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Caymudgeon
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I want to share a few pictures and words of advice after a recent incident I had at Road America.

I've been doing 3-4 DE events per year for about 10 years, with a few minor off-track excursions and a blown engine in my former 987S. Over the years, I've seen quite a few wrecked cars but never bent any metal myself until June 15 at Road America, where I lost control thru the infamous "kink". It's a high speed turn and I was probably somewhere in excess of 90mph when I started to slide a little thru the turn, went two wheels off, got back on track but continued to slide down middle of track, did a slow 360 spin, and finally went into a concrete barrier a hundred yards or so past the kink on the inside of the track. I hit the front right corner of my 2014 CS hard into the concrete barrier, probably going somewhere around 40 mph. It's a testament to the safety of these cars that I didn't really feel much other than a little blown airbag dust in my lungs. Who knew that knee airbags are a thing?

At first the damage didn't seem too bad, but later inspection by a Porsche-certified body shop revealed a lot of hidden structural damage to the front end and thus the car was totaled. Fortunately, I had purchased track insurance so my monetary loss was significantly less in totaling the car than it was when I blew the engine in my former 987.

Lessons learned:
1. Buy track insurance! I used ontrackinsurance.com. Other than the elapsed time of over 2 months to settle my claim, they handled everything extremely well. I expressed a strong preference to total the car and they were able to oblige.
2. When you buy track insurance, make sure you get the valuation right. I had my car valued appropriately and thus I received a settlement that was more than fair. If I had under-valued the car, I would have been significantly penalized in the settlement.
3. If you have an incident, get your car to a Porsche-certified body shop, even if you have to get it transported several hundred miles away. The independent adjuster who was initially assigned to my claim was mostly clueless about the aluminum construction and repair procedures for newer Porsches. His initial estimate was far lower than the body shop's and I credit the body shop with making sure the estimate was appropriate. The last thing you want is a repair bill that balloons past the threshold for total loss after repairs have already started.
4. Know your limits on track. Sliding thru corners is fun but sliding thru a high speed bend is not cool if you end up losing control. PSM will not always be there for you.

I'll be taking a break from the track for a while but hoping for a new BGTS for Christmas.
 

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Thanks for sharing your lessons learned. Just looking at those pictures and the fact that all your airbags blew, I would have guessed a total loss. Glad you walked away unharmed.
 

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Wow! Great post. To my untrained eye, it sure doesn't look like as much damage as it is.
 
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The independent adjuster who was initially assigned to my claim was mostly clueless about the aluminum construction and repair procedures for newer Porsches. His initial estimate was far lower than the body shop's and I credit the body shop with making sure the estimate was appropriate. The last thing you want is a repair bill that balloons past the threshold for total loss after repairs have already started.

Unfortunately I too have lots of experience with serious car damage. I have no idea who your initial adjuster was, but it's not uncommon for the preliminary repair estimate to be below the dollar threshold for totaling a car, but it quickly escalates after damaged parts are removed from the car and other significant damage is "discovered." Happened to me twice.
 

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Thank you for sharing your experience. Not everyone would take the time and want to be as open.
Glad you were not hurt and the final result will be a good one.

Track insurance is a must on a car of this value.
 

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Terribly sorry to hear about your incident. I looked into track insurance for my GTS and it was in excess of $400 per event :(
 

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Thanks for sharing your experience. This type of incident has been on my mind a lot lately as I contemplate another track day. I have done 5 track days so far. Three in my "10" Boxster and 2 in my "13" Boxster S, and as fun and exhilarating as the track days are I am reluctantly coming to the conclusion that my pockets are not deep enough for this hobby. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to own such a car, and I have an absolute blast with it, but as for the likelihood of wrecking it on the track, it seems inevitable. The $600 a day (with insurance) price of admission also seems extravagant to me. I wonder if anyone else here is in the same boat.

I am glad you are safe and are going to be made (mostly) whole.
 

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"I wonder if anyone else here is in the same boat as me."

I paid cash for my Boxster.
I owe no one for anything.
I purchase no Track Insurance, so have already saved.
We have major insurance policies and and a major Umbrella Policy.
But we don't insure every single thing we own nor do we file claims for small losses so basically we are self insured for small losses. Over the decades it amounts to a LOT of money.
I view any loss as part of the experience.
I have run 7 events at Road America.
The kink to Canada Corner is still intimidating to me.
You have to make up your mind over what you can tolerate financially and emotionally.
If you are still paying for your car and/or cannot tolerate the Track insurance costs either financially or emotionally, then the decision is made for you.
But, no one else can make the decision for you.-Richard
 

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Interesting how little visible damage there was in a car that was written off; glad to hear you were unhurt.

I saw a new CS go off @ Mid-OH last fall-at madness coming down the hill--hit the fence and rolled, with both air bags deployed and the driver (very experienced) was still upside down in his seat when I went by. He was also insured and didn't take that big financial hit of a TL.

I guess the moral is it can happen at any time, even with experienced drivers. Insurance is great--if you can get it (not in OH) and afford it.
We've been been doing DE's for 14 years and self insuring, mostly due to the fact that OH's archaic insurance laws prevent companies from offering the product to state residents. I'd like to to think our good fortune will continue going forward..
 

