What Does Racing Teach to the Street?
Dr. James R. Adams, Jr., M.D., Tachyon Sports Injury Research Foundation
Published: February 02, 2002
This article first appeared in the February 2002 issue of Roadracing World & Motorcycle Technology.
Our group began studying motorcycle racing injuries about two years ago. Safety has been a hot topic in all forms of motor racing over the past several years. We have seen this active interest in motorsports safety over the past several decades and it doesnít take a lot of thinking to realize that as speeds on the track have increased more systematic attention must be paid to all of the elements involved in order to keep up with the advances in performance of the machines. Tracks that used to be safe when speeds were lower have become the site of serious injury and death. Experts in the field suggest that this is largely due to the fact that kinetic energy increases with the square of the velocity.
"Safety Fast"- advertising slogan of MG/BMC (British Motor Corporation).
As we worked with the riders and drivers involved in these racing incidents, some of the patterns of injury on the track began to contrast with the injuries I was seeing on street riders in the Chicago area Emergency Rooms where I practiced as an Emergency Physician. At first I thought it was simple case selection, the random differences that all injuries tend to present. But later as we were classifying the race accidents into our protocol, it became more obvious that street injuries had a classification of their own. More important, the related factors began to change as we asked more questions of the victims who were able to talk about their accidents. Then, the report called the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety was made available. It formulated an interesting collection of information done with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which organized a "Technical Working Group" composed of representatives of the motorcycle press, law enforcement, the insurance industry, representatives of the motorcycle industry, the federal government and the MSF itself.
This ambitious project involved two years of meetings and discussions that led to the publication that outlined the future research needs that would answer questions related to making riding safer. It was to serve as a guide to future research, to legislation, and other programs that have come to characterize our governmental approach to modern life. It is an interesting read.
"Safety is not the equivalent of risk-free" - U.S. Supreme Court, 1972.
Being racers at heart, we were happy to see that the Supremes had figured out that things like racing would never be risk free, but that we agreed that there was plenty that we could do to help improve safety. As we developed our plans, it became clear that what we were seeing would make for interesting research, but that the lessons were usable now, by real people. The publication in medical journals could consume a year or more, and who reads medical journals? Our foundation board has chosen to present our findings in magazines that reach riders and racing participants. As our data increases into larger numbers with longer follow up, there will be plenty of time to write the scientific papers. As the months passed, we have seen the patterns emerge so clearly, that writing about them now for real people who can use the information seems to be both timely and proper.
Controlling The Speed And The Kinetic Energy: Bike Control Comes From Experience
"We hold these truths to be self evident" - Declaration of Independence.
The problem of motorcycle accidents isnít necessarily speed; it is more the control of the speed that counts. Taken further, injuries are related to the kinetic energy of the sudden stop. While this seems elementary, this control of the kinetic energy of the impact is the reason for the huge difference between racing accident and street accident injuries: We must control elements of the impact. The control of these elements is better at the track.
Controlling the speed is controlling the motorcycle. It is well known that the first year, indeed the first month of experience, is critical in the life of the new motorcyclist. In the Chicago area a large number of accidents end riding experience before 200 miles and within the first month of operation. Compared to cars, bikes are low in cost; young riders can afford a bike more easily than they can afford a car. Compared to cars, there is nothing with four wheels that can beat a 2001 600cc motorcycle to 100 mph. This speed can be reached between some stoplights in our city. Stopping and turning alone is a special skill; add an SUV with a cellular phone user and a chuckhole and you have the setting for a fatal accident. There are few beginners on the racecourse; there are no SUVs, and usually, there are no potholes.
The best case for a crashing rider is good run-off room in front of walls, something found at better road racing tracks worldwide. Here, Sete Gibernau demonstrates. Photo by Sportsphotography.
The key to the safe control of speed is rider training and practice. There is no substitute. The street rider must be able to control his machine or he should not be on the street. A Motorcycle Safety Foundation course or its private equivalent can provide up to 10 hours of direct controlled practice for the beginning motorcyclist. With the MSF course, you donít even have to own a motorcycle. These programs should be mandatory, and enlarged so that waiting times are shortened. Those of us who value the sport and want to put something back into it should sign up and help teach these courses. Licensing should require this sort of organized training with no exception. Insurance companies should require it, too. There will still be those who ride without a license, but there are some folks that you canít ever reach.
