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Old 03-09-2010, 07:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Fatality at CMP DE

Triangle Members,

As you may have heard by now, there was an incident during our Driverís Ed event yesterday at Carolina Motorsports Park that resulted in a fatality. The vehicle in which Tom Norby was instructing went off track and impacted a tree. Fire/Rescue and EMT responded immediately, however Tom died of his injuries at the scene.

Tom was a Carolinas Region PCA member and served as a Driver's Ed Instructor, having completed the PCA National Driver's Education Instructor training. He was 58.

This is a difficult time for everyone, especially Tomís family. Please keep Tom's wife Paula and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

A visitation with the family will be held in Charlotte, NC at Harry and Bryant Co., 500 Providence Rd., on Wednesday, March 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. The memorial service will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church, where he was a member, 1000 E. Morehead St., Charlotte, NC, on Thursday, March 11, at 4:30 p.m.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sympathies to the family and everyone involved. As an Instructor this really makes me think.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Forgive my ignorance, but... "a tree" ?! The only track that I have been to where a tree is within hitting distance is at Blackhawk Farms. (The "farms" should be a giveaway). I won't race at that track, I've seen people carted off in Flight-For-Life helicopters.

Road America and Autobahn are proper tracks with proper runoff, and not trees.

(I'm not trying to preach, just genuinely surprised that there are trees close to the racing surface.) It's easy for people to lay blame... but what does it cost to uproot a tree or two?

What a horrible accident, my thoughts go out to Tom's family. If it is any comfort, at least he was doing what he loved. (We all should be so lucky.)
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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By way of comparison, Autobahn Raceway, Joliet, IL is a relatively safe track.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't yet know the details, but CMP has more good runoff than about anywhere.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BRTHTAKR View Post
I don't yet know the details, but CMP has more good runoff than about anywhere.
Okay, sounds like it may have been a "freak accident." Again, I don't mean to preach... but it is very shocking.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRTHTAKR View Post
I don't yet know the details, but CMP has more good runoff than about anywhere.
+1

I've driven a Lemons race there and there didnt seem to be anything hittable around.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I started a thread to discuss the "Tree" and tracks in general
How 'SAFE' are the tracks you run?
Again, My sympathies go out to the family and friends of Tom
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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my friend literaly jumped over the trees at summit.... so ANYTHING can happen.

this is realy bad news, accidents and injuries are bad enough - this is just terrible for the friends and family and community.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I heard the news yesterday morning from a friend who visits the track frequently. Just awful. Our thoughts and prayers go out.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRTHTAKR View Post
As you may have heard by now, there was an incident during our Driverís Ed event yesterday at Carolina Motorsports Park that resulted in a fatality. The vehicle in which Tom Norby was instructing went off track and impacted a tree.
There was some talk on Rennlist that a tree branch penetrated the car and struck the instructor. The driver walked away. Prayer's for both families.
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Further information froma Mazda site:

I was there at CMP when this crash occurred, my girlfriend was two cars behind the incident when it happened. The car's power/driver skill/safety equipment/corner workers/safety inspections WERE NOT A FACTOR. I'll be honest, I'm a little angry to come back from the track and find this nonsense speculation on how the incident occurred.

A 911 996 had an upper radiator close clamp failure, it was a street car with the stock style spring clamps, and one partially slipped. The driver dumped coolant somewhere around Turn 8, realized he was losing fluids, and immediately drove off line, just like he was supposed to. Unfortunately, there were was a 930 following pretty close behind in the group, it was very cold that morning, and what happened was just unavoidable. Matter of fact, I've driven with the 930 driver before, he's a talented driver, and on this outing he was on his final check ride to move up to the next group. The corner workers did their jobs, the EMTs did their jobs, the 930 was a race prepped car with every piece of safety gear you can imagine. The driver in fact was completely uninjured. As near as we can assume, a tree branch must've penetrated the cockpit.

You need to keep in mind the previous day THERE WAS NOT A SINGLE INCIDENT. Not a single incident report, no car damage, just some mech failures. And that is with high horsepower cars, R comps, all different skills groups, and 28 degree temps in the morning. PCA puts on VERY SAFE events, what happened Sunday was a true freak accident.

I mean honestly, when we started running this weekend, track temps started in the upper 20s. If a fluid hits the track, and you run across that at speed, what are you supposed to do? Let's say Vince hadn't been next line, if my girlfriend had been two cars ahead, she would've hit it instead of him, and gone right off the track too. If Bob's little 914 wasn't so cold natured, he would've been the one in the trees. This is not the first time I've seen a car hit coolant before, when it happens, there just isn't a damn thing you can do, no matter how skilled you are or what car it is. Physics can be cruel.
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Very sad.
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