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Thread: Atom rollover, rollbar collapse, kills occupants? Ever happened?

  1. #1
    Lepton
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    Atom rollover, rollbar collapse, kills occupants? Ever happened?

    Cascade Sports Car Club hassled me AND a friend both about our rollbars. The story that they tell is that somewhere, someone in a "fake Atom", rolled it, the rollbar collapsed, killing the driver, AND the instructor. As a result of this, they wanted to drill holes in our rollbars to verify the thickness.

    Does anyone know anything about this story?

    I realize it's THERE track (for the day at least), and they can run it however they want, but if they have something against Atoms, and Atom drivers, they should just say so, and stop BSing about some story.

    For the record, this is an OLD story from them, back before the Altra frames existed, so it's not one of them.

    (When I was there last year, they wanted to drill holes, I told them they'd give me a refund, and I'd leave before I let them touch my car. And a couple of months ago, a local friend tried to enter one of their days with HIS Atom, and was told that they wanted to drill him as well.)

    Any truth to this?

  2. #2
    Neutron
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    People have died in an Atom, but no public reports of roll overs.

    Thanks for letting me know to go to the track armed. Come at my car with a drill Im going to consider that reasonable for use of lethal force.

    Ask them if they drill holes in A pillars of convertible miatas.
    the high profile toy thrower

  3. #3
    Lepton
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    I'll never ask them anything, because that would entail being at their track events, which I never plan to ever be again.

    I've pointed out their stupidity, and they blame it on "The insurance company" always. Anything that you ask for them to change about the way that they run their trackday is impossible, due to "insurance". (Never mind that all the OTHER groups do it.)

  4. #4
    Up Quark
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    I doubt that any of the Altra frames are in driving condition yet. I have the 2nd car of the first shipment. And mine is still in work.

  5. #5
    Neutrino
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    At least 1 atom did crash with casualty, however, not a roll over, and it doesn't have the roll bar (unless you're calling the hoop a roll bar)

    Belgian Auto Journalist Killed In Test Drive Crash

    Can you elaborate if you're stating the track wanted to drill the factory hoop, OR the extra additional roll bar?

  6. #6
    Ion
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    Trivia;

    Cascade Sports Car Club uses the rule book of the "International Conference of Sports Car Clubs".
    That rule book states that roll bars are to be made of a minimum of 2 inch dia .120 wall tubing With a 1/4 inch inspection hole, to check wall thickness.
    I know that has been used since I first got involved with road racing in 1979.

  7. #7
    Neutron
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    regardless of rules (they never threatened to drill my roll bar on the track days I've done with them in the past), I'd be curious if this rule only applies to non-standard cars like the Atom. If a Miata convertible shows up with no roll bar do they drill a hole in the A pillar of just not let it in?

    These are track days, not racing. You have an instructor in the car, you dont get to pass unless you have a point by on a straight. Seems quite excessive to drill a hole in one car for "safety and insurance" and then let any other car off the street onto the track.

    Edit: and no one should argue that the Atom is inherently less safe and needs this extra precaution. I've been behind the guys with their 500 hp vettes who have never done a track day before acting like it was tokyo drift. I'd refuse to pass them so that I would not get run over.

    (rant not directed at you pdxmac)
    the high profile toy thrower

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolus View Post
    Seems quite excessive to drill a hole in one car for "safety and insurance" and then let any other car off the street onto the track.
    Yeah that sounds odd. Which insurance? At the track days I've been to I had to sign a lengthy disclaimer waiving the club's responsibility for anything that could happen to me, and at the same time accept my liability for any damage that I were to cause to the track / facility.

    Also fwiw I had asked some people at Nasa NE if they'd be cool with an Atom doing their HPDE / TT events, and they seemed to be open to the idea (and also they politely suggested that it might be too much of a car for me ). Another club I ran with had a Formula Vee in the group, so I can't imagine they'd be too fussed about the Atom, either.

  9. #9
    Proton Terry Kennedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankRizzo View Post
    Cascade Sports Car Club hassled me AND a friend both about our rollbars. The story that they tell is that somewhere, someone in a "fake Atom", rolled it, the rollbar collapsed, killing the driver, AND the instructor. As a result of this, they wanted to drill holes in our rollbars to verify the thickness.
    AFAIK, no "non-fake" Atoms have had rollover fatalities. And, offhand, I can't think of one where an instructor was injured in an Atom. There was an early (Brammo days) incident where an AAE instructor was struck by a tent anchor in the paddock, but that didn't happen in a car.

    The biggest issue on the Brammo cars w/ individual seats is that the rollbar may not be high enough due to the increased seating height of the driver.

  10. #10
    777
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    No matter what the wall thickness, the factory Atom roll bar is nothing but useless extra weight unless it is modified with cross and forward bracing like the Spec Racer. The hoop over the air filter is useless as well but it looks good.

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