I can hear the howling now. More regulations, more restrictive laws! But hold on a minute. These laws may never be passed anyway. It is not even worth the time and effort that such a move would take. The solution to all this rests with each and every motorcyclist. It is not the job of some state legislature; certainly it is not a job for the American Motorcyclist Association. It is the responsibility of each of us to prepare ourselves for riding a modern bike on the street. So take the course! Do your work. Let other folks waste their time trying to pass laws and influence nothing.
And besides, such laws wouldnít make you safer by themselves anyway. Unsaid in all this regulatory, bureaucratic and totally totalitarian licensing talk is that one MSF course and a monthís fair weather riding does not make you skillful or safe. It is only a start! The only thing that can make you safe is a lot of miles; probably more than 5000 miles. If you never ride except when it is sunny, youíll take a couple of years of weekends to reach 5000 miles. Do it. It is part of taking control of your life. It is part of learning to ride "fast and safe".
As time passes I suspect that gasoline prices will continue to rise (or rise again), and this may lead to the increased use of scooters and motorcycles in our cities as real savings can occur with their use in terms of gas costs and parking costs. Congestion could be reduced as smart people spot the obvious advantages of two-wheeled transportation. (ëBeen to Spain recently? If so, you saw the hundreds of bikes and scooters ridden daily by people of all ages. Have you tried to drive from Denver, Colorado to Boulder around 4:00 p.m. in the past year or so? Try it, but bring coffee.)
The fun of riding your motorcycle to work will justify changing your commute into a practice session, but this is in the future. There is more to it than just buying a bike and using it to drone down the street or highway. The skill level needed to do this just isnít enough for truly safe operation. Your bad habits will coagulate and youíll start to daydream like the old days in a car. Reach for the next level! This means a controlled environment like a racetrack.
In the past one had to sign up for one of the advanced schools to get this training, but it was worth it in terms of improving your skills. For a fee, the rider could obtain direct instruction on motorcycle operation in a class that was usually run by dedicated and skilled teachers. It was held at a racetrack. This was the best way to get to the next level of motorcycle operation. Now there is a new variation: Track Days. Sure, the instruction is less, but for a reasonable fee, now we can have a controlled racecourse environment with the opportunity to put in some serious track time at our own speed as we learn how our bikes work in the safer environment of the racetrack. Our group believes that motorcycle safety will be increased if more riders begin taking part in track days.
The increasing popularity of track days has the greatest potential of all in creating skilled riders. Immediately let me say that this includes all types of motorcycles: Cruisers and touring bikes, small and large; sport bikes are a natural, but there is no way to learn your bikeís true cornering and handling dynamics better than the way that you can learn it on the track. Some motorcycle dealers have already caught on. One of my sons works at Bellís Suzuki in Lexington, Kentucky; with several other area dealers, former racer Roger Bell sponsors a track day for his customers. He and his staff ride there, too. It works out as a good day of shared experience and is a lot of fun.
The next-best thing to run-off room for a crashed rider is Air Fence. This lucky soul at Road Atlanta for the WERA Grand National Finals found Air Fence rented by the Roadracing World Air Fence Fund. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
The motorcycle industry should get involved again. I can remember when American Suzuki used to throw in a riderís school (run by Team Hammer) with the purchase of any Suzuki sportbike. Would that those days return! Let all the manufacturers support this movement. I am sure that they might cite that common excuse of "restrictive problems with litigation in America" for not wanting to do this, but how about some litigation for not properly training a buyer of a machine that will approach 190 mph right out of the box! The largest print in the world about potential danger doesnít change the torque curve on a liter bike, anymore than a small-print disclaimer changes the grade of an expert ski slope on a sunny March day at Aspen. But donít get me started. Letís be responsible for both our speed and for our own safety! That is what freedom of choice is all about.
We need to encourage this new trend. There is room for all serious motorcyclists at track days. I want to share the public roads with men and women who seek this kind of skill. We are an incredibly small minority on the roads of America, and we should make room for all motorcyclists in these sorts of programs. It will help the tracks to prosper and it will serve as a clear sign to people who follow our example as to what it takes to be part of this wonderful sport. This ideal may sound strange to some riders, but when you consider how rapid bikes have become, and how roads in our cities and towns have become so congested with traffic, that the track is becoming a true and useful alternative to learning things the hard way. We might even see the track day costs decrease if we were using them more frequently. Think about it. Imagine taking your bike to the track and letting it run the way it is supposed to run without any unmarked cars around! Letís make this happen.
