including my good friend who I attended the event with) where someone lost control of their car and spun dangerously in the middle of the track. From the video though, I don't know how Ivo could have even reacted in time. The whole incident from traveling straight, wheel into the dirt, jack knifing, car into wall was over in a matter 2-3 seconds at most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanB View Post
    Dan was racing in factory five. This was back when the fields were large for the class in NASA socal. Two cars got together at the exit of the esses CW. Dan's car rolled. Oddly his helmet flew off and was some distance from car. At the time there was speculation about Dan's helmet. But the forces of an impact can't be underestimated, especially at the race speed on this section of track. I recall the car looking more like a ball when it came off track on the crane.
    Not trying to take this post off-topic, but I wanted to comment on the BW track conditions the wkd of Dan's race since I was there and still remember. Much of the off-track dirt areas at BW that wkd were still water-logged from the winter rains and hadn't fully dried. Hence any off-track excursions ended up bringing some mud onto the track. If you went off sideways, there was a likelihood the wheels could dig in and flip the car. This is what happened to Dan. The roll-bar in the FFR is useless in conditions like this.

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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Huh. I had the wheel yanked out of my hands after dropping two tires at laguna turn 4 triggering a spin and a wall kiss. Could have been a similar deal.

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    gptoyz, thanks for giving us the real account of what really happened in regards to Ivo's incident. That is very scary.
    So it must have happened right as he hit the brakes with his right tires accidentally in the dirt.
    Am i correct? Then it just shot him spinning to the left into the corner station. This means it had to be around 80-110mph impact. omfg.
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    here is a Google map of the corner.
    https://www.google.com/maps/@35.4894.../data=!3m1!1e3

    I don't think he spun during braking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pure EvoIX View Post
    gptoyz, thanks for giving us the real account of what really happened in regards to Ivo's incident. That is very scary.
    So it must have happened right as he hit the brakes with his right tires accidentally in the dirt.
    Am i correct? Then it just shot him spinning to the left into the corner station. This means it had to be around 80-110mph impact. omfg.
    So I didn't see brake lights on the video and at that point on a hot lap you should still definitely be on the gas.

    In most NA s2ks the dash is indicating ~110 ish just before braking; so I'm guessing in a track prepped e46 m3 with his skill level he would have to be probably in excess of 120 mph indicated.

    Also there was no spinning, it jack knifed him 180 degrees and the trajectory was straight towards the corner station. If there were spinning then at least that would have dissipated some speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gptoyz View Post
    So I didn't see brake lights on the video and at that point on a hot lap you should still definitely be on the gas.

    In most NA s2ks the dash is indicating ~110 ish just before braking; so I'm guessing in a track prepped e46 m3 with his skill level he would have to be probably in excess of 120 mph indicated.

    Also there was no spinning, it jack knifed him 180 degrees and the trajectory was straight towards the corner station. If there were spinning then at least that would have dissipated some speed.
    Sorry if i misunderstood your previous post. What do you mean by jackknifed? If contact was the right side of vehicle...he had to rotate 180deg hitting the marshals' post. Are you saying he might have had driver input towards the left after dropping the 2 right wheels to bring it back on tarmac, but instead it sent him off to the left side rotating 180deg.
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    1:53.396 @ BRP CW13 - 11/14/13
    1:47.2xx @ Laguna Seca - 11/28/10
    2:03.026 @ Thill CCW Bypass - 12/20/14
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    1:23.128 @ SOW CW - 7/27/14
    1:22.2xx @ SOW CCW - 7/26/14
    1:46.0xx @ ACS Roval - 11/23/14
    1:11.299 @ ACS Infield - 5/18/14

    Fastest Limited/Mod Class Evo in Time Attack at WSIR
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