Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Off Road Racing

There was a tragic accident at an off-road race this weekend out in Lucerne Valley. A driver lost control of his truck over a jump and crashed into spectators, killing 8 people. I asked Randy about the California 200... it's not a scheduled JeepSpeed race but they do use that race course.

We're still nowhere near finishing our truck build so I've never driven fast off-road. I've also never been to a race yet but watching videos from Baja 500/1000, I saw how spectators like to stand right next to the track. I always thought that was crazy; one big bump or rock can cause the driver to lose control of the truck and take out lots of people.

Baja 1000 down in Mexico

Crashes, rollovers, and other accidents happen a lot at races so I'm not sure what could have been done differently at the race. They probably marked off the start/finish area and the pits but not sure how they would block off the entire 50 mile course to keep spectators back. In the end, people have to use common sense and stay away from speeding cars/trucks, whether at an off-road race or just on the street/freeway.

There's talk that BLM (Bureau of Land Management) may suspend all off-road races on public land which would probably kill off the sport. Something probably should be done to encourage/enforce safety standards but I fully expect politicians (most likely Democrats from an urban district) to get involved and make things worse -- increase the cost of racing with no safety benefits.

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