Wipe out at Phillip Island
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  1. #1
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Wipe out at Phillip Island

    Was on the news earlier, that one of teh guys who drives the VW wrote himself off at Phillip Island today in practice.
    Andrew McColl? I think.
    Possibly more on Channel 10 Sunday I'd imagine. Hit a wall at a rate of knots; from what I saw, it appeared to be wet & if I read the vague story right, it looked as though he travelled far enough to have had a roast dinner before he hit the wall. Looked a bit hard to fathom, possibly a stuck throttle to travel that far after he lost it. Not good. disappro disappro

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    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  2. #2
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
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    It was Stewart McColl.

    More information <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s920847.htm" target="_blank">here</a>. Sad when these things happen.

    I wonder if macquered was there? He wrote he'd be at Philip Island today.

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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Yep I was there.

    I saw the accident happen, and it was agonisingly slow to watch. He left the circuit at an odd angle at high speed and travelled over slippery wet grass for a long distance before slamming head first into the tyre wall. I guess the impact speed was around 110-140 kmh, it's a bit hard to tell.

    It was a real shame as it was the last lap of qualifying and the Golf's had just placed themselves on 1st and 2nd (McColl) on the grid. By far their best outing yet. The Golfs looked very well set up and they sounded bloody angry.

  4. #4
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    very sad.... frown

  5. #5
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    It seems strange. It used to be that nobody ever got killed in touring cars, but now it's more frequent than ever.

    Since 1986 when Mike Burgmann died at Bathurst there has been four, from memory. Don Watson at Bathurst, Gregg Hansford at Phillip Island and now McColl at Phillip Island.

    How can this happen when he hit a tyre wall? Did belt mountings fail? Was the belt not done up? Something strange, it seems.

  6. #6
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Ray,

    It would be fair to guess that a lot of lightening goes on in these cars as mechanically most are on the limit and doubtless a bit cut off here & theremay not be all that noticeable from a scrutineers viewpoint & the best engineering practices in the World are only theories until put to the test. The other point I suppose is that the basic shells would not be tested to horsepowers & speeds these touring cars are capable of & again a purpose built vehicle goes beyond the bounds of tests done ex-factory.
    The other interesting point that I would imagine will be questioned, is how did he miss the "kitty litter" as from the quick shot I was that night on TV, there didn't appear to be any in the area where he bailed out.

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  7. #7
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Of course, Alan, the harness mountings would have been only partly to the original belt mounts (the lower ones)... but the speed of the incident would seemingly be well within any manufacturer testing speeds.

    I await some clear information on what actually went wrong. For instance, it could have been a poor seat mounting and that the damage was done on the rebound from the tyres?

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    I'm not sure that anything went wrong during the impact, as the speed that he carried across the grass was massive. It was a big hit.

    There wasn't any gravel trap there as he left the track at an odd angle, not the usual angle that you would take if you misjudged the corner for example. As you can see from the pics, the tyrewall looks to be woefully inadequate given the speed that he carried through them.

    If you remember a few years ago there was an accident at Eastern Creek with a Giocattolo. I witness that one too, and the two accident bear a chilling similarity to each other.

    There are some photos of the scene after the accident here;

    <a href="http://www.pbase.com/brenno/pi&page=all" target="_blank">http://www.pbase.com/brenno/pi&page=all</a>

  9. #9
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Please tell me exactly (and I mean exactly) where it happened. I can't work it out from the photos.

    As for the Eastern Creek incident, that joker was going heaps faster.

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Ray,

    No doubt Todd was going faster, but the impact speeds in the end could have been similar. I guess it's too hard to tell anyway.

    Here is a pic detailing roughly where it happened.

    <a href="http://www.pbase.com/image/20224827/" target="_blank">http://www.pbase.com/image/20224827/</a>

    Green line - tyre wall.

    Red line - his path as he left the track.

    Does that help?

    <small>[ 11 August 2003, 02:32 PM: Message edited by: macquered ]</small>

  11. #11
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Thanks for going to that trouble...

    Though I have seen a car go off there before, it's not all that common.

    Lousy map, by the way, hopelessly inaccurate in the section that's been altered.

