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This morning a 996 dumped coolant on the track at our region's first DE, and the resulting slick resulted in the biggest tragedy our local program has ever witnessed. The problem was definitely caused by a slipped upper coolant hose clamp of the factory spring type design. The resulting crash caused by antifreeze in the straight away lead to a car going off track at speed into a section of trees, and despite the formidable safety equipment on the car in question, the most serious consequence of our recreational activity did occur.

Tomorrow I'm going to begin investigating how to have all of my hose clamps changed over to a more reliable type, probably the old fashioned worm screw design, and I HIGHLY encourage the rest of you tracking Caymans and 911s to do likewise. I WILL NOT return to the track until this issue is rectified. I cannot make it anymore abundantly clear how dangerous it is to have a coolant spill onto a hot track, and in this case, I believe it is an avoidable problem. Please be safe out there, and consider the possibility for failure here.
 

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I hope that no one was seriously hurt! I hate those damn spring clamps also. A little warning, don't over tighten the screw on the bands as that may damage the hose and cause it to leak and/or fail.
 

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A tragic loss.....funny how we don't associate paying the ultimate price when we get out on the track. We just did our first DE of the season here in north Texas and had a great Saturday with no major track issues.....today was a different story with the rain coming down. We still got out there, granted there were fewer of us, but we all know the risks we are taking when we grid up. An event like this causes one to rethink things.....for me after two some what daring runs in the rain I decided to call it quits for the day so that I could return for another day.......sorry for the loss of fellow DE enthusiast.
 

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The problem was definitely caused by a slipped upper coolant hose clamp of the factory spring type design.

Tomorrow I'm going to begin investigating how to have all of my hose clamps changed over to a more reliable type, probably the old fashioned worm screw design, and I HIGHLY encourage the rest of you tracking Caymans and 911s to do likewise.
It's a shame to hear of such a serious accident happening.....however do not overreact to it. It was an accident, and it could have happened even with a screw type hose clamp. There is nothing wrong with spring clip type hose clamps and we use them in our manufacturing plants for many of the hoses on our machines, which are worked harder than a car with many operating for 12+ hours per day, and we have no issues with them in the many years we've been using them.

If there was seriously issues with spring type clamps then could you seriously see so many major manufacturers using them?

Personally I don't think there is a need to change all of your hose clamps....but of course it's your choice.
 

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The quick solution to the antifreeze problem is to stop using antifreeze on the track. It's not an easy thing to do in the Spring around your part of the country due to the potential of freezing. Many race organizations either prohibit antifreeze or strongly suggest not using it. It literally turns the track into a skating rink.

A yearly inspection of hoses and clamps along with a planned replacement schedule for hoses and clamps should be on all of our lists.

It's a shame that someone has to be a beacon for change.
 

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The quick solution to the antifreeze problem is to stop using antifreeze on the track. It's not an easy thing to do in the Spring around your part of the country due to the potential of freezing. Many race organizations either prohibit antifreeze or strongly suggest not using it. It literally turns the track into a skating rink.

A yearly inspection of hoses and clamps along with a planned replacement schedule for hoses and clamps should be on all of our lists.

It's a shame that someone has to be a beacon for change.
I kind of agree with Alan - you're never going to completely prevent coolant leaks from occuring on the track, and even if you are diligent in checking your own hoses/connections, you can never be sure about the other guy/gal. So ultimately, no antifreeze is the solution; unfortunately, changing the coolant on our 987s is not an easy matter.

Terrible misfortune for those involved. . . :(
 

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Not everybody knows or accepts the risks. Family members left in the wake of such an event are not necessarily given to chalking it up to fate and letting it go at that. Don't be surprised if litigation is on the horizon regardless of waivers and releases that may have been signed.
 

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I kind of agree with Alan - you're never going to completely prevent coolant leaks from occurring on the track, and even if you are diligent in checking your own hoses/connections, you can never be sure about the other guy/gal. So ultimately, no antifreeze is the solution; unfortunately, changing the coolant on our 987s is not an easy matter.

