Following Jeff’s presentation, a true racing hero was introduced in the person of Bob Bondurant. Bob paid a touching tribute to his friend, a recently departed all-time great, Dan Gurney. He explained how they managed to win as a team (in the GT class at Le Mans in 1964 with a Cobra “Daytona” Coupe), overwhelming the three Ferrari prototype cars that eventually finished ahead of them only because of a minor technical issue. Bob also described his major, career-ending accident in his Can Am McLaren MK2, his adventures as a consultant in John Frankenheimer’s “Grand Prix” movie, his driver training of actors such as James Garner and how the Bondurant Racing School began in modest conditions at Orange County Raceway in California. Bob also signed autographs for many enthusiasts in the packed audience.
Next was a drivers panel with Swedish born, NHRA’s Funny Car star Jonnie Lindberg, IndyCar veteran Oriol Servia from Catalonia, and all-American young lady driver and already an established champion, Courtney Crone.
All three were involved in major crashes, shown for the audience in video, and described by the panel’s guests on how their advanced equipment as well as the safety improvements on their racing cars saved them from major injuries.
A special last minute addition was Troy Lee, helmet painter extraordinaire, racer, and great supporter of motorcycle racing safety. He was able to demonstrate to the audience, with himself as a designated volunteer, the effectiveness of the “Lid Lifter” balaclava as a simple and very effective helmet removal device, greatly reducing the chances of added neck damage after an incident.
Long Beach Grand Prix Association’s President Jim Michaelian, himself a fierce racer and a great supporter of the Foundation, visited the Seminar and gave us words of support and encouragement in our education efforts.
Julia Daly, a specialist in head trauma recovery, explained that impacts to other parts of the body can jar the brain enough to concuss the brain. Your head (helmet) does not need to hit something to cause a concussion. She gave a list of symptoms to look for in a possibly concussed driver, and how to deal with them. Accurate determination however can only be made by a qualified doctor. A short video was shown, demonstrating from a minor crash how easy it can be for a concussion to be experienced.
Following Julia was track EMS safety expert Joe Powell, who very efficiently and with an unimpeachable humor, explained the pitfalls of neglecting some very basic precautions any racer should take before even jumping in his racing car’s cockpit. Those included asking “just how well equipped is this track to handle a medical emergency?” Joe is a great asset to the Foundation and we thank him very much for addressing items not often considered by racers.
Next up, Robert Calisi, pointed out a series of no-cost or low-cost safety tips, including a simple one that every racer should keep in his garment bag, a drivers’ medical and emergency information chart. This allows medical personnel to contact the injured driver’s relatives and allow for emergency medical interventions in critical times. This simple list can save lives. He also urged taking advantage of the personal, emergency medical information feature built into your smart phone.
To conclude the Seminar, Dr. Jacques Dallaire discussed keeping the right focus on the job at hand, driving a racing car, by demonstrating how distractions can cause an on-track mistake through information overload. Understanding this will help improve focus for the driver, hopefully decreasing mistakes.
Immediately following, a nice lunch was served providing opportunity to mingle with the speakers for further questions and inquiries.
The Stand 21 Safety Foundation gives our special thanks Jim Michaelian, Wilfried Eibach, and the SAE of Southern California, for helping us make this and future seminars possible.
Thank you to everyone who came to this seminar. Your safety is our passion, and we look forward to seeing you at FUTURE EVENTS!
We would also like to thank the organizers:
Don Taylor, Sharon Gustaves, Whitney Oostra,
and Philippe de Lespinay.
"Racing Goes Safer" Driver Safety Seminar
44th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Saturday April 14, 2018
Long Beach, CA
Now in its 7th consecutive year, the Stand 21 Safety Foundation’s, Racing Goes Safer, driver safety seminar, presented to a standing room-only audience, a series of informative presentations by some of the most qualified experts in their respective field of auto racing safety.
This Seminar began with the introduction of the Foundation founder and Stand 21 President, Yves Morizot and his son Romain, who is now Vice President of the famous France-based safety equipment manufacturer.
IndyCar’s Director, Jeff Horton, was next discussing the research and development, in collaboration with PPG and Dr. Terry Trammell, behind IndyCar’s improved head protection project. Using Opticor, an advanced material developed for the F16 fighter jet aircraft’s windshield, a taller windscreen able to sustain high-speed debris impacts as well as abrasion resistant was developed and tested on a current Dallara Indy car, at several venues by IndyCar driver Gabby Chavez among others. It shows great promise in protection as well as in its critical optical properties. A video was shown, clearly making the point that this might be a good solution to greatly reduce the kind of grave head injuries sustained by drivers in the past few years, causing at least one death. This development can lead to more protective windscreens in other types of racing.
Bob Bondurant and Stand 21 Owner/Founder Yves Morizot
Julia Daly, PT, DPT, ATC
Jeff Horton, IndyCar Director of Safety
Troy Lee, Jonnie Lindberg, Oriol Servia, Courtney Crone, Don Taylor (Racing Goes Safer Foundation)