In the meantime, there is more that we can do right now as we consider safety more closely. The other difference between street riders and racers is what the racers wear.
"If you have a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet." - Bell Helmets ad, circa 1968.
The great helmet debate isnít so great. It is closer to the discussions between 4th graders about what to wear to school in order to be like their friends than it is a great discussion of human rights and governmental power. Call it peer group pressure, call it anything but donít try to sell it as freedom of choice. Freedom from thought is more correct. High School Physics class teaches the issues as it explains kinetic energy. For those of us who are not so good at physics, the impact of a bug on our hand or face mixed with the force of the wind over 80 miles per hour is a good clue; Speedvision shows us the firmness of concrete and curbs and the wild flailing moves of the 180-pound human body in either a highside or lowside accident and can demonstrate how protective layers of foam, fiberglass, Kevlar and leather for the head, face, extremities and body are good ideas.
We have seen abrasions at race courses when gloves come off or are literally ground off in a stop that lasts 100 yards or more involving the kinetic energy of 176 feet per second, but come to my ER on a warm summer night and see large sheets of young body skin scraped off in accidents so slow as to have enabled the properly attired rider (or his girlfriend, someoneís daughter) to have walked away with no injury at all. Needless pain, needless disfigurement, and we havenít even gotten up to real speed yet.
These are the needless accidents. These are the areas that should be addressed directly: These injuries do not need to happen at all! And, peer group pressure works both ways. If we wear the right gear, others will wear the right gear. Donít be like the herd. Be unique and set the style. The commercials show that the champion racers do use proper gear; letís make a point of wearing proper gear in the commercial message. Donít use the leathers and the helmet merely to show that the famous racer or make the talking head"look" like a racer; make it part of the appeal of the pitch. A dealer or the company could combine selections of proper apparel with the bike at the time of sale.
This can also be a generational thing, we parents should make rules for our kids who may be offered rides on other peopleís bikes in the same way as we make rules about when they should come home. If our teenager is the one who has the bike, we must make motorcycle operation dependent on proper skills and the use of this safety gear. (While youíre at it, use seat belts in your car as wellóI am still stitching up faces from windshield injuries on adults and kids alike!)
The fact is, that many of the injuries that come to the ER alive can be reduced in seriousness or eliminated completely, if riders who can control the machine use proper gear. We donít need a 500-case research study to prove this, and neither do we have to learn all these lessons on our own. These accidents have already happened; they are history. They are lessons that have already been taught. These accidents can be prevented by training and common sense.
This is bad news for a crashed rider, in the form of a wall without anything in front of it, also at Road Atlanta during the WERA Grand National Finals. Heíd still be worse off if heíd crashed in traffic on the street, wearing a T-shirt and flip-flops. Photo by Pete Smakula.
An ambulance crew arrives to assist the rider who hit the wall at Road Atlanta; at the racetrack, EMT crews reach injured riders in a matter of minutes. Photo by Pete Smakula.
Less than 15 minutes after impact, the injured rider is loaded into an ambulance at Road Atlanta, for transport to the track medical center or a local hospital. Photo by Pete Smakula.
As speed increases, the bones begin to break and graver injuries begin to happen. Still, the differences between road and track remain, but it becomes more environmental. Face it; most racetracks are safer than Lake Shore Drive (the site of the highest speeding ticket in Chicago, set last summer by a guy on a Honda F4 at 160 mph). On the street, the proximity to obstructions means there is little or no time for the kinetic energy to be taken out of the injury equation. One immediately breaks a leg against a curb or a car. A bike ends up in the trunk of a car, or over the first car and into a second. The human body decelerates from 45 mph (or 90 in a 45-mph head-on) in 3.0 feet. Bones break. Meanwhile the same Saturday, a racer comes off his 996 at 120 mph and is up chasing his bike before the machine comes to a stop. Such is the magical effect of run-off.
There is no run-off in the city. Here we see the bones sticking out of the thighs; we see the fatalities, the concussions, the paralysis, the effects of huge forces that suddenly are brought bear on outstretched arms and legs. This proximity of the abrupt stop makes even the properly clad rider at great risk. You may break just above your AlpineStars, or have your well-gloved hand catch on a curb. But never think that racers are doing the most dangerous thing; the street is where the danger is. You cope with this danger by applying your riding skill. It is apparent that focus and attention are as important on the street as they are on the racecourse.