Terrible misfortune for those involved. . . :(
+1. The dilemma goes further. If you ban antifreeze you'll dramatically reduce track day participation, which could be a big financial hit to some tracks. It will also make track days nonviable for a lot of people that use street cars. Even with a car that is simple to drain and fill, changing coolant is not a 30min operation.

I don't know for sure about Porsche, but some automakers will void various parts of your warranty if you run pure water. Running pure water reduces the boiling point of the coolant, I would guess about 40-50F.

The issue that causes hose clamps of any type to fail is often alignment and positioning. Even the factory can get that wrong. The real fix is metal braiding and AN fittings. Expensive, but much more reliable. On the Cayman really expensive...
 

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While this incident is surely tragic, I've generally considered track driving no more dangerous than street driving, especially recently. No one is ever drunk, texting, or talking on a cell phone during track driving. Cars are inspected. You're wearing a helmet. There are certain things in life that one must take risks to enjoy.
 

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That is a real tradgedy and I feel for the families of the victims and those directly associated to the event by their presence on the day.

I guess it is a risk we all take, but like many others not something that we really think about until we experience it first hand at an event.

Unfortunately the sport can never be completely safe, if you ban antifreeze, does that mean we should ban oil in cars too. At a recent event a turbo, blew a turbo and sprayed oil over the track, thankfully the car pulled off pretty quickly and the marshals were on to it and no other incident.
 

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that is a heck of a way to start the season off but it really highlights the importance of a good tech inspection particularly on the older cars. Hoses do not last forever and should be replaced but that is something we often overlook
 

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It's a shame to hear of such a serious accident happening.....however do not overreact to it. It was an accident, and it could have happened even with a screw type hose clamp. There is nothing wrong with spring clip type hose clamps and we use them in our manufacturing plants for many of the hoses on our machines, which are worked harder than a car with many operating for 12+ hours per day, and we have no issues with them in the many years we've been using them.

If there was seriously issues with spring type clamps then could you seriously see so many major manufacturers using them?

Personally I don't think there is a need to change all of your hose clamps....but of course it's your choice.
+1

In the industry I'm in, failures of sorts occur all the time in various equipment. Immediate reaction on the part of some is to get rid of the offending item, assuming that whatever replaces it is better - without solid proof of such nor understanding the underlying cause.

As for replacing hoses and clamps often - not necessarily a clear way to reduce the risk either. Replacing things more than necessary exposes equipment to failures due to installation procedures which can often make things worse.

As for replacing coolant with water - it'd stop me from DE's and may more than likely cause other mechanical failures as another poster noted. Don't overreact, but it would be good to hear a thorough analysis of this failure if/when one becomes available.

My condolences to those involved.
 

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I ran a 944 turbo in GT3S making near 400 rwhp. I did not use antifreeze. I used water wetter with distilled water. No problems with temperatures or the water pump. I also ran my NSX on track with the same setup. Again, no problems.

When I ran in HSR they preferred running without antifreeze. I wonder what they are doing in the Interseries?

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I agree about banning antifreeze, that will eliminate a lot of DE participation. I think in this case the age of the clamp probably was a huge factor, the reason my kneejerk response was to question the clamp design was actually because of reading a thread on this very forum a couple years ago. Apparently a Boxster had also lost all it's coolant on track, along with another Cayman. I'm probably going to have a look at mine to head off any future problems.

I also so completely agree about a certain level of risk at DEs, damn right it comes with the territory. I argued at length with someone about this on another forum. This hobby is definitely safer than being on the street, I've got the scars to prove it.

My only concern is, I personally don't want to be the guy that dumps antifreeze on a track and causes someone to lose their life. It's one thing to risk my own life, I don't want someone else getting hurt if I can prevent it.
 
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