View Full Version : Viper vs E30 M3 at VIR [video]

07-02-2005, 06:23 PM
I came across this footage over on the SpecE30 board; it's from inside Chuck Grafton (http://www.nccbmwcca.org/forum/member.php?u=256)'s M3 during the Mazda Drivers' School at VIR, held June 18 & 19.


Mirror: http://jeffsweb.net/viperattack.php

All I can say is: Chuck's very lucky that the Viper was going so much faster down the straight and that its momentum carried it perpendicularly to where its tires were pointed. :icon_yike

Here's the story:

The driver in the e30 is my dad, it's a '90 Alpineweiss e30 M3, I'll
repost his account here:

"Yes that was me driving my E30 M3 at the Mazda Driver's School at VIR
on 19 June. We were in the B group and it was after lunch, most of the
group had been signed off and I was out working on my line and
smoothness. This incident took place on the front straight just past
Pit Out for those of you familiar with VIR, just
before the braking zone for T1.

I had seen the Vettes and Vipers behind me at the Roller Coaster and
Hog Pen areas prior to the front straight and let the lead Vette know
that I'd give them the point by on the front straight. As we entered
the straight I gave the first Vette and the second car, may have been
an NSX the point by and noticed that the Viper and a second Vette were
still behind me. I think that the Viper may have been a little out of
shape coming out of Hog Pen and had fallen back a little with the
Vette still behind him. I stayed off the normal line to give him the
line and apex at the tree just at Pit Out which is a little kink in
the tack.

I noticed that he was coming on strong and I gave him the point by
just about the mid point on the straight well before the apex point.
He still had plenty of time to set up for T1, although off line from
the normal entry point.

The Vette behind him backed off and fell in behind me at this point.
My speed was probably 110-115 at this point, normal for this part of
the track for me. I can only estimate the Viper's speed, but based
upon how fast he was closing on me, I would say he was probably closer
to 130 or so.

All I can truthfully remember next was that I heard him along side of
me, the Viper was still at WOT it sounded and next thing I knw he cuts
across directly in front of me as you saw on the video. The Vette
driver behind me told me later that he saw the Viper tap his brakes
and then all H*ll broke loose! I think that he probably realized that
he was carrying a lot of speed at basically the entry into the braking
zone for T1 and was not on the normal line and figured that he could
knock down his speed and move in front of me to get on the "preferred"
line for entry into T1.

Problem was that when he braked and tried to move left at the same
time, physics took over! I had heard that the Viper had had on "off"
earlier as well, just a little too much HP to be throwing around, I

So that was my fun, I'll have my seat cleaned off and be back at Fed
Ex in a little slower, safer, and controlled environment."

1996 328ti
07-02-2005, 09:56 PM
I want to know why Chuck didn't mention this at the day of the event.
I was in that run group.

07-02-2005, 10:57 PM
I was surprised that no one mentioned it on the board, when I realized the video was from Chuck's car...

That Viper driver must have had an angel on his shoulder -- he wasn't T-Boned by Chuck and he didn't flip sliding sideways off the track at more than 120 mph. (The Viper was sliding faster than Chuck was rolling - the distance between them actually increases as the Viper goes off.)

07-04-2005, 11:32 AM
I want to know why Chuck didn't mention this at the day of the event.
I was in that run group.

I suspect it took Chuck a while to calm down after that scare. He was showing everyone the video by the end of the day.