Race Safety Plan

So, you are going racing!  Have you stopped to think about the associated issues with the sport?  Not everyone can set a land speed record, complete the Baja 1000, or lead 500 laps in stock car racing.


I remember back in the day when I installed a high lift cam in my vintage Corvette.  I could not wait to try it out.  The GM spec indicated ¼ mile time of 13+ seconds.  The parts guy said, you will get at least 50 more horsepower.   My eyes lit up.  Quick calculations added up to suggest I could bury the needle.  Lets do it.  My mechanically inclined partner told me about a deserted stretch of local pavement and off we went.  Measured out the distance, got out the stopwatch and promptly smoked the tires  Several attempts later, and Yep, I knocked a whole 2 seconds off the spec ET.


What I did not figure on, was the wear and tear on the driveline.  On the way home, I heard a funny noise from the gearbox.  All that extra horsepower had played havoc with the clutch and pressure plates.  Several hundred dollars later, I came to the conclusion that I did not have a plan.  The extra HP certainly helped the ET, but ruined other components.  What the parts guy did not tell me was I also needed to make sure my drive train would be able to handle the power.


Having learned a valuable lesson in the dynamics of being faster, I needed a sensible method to help me.  With that in mind, lets explore the bakers dozen items that can get you started on the road to success.


In a nutshell, we will cover the listed points in basic form.  Perhaps you can be more successful if you review the information and really seriously take stock of your dream.


Some points of information will contain references to legislation and general safety ideas.  Remember!  Is not just a helmet and roll bar, and I will be ready to go popularized by Ronny and the Daytonas little GTO song from the 60s.


If this information helps, take what you need, develop your business plan and get down the road!


1.  Scope
You really need to define what it is that you wish to accomplish.  Like any business decisions, you need a plan.  Be realistic.  Achieving a record or living the dream is possible, but you need to plan the path.


2. Hazards
There are many hazards associated with racing that include driving to and from on most city streets, commuter highways, or on goat trails to the venue.   Driving on the track presents its own unique hazards.


3. Safety
Ultimately that task of ensuring your own safety, the safety of your team, and others you may encounter, belongs to you.  All businesses required a business plan.  Let us look at it in a different perspective.  It really is a Management System that includes Safety in everything that you do.


4.  Inspections
As a business, it is a responsibility to inspect and repair defects to your equipment.


5.  Responsibility
As was stated in Section 3, the responsibility of everything that you do as a business and personally belongs to you.  You cannot transfer liability to a 3rd party (insurance notwithstanding).


6.  Communications
Staying in touch with your team, sponsors,  the event organizers and your emergency contacts are vital in any business.


7.  Safe Work Practices and Procedures
I can pretty much guarantee that this is a topic that will have you scratching you head.  Whaddaya mean?


8.  Emergency Planning and 1st Aid
You remember Murphy, he is the guy who invented the rules.  Crap happens!  I asked you to think about communications in Section 6.  You need to think about those things that can and do go sideways.  Travel companions must be included in your plan.


9.  Incidents
Let us revisit with Mr Murphy.  An incident is defined as an unplanned or undesired event that leads to harm of loss.   No one plans to have an incident on the road or at the racing venue.  As part of the overall plan, you need to understand the consequences of an incident.


10.  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
I discussed the need for Safety Equipment for the road, but you need to be protected as well.


11.  Dangerous Goods and the Environment
As consumers, we really do not think about the chemicals, fuels etc that we use every day.   When you are in a business, you will need to consider how to deal with any incident that involves dangerous goods, (also called Hazardous Products).


12.  Drugs and Alcohol
Who is responsible for ensuring that you or your team are, and remain drug free before and during your racing?  Everyone is aware of, and understands that there is no place for illicit drugs or alcohol use or consumption with regard to racing.  Celebrate the rewards of success or the agony of defeat, after the racing is done.


13.  Training
As part of your overall Management System, you need to think about receiving the proper instruction and training, before you enter or register. Having a Driver license does not mean you can drive a race machine.



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