Authorís note: After I resumed riding on the street after two seasons of racing, (we were using my original streetbike as our racebike) I was amazed at how dangerous the street seemed as I noticed gravel on the sides of the road, patches of fallen leaves, puddles, cars coming out of blind driveways and chuckholes. I had the feeling that I was riding better than before I started racing. I was certainly seeing my surroundings better, but I am sure that I am riding slower on the street as well.
After you pass 80 mph, the injuries to the human body begin to become more alike between the street and the racecourse. Kinetic energy has gotten to the level where even the properly attired human body in the controlled racetrack setting has a difficult time getting rid of the kinetic energy associated with an accident. We can move the walls or use Air Fence at a race course, but the city street remains just as dangerous as before. Over 80 mph can be reached in second or third gear on nearly all current motorcycles. Some of them are still in first! The chance application of too much throttle on a quick machine can reach these speeds with astonishing ease. At these speeds the skull becomes only a thin covering for our gelatinous computer. Our internal organs are still moving at 100 mph as our body collides with the pavement. We begin to become victims of forces that we cannot control. In this violent setting, we have no more protection. The laws of physics and chance determine the outcome.
At high speed, there is only judgment and skill to help us. This scenario brings us to another important difference between street and track: Alcohol use. No one drinks and races, but ER life tells us that apparently many drink and ride motorcycles and drive cars.
Drinking and Riding
"62% of (riders in) fatal weekend night motorcycle accidents were intoxicated." - Traffic Safety Facts, 1998.
And we know that the victims of those fatal accidents were not the only riders drinking on that weekend night, the parking lot was full of them, but most made it home (physics and chance at work again). The fact is, that drinking and riding are completely incompatible with safe operation of todayís motorcycles. Alcohol changes your balance, your judgment, your reaction times, and your ability to perform the specialized skills that are needed to properly control a vehicle with only two contact patches. There is no way to suggest that drinking and motorcycle operation are not directly linked to safety. When the rider goes down combining the elements we have discussed above, everything gets worse. The accident is more likely to happen, the speed is likely to be greater, and it happens in an environment where the rider (and passenger) is at the greatest risk: Literallyóon the street.
From the doctorís point of view the arrival of an ambulance with a rider who is intoxicated represents another accident that most likely never needed to happen. So what are our preliminary conclusions? So far, it is our groupís impression that most streetbike accidents have a significant relationship to rider error. We donít want an argument over old statistics; we are talking about each of us today. While technical fault and negligence can be assigned to many of the automobile drivers involved in car vs. bike incidents, we feel that the alert motorcycle rider has the last best chance of avoiding the accident, despite issues of legal right of way, in most road encounter situations.
The Issue Of Technique And Motorcycle Vehicle Dynamics
As oneís experience in urban riding increases, improving bike control shows that if you are alert, you come to control the important space where your bike is located and most important, you are controlling the space where your bike is going to be, in the next 10 to 15 seconds. You do this with experienced control of your environment, by looking "way down the road" and being aware of the evolving traffic patterns around you. This is the way racers ride every weekend. It works on the street, too.
With todayís agile machines, you seek to position yourself in such a way as to anticipate the flow of traffic ahead of you and behind you as you choose where to place the motorcycle in terms of the evolving traffic pattern. A standard city street is wide for the motorcyclist in comparison to the same relative space needed for a car. The agile nature of a high performance motorcycle makes it possible to have several choices (accelerate, turn, brake, or some combination of any or all of these moves); in the same situation the automobile driver may have only one or two of these options. (e.g. turning or trying to stop). Making things worse in the road situation, like it or not, most car accident victims never saw the accident shaping up. Most times in the emergency room I am told that the motoristís first clue is the sound and the jolt of an impact. These are the people who share the street with you, you suspected it all along, and itís true.
Fighter pilots use the phrase "situational awareness" to describe their role in three-dimensional aerial environments. It is the same for a motorcycle rider. This scenario of situational awareness linked to the skillful control of the control options of your motorcycle is the key to safe riding at any speed. It makes it possible for you to avoid the threat of surrounding vehicles as you watch road surfaces and other city variables like dogs, bicycle messengers, Volvos and kids playing ball.
