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Fatal Crash at track event in CGT

NetViper said:
Sad news.


I did not know Ben, but I am nonetheless very sorry to read the news. I wish the best to his family. Same for the passenger that died in the accident.

Those of you that frequent the Rennteam forum might know him.

How sad.

That wasn't the Ferrari Driving Club event was it?
It wasn't the FDC but it was the FOC event.

Ben was a super cool guy that took his CGT to Crystal Cove a lot.

My thoughts and prayers go to his wife and family as well as to the family of the passenger.

Be careful out there guys and girls. Even in a controlled environment accidents happen.

Godspeed Ben.
Damn....thats Ben...super nice guys...Just talk to him on saturday!! I feel SICK now!!! :mad: ...RIP Ben... :frown: :frown: :frown: :frown: :frown: :frown:

I don't feel like driven anymore!!!

that's ben CGT..


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Don't know any of the parties but my condolences to all the families - especially the passenger. Part of what upsets me is the apparent situation.

This is taken from pelicanparts click here

"The person driving the vehicle who was behind him (Ferrari Stradale) just called us and told us what happened from his view. He was first on the scene. He said the GT past him at over 150mph as they eased onto the straight a way and was traveling close to 165mph when he saw the car swerve. He got his car stopped and was first on the scene. One person was DOA and the other (driver) passed away in the helicopter enroute to the hospital.

What happened with the pit marshall:

Marshall saw the GT coming and gave the Ferrari owner the "GO" Ferrari guy hesitated.. looked back at the track.. passenger was shouting "GO".. then marshall says "STOP" and the Ferrari guy takes off.

Now: If the GT was moving at 165+ and the pit marshall wasn't familiar with cars generating that kind of speed (I'm doubting he was a CA Speedway employee) I could easily see how a split second hesitation on behalf of the driver could really mess things up.

This sucks. The passenger had just jumped into the GT. He was thinking about buying one and wanted a hot lap in it. Several of the FOC members are on their way to his house to "inform" his wife."


Edit - not a parade lap. I can live the rest of my life and never read of another mindless tragedy like this on any board.
I keep getting chills reading this. Indeed sad for everyone involved. RIP Ben and passenger.
So, did the pit marshall send out a car that got in the way of the Carrera GT and caused it to swerve?? Sorry, but I am not clear on that....either way this is a very sad event. :frown:
Meeyatch1 said:
So, did the pit marshall send out a car that got in the way of the Carrera GT and caused it to swerve?? Sorry, but I am not clear on that....either way this is a very sad event. :frown:

That's what it sound like. based on Pelican's site.

Sad, truely Sad. R.I.P. :frown: :frown:
Meeyatch1 said:
So, did the pit marshall send out a car that got in the way of the Carrera GT and caused it to swerve??
Maybe, maybe not. It's not clear that the car that went out actually got in the way of the Carrera GT; it's possible the Ferrari stayed to the left and the Carrera GT swerved anyway. The car entering the track has the primary responsibility to stay clear of other traffic (usually there is a "blend line" to separate entering cars from those already on the track), but cars already on the track still need to be cautious when passing the entrance from the pits.

It's difficult if not impossible to assign fault based on the various descriptions that have been posted, here and elsewhere.
Even though most of us have never met a bond is made thru mutual likes and keyboard strokes, it's a very tragic and sobering feeling when we loose someone that is very much the same as us.Living and driving on the edge is what makes our sport what it is. My thoughts and prayers go out to both their families and freinds Vaya Con Dios.

Some new information posted on the news site referenced in the OP.

"The 2005 Porsche Carrera GT went out of control, left the inside track and careened onto the grass, hit a barrier and caught fire at 10:40 a.m. Thursday, San Bernardino County officials said.

The passenger, Corey Nicholas Rudl, 34, died at the scene. The driver, Benjamin Miles Keaton, 39, was airlifted to Loma Linda University Hospital, where he died about an hour later, according to the county coroner's office.

The La Jolla men were not burned but died of crash injuries, Supervising Deputy Coroner Randy Emon said.