  12. #12
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    CitroŽn Tragic UFO's Avatar
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    Perhaps the reason he left the track may be because he had a blackout or worse? It is not that uncommon for younger people to have these probs even though they seem at the peak of their health.

    Still, whatever the cause, it is always saddening when someone dies like this in the public eye. frown
    Craig K
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  13. #13
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    The general talk with Todd Wilkes though was that the throttle had jammed wide open but I never heard the results of the inquest. If that's the case, Wilkes had about 1000 Horses pushing him into that wall at Eastern Creek.
    My guess with this guy would be if he hit so hard, he possibly snapped his neck.
    Brings back a few memories of the time Gricey "adjusted" Moffats angle of approach in his RX7 at Surfers; mallet he covered some real estate too and if he hadn't clouted that tree stump, I think he'd have still been going. eek! eek!

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  14. #14
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    That Eastern Creek thing was something else... he kept his boot in it to see how fast it would go after the end of his run, I reckon. And misjudged how much room he had to pull up.

    On another forum they say McColl had been in two laps earlier with his brakes on fire.

    But even so, it was a relatively low speed impact.

  15. #15
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Todd had around 1300-1400hp to play with at the time of his run at Eastern Creek. The sheer acceleration that this thing was incredible to watch, and then complete dismay when he couldn't brake in time.

    I don't think there was any mechanical failure there. The organisers of the event simply didn't expect cars with that sort of power to run, in my opinion.

    The charges were dropped at the inquest, and the whole thing swept under the carpet.

    Craig - the exact same thought entered my mind as well. I've also thought of sun position, seagulls...etc.

  16. #16
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Sun position? He was headed north...

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Yep and it is winter so the Sun was high but could have affected his vision. May it didn't, it was just an idea.

    Here is a quote by someone from the VW dealer team (posted on another forum)

    What I say here is based on the information which I have received from
    various sources at the track . I wasn't at the actual scene so I cant
    really describe what happened .
    This happened during qualifying about the 5th lap . He got onto the grass
    and slid into the wall . There were no mechanical failures . The onboard
    data logger say he was doing 180km/hr . He died instantly due to either
    internal head injuries or a broken neck. If the airbag was fitted it might
    of saved him . He was a really good driver and gave a lot of feedback
    during sessions . We were placed 1 and 2 on the grid positions and broke
    the lap record by 0.4 second . That weekend we saw the highest of highs
    and the lowest of lows . We won't be continuing the rest of the year and
    next year has a big question mark over it .
    Stewart McColl , 23 , black R32 Golf No 20 .
    We will remember you .
    Seb
    <small>[ 12 August 2003, 03:06 PM: Message edited by: macquered ]</small>

  18. #18
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    It's all so strange... how does the data logger drive sense speed?

    If he was on wet grass, then he would have either been braking (in which case the rotating wheels would be stopped... and so this would be indicated by the data logger... or he would be trying to slow it with the engine deceleration... again, this speed isn't consistent with those circumstances.

    Braking against a jammed throttle? More likely, but why didn't he turn it off?

    Too many mysteries. And the speed of the impact was still not consistent with the outcome, not if the belts were right and the seat was right. Unless something was pushed up into his face, of course...

  19. #19
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    I know Ray, so many things to think about. I just can't get the image of him gliding across that wet grass out of my head.

    I'm guessing the data logger showed that he left the track at 180 km/h, which is consistant in that corner I am guessing. It didn't look like an *impact* speed of 180km/h but it's hard to guess these things in the circumstances.

    The Golfs had very loud exhausts, and I didn't hear anything that sounds like jammed throttle, or an engine under load.

    Are you saying that he should have survived an impact at that speed? (my estimate was 110-140 km/h)

    I can see these things being popular at the next round;

    <a href="http://www.hansdevice.com" target="_blank">www.hansdevice.com</a>

  20. #20
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I can quote instances of higher impact speeds... front on collisions.

    John Keran straight into a tree at Bathurst, about 1970 in an XU-1 for instance. He might have broken a leg or something, but I don't remember.

    The one that really worried me, though he was okay, was Garry Rogers side on into the wall at Amaroo. That would have been at that speed, as would have Steven Richards' similar hit at Lakeside in the Alfa.

    I'd have to think about it, but I know I've seen others. And without the tyre wall, and for all that it might have been minimal, at least it was something.

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