Skip to main content

Nurburgring Fatality Highlights The Dangers Of Flying Cars

This weekend's Endurance Championship race at the Nordschleife - the historic circuit at the Nurburgring - was halted early after Jann Mardenborough's Nissan GT-R became airborne at the Flugplatz on the descent from Quiddelbacher Höhe, leaving the track and cartwheeling off the barriers over the safety fence and into the crowd.

Authorities confirmed that one spectator had died at the scene, whilst many more were injured. Mardenborough was uninjured and out of the wreck very quickly. The German police have impounded the remains of the Nissan, and no doubt will be looking for mechanical failure as a possible cause of the accident. The German racing authorities have banned high performance GT3 cars from the circuit indefinitely.

When cars get airborne the results are never good. At the end of the fast descent that leads to Flugplatz, Mardenborough's car will have been approaching it's top speed. Whether the young racer failed to lift over the notorious leap, or was travelling faster than normal because of a better exit from Quiddelbacher Höhe, for some reason air got underneath the front of the GT-R and once that happened a major accident was inevitable.

The Nissan seems to have stood up to the high speed impacts very well and on a modern circuit we would probably now only be talking about what a lucky escape Mardenborough had. 

The question now is: does the Nurburgring have sufficient spectator protection for the speeds that cars are reaching? Evidence would suggest not. Fortunately there was just one fatality yesterday, and the track's owners may get the chance to rectify the problems. If it had been more, government's and courts would have decided the fate of one of motorsports iconic circuits. 


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.