This focus and situational awareness is one of the great attractions of using a motorcycle. We are part of our surroundings; we must seek to control those surroundings so that the bike we are riding becomes part of the safe areas instead of being surprised by unanticipated developments. We know that cars (drivers) do unpredictable thingsÖ We know that left-turning cars can literally not see us. If we do not see them, then we are part of the problem. If we are going too fast to anticipate, we are going too fast. We control that. Gradually this becomes the challenge of efficient riding in the city. As we master these concepts, we become smoother, faster, and safer. So letís ride more. Letís be smooth and fast. With proper attention, the safety becomes more automatic. And as I have said before, see you at the track.
The History of the Tachyon Sports Injury Research Foundation:
The article above is the first report to come from the Tachyon Sports Injury Research Foundation. (Tachyon is a theoretical particle that has no mass and which travels at the speed of light.) This was the name chosen for our race team as my sons and I began racing three years ago. Later we came to see that injury research was an interesting area for study, and we realized that if a racer had no mass there would be no injury, since kinetic energy, the force of injury, becomes zero if there is no mass. If you were a Tachyon, you could not be hurt!
The report describes the interesting differences between motorcycle accidents seen on the street in comparison with our formal interest in racing injuries. Here is how it all got started.
A few years ago, I changed lanes on my Yamaha TDM riding home from work in the rain. The front end went out and I crashed during rush hour in Chicago, sustaining my first concussion. I was walking about with no memory of the event for about 45 minutes. I did not know that paramedics had come and gone. I did not know that I had been talking to a highway patrol officer, and I was shaky for several days as this concussion caused a weird gap in my life. Apparently some concussions are difficult to spot. Paramedics who were on the scene later told me that I seemed unhurt.
Strangely the scene was repeated at Laguna Seca when I went off just after the corkscrew. Again I did not recall the impact. A team of paramedics returned me to the paddock where I was walking around as I regained awareness, wondering what I was doing there (I read the sign saying "Laguna Seca"). The CT scan was normal.
About eight months later, I observed one of my sons sustaining a concussion at IRP during a WERA Endurance event. By then, the idea had taken hold. It was clear that amateur racing had its risks, and that as we all took part in racing, our safety was directly related to the kind of treatment we received at trackside. Since I was an Emergency Medicine Physician during the week, I had participated in paramedic training for a number of years. I realized that there was an opportunity to add training for working at motorsports events to the EMT curriculum.
As we attended races, I asked around and found that actually, no such training was in place. The paramedics relied on their basic teaching and added common sense, all the while working under the rules established by their own Emergency Medical Services organizations. (EMS systems). The following fall, I developed a trial course and presented it to the South Cook County EMS system. Things went all right and we figured that by making it a foundation, or a non-profit Illinois-based corporation, we might be able to expand it into a viable teaching program.
Meanwhile, our race team continued to enjoy competition with WERA and CCS. As the events happened and we met more friends, we saw more incidents and participated in a few of our own. During this time, as bikes became more and more rapid, the safety issues were growing. Controversy at Loudon, Daytona Beach and Sears Point showed that some sanctioning bodies were sometimes at odds with the riders regarding safety. At the same time, the car racers in CART and NASCAR were discovering their own, similar issues. It was clear that Formula 1, CART and NASCAR would develop their own trackside safety programs. It was also clear that many more racers were amateurs just like us. We needed to begin to improve our chances by learning what was involved and by taking what we learned into the classroom and training paramedics. More important we had to be able to do it on our own, not just talk about it. Along the way we have learned that there are a lot of paramedics who have worked trackside for years. And certainly they already have something to teach us!
A magazine called Racecar Engineering had been describing the work in Formula 1 for several years. Data Acquisition systems were being used to define accident situations and being applied to racecourse design concepts. Engineers were creating packages that were safer for drivers with attention to details of accidents that that been thoroughly investigated.
I have been connected with motorsports nearly all my life. My first direct memories of accidents dated back to 1955 when a Mercedes Benz launched off the back of an Austin Healyóin a speed differential situationócrashed and exploded in the crowd. Its magnesium body burned, and the driver and more than 80 spectators were killed. That same year, Bill Vukovich was killed as he tried for another Indianapolis 500 victory.
