We have been reading a lot about fire systems lately, what with the announcement of Lifeline USA as an official NASA partner, but it’s not without good reason. Fire in a racecar is a big deal.
In this installment of Move of the Month, we see a real-world fire incident from NASA Texas racer Cory Mitchell, who was in his first year of wheel-to-wheel racing when the incident occurred.
“The car has a full fire suppression system, but in the heat of the moment it never crossed my brain. It was very odd, but that’s how it happened,” Mitchell said. “It was likely because when I first exited, it was just light smoke, no visible flames.”
With help from the safety personnel, he was able to get the fire out, which kept reigniting in places, and he did get repairs made in time to attend the 2021 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires at Daytona International Speedway.
Seeing a video like this makes you want to incorporate actuating the fire system in your emergency exit practice procedures. We’re glad Corey is OK, and that his car lived to race another day. Stay safe out there.
Even with a full fire suppression system, I still want a hand held extinguisher on board for fires that may not be in the range of the nozzles. For instance, if you pulled off course on a hot, dry track, the brown weeds could catch fire underneath the car. A hand held would get to it before the safety crew arrives.