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"I wonder if anyone else here is in the same boat as me."

I paid cash for my Boxster.
I owe no one for anything.
I purchase no Track Insurance, so have already saved.
We have major insurance policies and and a major Umbrella Policy.
But we don't insure every single thing we own nor do we file claims for small losses so basically we are self insured for small losses. Over the decades it amounts to a LOT of money.
I view any loss as part of the experience.
I have run 7 events at Road America.
The kink to Canada Corner is still intimidating to me.
You have to make up your mind over what you can tolerate financially and emotionally.
If you are still paying for your car and/or cannot tolerate the Track insurance costs either financially or emotionally, then the decision is made for you.
But, no one else can make the decision for you.-Richard

I also paid cash for my car, have plenty of various insurance policies (umbrella as well), but these will not cover my car on track. I cannot say that I owe no one for anything as I do have a mortgage. The cost of the track insurance is the killer for me, cost quite a bit more than the track day itself. Running without it would definitely make the difference, but running an $80,000 car without it would put the loss in a zone unacceptable to me.
I am thinking I would rather get a dedicated track car at <$20,000 and run it without insurance, than run my $80,000 luxury cruiser, which to replace right now would be a stretch.
Obviously everyone is in a different financial position, and the decision is mine alone. I am just trying to figure out the best way financially (and I guess this ties into emotionally), to continue to participate in this awesome hobby. Auto-cross is certainly a bargain but it's just not the same as we all know.
 

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Caymudgeon
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
As I gained experience in DEs, I found myself pushing harder, and it became clear that insurance was a must (for me). Without insurance, I would have been reluctant to push the limits and the whole DE experience would have been less fun for me. Maybe I got what I deserved but I don't have any regrets (except for hitting that wall, of course). I'll probably be looking for a less expensive dedicated track car at some point in the future.
 

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I subscribe to the "if you can't afford to track it you can't afford to own it" philosophy. Of course when a car is new you go 7/10th's just out of preservation and to get oriented with it. You figure out what's weak about the car and make a few improvements, like brake pads or tires or suspension tweaks. As the car gets towards the end of its useful life (to you), you start doing 9/10th's and this can happen.


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I've been doing DE events for 7-8 years and have a couple of observations:

-" I drove it to the track and I'm driving it home in the same condition" is a pretty good mantra.
-There is no money to be won in DE. Let the inevitable faster car go by and not let the "red mist" get to you.
-Don't emulate the fast driver in the fast car as it may be the car not the driver. Study or follow the quick driver in the slow car.
-The instructors at Porsche Driving School leave the electronic "nannies" on, they never interfere with their driving and they drive our cars beyond what we can ever imagine. And, not near 10/10ths.
-All HPDE insurance companies are not priced the same, nor do they price the same at each track. Road America being a prime example.
-If we were all to get together and say " Here's a great idea! Let's insure nonprofessional drivers in high power cars on race tracks." The resulting premiums would be far higher than we are quoted.

Glad everyone is OK.
 

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I subscribe to the "if you can't afford to track it you can't afford to own it" philosophy.


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That is, I respectfully say..... Hogwash
 

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It's funny. I just had a discussion with my wife before reading this thread. I made the decision early to ALWAYS have track insurance. It is a nonstarter to take that kind of risk with a car worth $85K.

What my wife and I spoke about is the risk to my life. I am driving a street car with 3-point belts, no Hans and no roll cage at speeds which are terminal when you hit a wall. I am getting very fast at Sebring. This is not a boast but a contemplation of what I am trying to do. I decided that a dedicated track car and full out racing is not what I'm trying to do. I'm just having fun. This is where I'm hitting my asymptote of my abilities versus safety.

HPDEs are fun but I think after this year I will look at lower involvement. I've seen too much BS around me tho think I can control my own destiny.
 
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As a trivia note "Mr. Brown's" Cayman S has been on E-bay over last few weeks. Perhaps sold once.. perhaps not but price seems higher than i thought it once was now.... $41Kish.. The first time i saw it i thought "why is the price that low and then of course i pretty quickly realized why... porsche cayman s 2014 | eBay
 

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Sorry to hear about the accident. The pics certainly don't look too bad like you said. Glad you had the insurance sorted out there ...
 

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Caymudgeon
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
As a trivia note "Mr. Brown's" Cayman S has been on E-bay over last few weeks. Perhaps sold once.. perhaps not but price seems higher than i thought it once was now.... $41Kish.. The first time i saw it i thought "why is the price that low and then of course i pretty quickly realized why... porsche cayman s 2014 | eBay
That's interesting, I had not seen the ebay listing until now. I like how they stuffed the airbag back in the steering wheel and also the picture with the warning message "check side marker right". Just replace that side marker and you should be good to go. :) The car does run and drive as stated, and there's a chance it will still have a clean title, which is a bit scary if it falls into the wrong hands. I assume the insurance carrier sold it to the dismantler that has it listed now. This probably explains why the settlement took so long; they were trying to sell on ebay before writing me a check.
 

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I would be surprised if that tub is still square...thats a pretty good hit.
 

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sorry to hear about this incident. glad you're covered mr_brown.

just wondering how it felt as it was starting to spin and what the car felt like on the limits...
 
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