Fire was a big danger in those days. Mainstream journalism was about the same, calling for bans, for changed rules, and all the rest. As time passed, the safety situation became more and more important as racing vehicles became faster and faster. Inside racing, the attraction remained the same. Racers will always race. But the realities of design change in tires, vehicles, aerodynamics and racetracks began to show that we were applying the lessons learned.
Bill Simpson started from nothing and created a company that was devoted to improving safety in auto racing. He started with parachutes to slow drag cars, then expanded into fireproof suits, helmets, shoes, gloves and other accessories. Fuel tanks were changed, roll bars developed into cages. Words like "run-off" appeared. Different course configurations began to address issues that in the past had been ignored. Gradually the idea of safety became an idea that had a place in the day-to-day operations of everyone involved with racing. Today, we are all familiar with Air Fence.
Still, accidents would happen, but all the while, lap times dropped and our vehicles became faster. Horsepower, tires, brakes and car construction improved. From time-to-time even the best were caught out: Jim Clark, Wolfgang VonTrips, Jochen Rindt, Ayrton Senna, Dale Earnhardt. And at the same time, in far greater numbers, there were injuries and deaths that were not in the news as, all over America, amateur racing of all types continued to grow. Racing events take place on dirt ovals, drag strips, kart tracks and at fairgrounds. These accidents were folks just like us: Regular people who had regular jobs each day. They were doing it then for the same reason that we are doing it now. Motorsports combines the best there is of the social and individual factors that unite a wide range of individuals in the spirit of athletic competition between men, women, and their machines.
So, as we came to see this right before our eyes on each race weekend, we formed Tachyon Sports Injury Research Foundation. Each board member brought some area of needed learning and experience to the group. We have photographers, business people, physicians, computer experts, racers and race engineers at the table. Our goal is to learn from our studies and translate the lessons into good paramedic teaching and to reach an improved understanding of how the elements involved in high-kinetic energy injuries in all forms of sports that expose participants to this kind of risk.
Our method is to study all elements of the competitive environment: The site, the machine and the participant. A major area of our early learning is to understand track layouts one-by-one, all over the nation. Starting in the same way as you learn a course for racing, we will then explore surfaces, run-off, walls, the transitions between the areas and the topography of the layout. Weíll record this information with still photos and on video. Track evaluation is a never-ending process as we have discovered that courses change from year-to-year, particular in climates that include winter; particularly where four-wheel vehicles race.
In the meantime, we will add to our number of actual accidents. When we are at the course, weíll get as close as possible to the scene. Weíll question participants and watch the process of pre-hospital care as it happens. In situations that we donít directly observe, we will use direct interviews; questionnaires and a series of follow-up interviews and question sheets. In certain cases we will follow up at intervals that are dictated by the nature of the injuries as the days and months pass.
Meanwhile, as needed further background, we are beginning a five-year prospective project where we explore the effect of overall health, diet and fitness with a long-term study of five riders where we will record in-depth information about health, diet, exercise and sleep patterns, work schedules, and the time spent working on the race teams involved leading up to each event. This exiting project may give us clues as to what works, what can be developed and show us how health habits relate to racing performance.
As we as we are recording accidents and their short and long-term effects on riders, we will also start a study of data acquisition information to learn about the vehicle dynamics associated with conditions that happen before the impacts. This has been done in Formula 1 and with CART, and dynamic data is used in isolated research involving impacts that are directly related to racing situations. Finally we suspect that we will come to combine these different factors and learn what it takes to tune out the dynamics of instability by combining the rider input with the machine reactions.
Along the way, we expect to see how the protective gear functions in extreme situations, weíll see the effects of weather (heat, cold, and rain), of how the level of competition and literally how the time of day affects participants in these high-kinetic-energy settings. Finally, we suspect that vigorous sports have a lot in common. We expect that there is crossover between the work that is being done with other sports that can be directly applied to our sport. As we learn our lessons, we will take that knowledge and expand it to include other sports such as automobile racing, rock climbing, equestrian sports, cycling, downhill skiing and other contact sports.
This work is fascinating. As our story unfolds we believe that we will see patterns that will not only improve safety, but also patterns that will lead to better performance, better consistency, and faster, more consistent amateur racing. I hope that each of you will be able to help us as we link your stories and information into patterns that will show us more about how to be more consistently fast and safe.
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