Both men were wearing helmets and safety belts but the car was doing more than 100 mph when it crashed, authorities said.

"The driver's side was in good shape, but the passenger side was obliterated," Emon said.

The accident occurred while the track was being rented by the San Diego chapter of the Ferrari Owners Club, speedway spokesman Dennis Bickmeier said."

This has troubled me all day. Prayers go to the families and let's all double our efforts to be safe on the track.
I'm sorry to hear about Ben. I've been lurking on 6speedonline for the past couple of years in thoughts of purchasing a 996 TT. Ben, lj's post have always been respectful and admirable to all forum members. My condolenses to his family as well as the passengers family. It's very sad to read the posts on 6speedonline but at the same time, it is truly respectful how many people in that community has come together to post a message or two describing their condolenses and sadness.

I met Ben a few months ago at the local Carlsbad, Ca. exotic car meet a few months ago. He was a very nice guy and very approachable with his GT. Needless to say, I am very sad to hear this. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. R.I.P.
If it truly was a case where the pit marshall flagged out a car that caused this accident, I can only imagine how guilty that guy must feel. Events like this are amazing in how small of an error it takes to cause ones demise. :(
Meeyatch1 said:
If it truly was a case where the pit marshall flagged out a car that caused this accident, I can only imagine how guilty that guy must feel. Events like this are amazing in how small of an error it takes to cause ones demise. :(

I with others have been filling the role of track Steward at our local HPDE/HPDS for some 2+ years now, and I can assure you as much as we try to carefully plan when a car is released to avoid cars zooming at 110+ mph when entering the track, incidents like these while they are rare, statistically will happen. Fortunately we have not had one, but read the scenarios below.

Only two weeks ago I faced more than once what appears to be a similar situation - if alleged description is true. The track sessions were at full capacity so finding a window to release cars onto the track was getting to be difficult with over 1 minute waits on the hot pit. In one situation, I released a car with a strong go, go and motioning with my hand (happened to be a Ferrari) and he stalled after 4-5 car lengths. By the time he fired it up again and eased out to the track he merged just in front of cars coming down over 110 mph to the braking zone on the track. On another occasion, after a driver was sitting for a while for an opening, I motioned with hand signals and verbal yells go, go and he keeps looking at me as if he didn't understand, by the time he decides to "inch" forward it was too late and then he wouldn't stop because the adrenaline kicked in and he went without further eye contact. A third scenario is when I was holding the driver while discussing with the flagger an issue; the moment I turned my body away from him, he assumed he was clear and took off.

So, who is at fault, how guilty should the Marshall feel? There is always an inherent risk at being on the track.

The driver is always told to make sure when entering the track to check his/her mirrors for coming traffic as well as drivers on the track are always asked to be watchful for cars entering the track. YMMV.
Something is wrong here nobody should die at events like these...I call into question the following...

1. Porsche Carrera GT...does it have enough safety features...and why does it not come with a full safety harness application?

2.Was this driver error or track marshal error?

3.Was passing allowed?

4.FOC...better call a lawyer.

5. Are the barriers too strong?...meaning can they be made to provide a better dispersion of the high amount of kinetic energy going into the barrier...

Ben was well know to my co-worker his friends...

Maybe I am just...frustrated...sorry for all
A very sad day.

This is what goes opposite to everything I tell my wife as to how safe racing (at club level) is.

At my local track, I ALWAYS see safe turn 1 blends. (yes there are some idiots) There is a blend line, and if the car stays in the blend line, blending is effective. I as a driver always look at pit-out when blasting by, and make a decision as to "push" or "back off" (depending on my location to car @ track out, and speed rate of both cars.

If the F-car did hesitate, the GT should have had no problem just keeping line and pass it. The only thing here is IF the F-car crossed in front of the GT, then this guy should be shot!

I hope some changes are made to the config of the event, and wall location.

godspeed Ben
It would be the best if theres a STOP & GO light at the entrance into the track, and hopefully it can eliminate the communication error between driver and course worker.