- the Nissan Sentra years
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Images from Dave Frellsen's collection
DF: The above sequence shows my crash at Laguna Seca in 1983 in the Sentra, the worst of my career.
Front wheel drive cars have about 2/3 of their weight on the front end and the rear tires mostly just keep the trunk from dragging on the ground. When the front of a FWD car hits the rear of another FWD car the nose of the hitting car weighs twice as much as the tail of the car being hit, and this causes spectacular loss of control for the car being hit. They did not stop the race. I was not conscious and do not to this day remember anything about the accident, not even the beginning of it before the car hit anything hard. The accident was just a racing thing and no ones fault. The driver who bumped me is a good driver and a friend. The accident happened on the 2nd lap of the race, well before bumping might occur to improve a position.
Thankfully, the crash did not particularly injure me. I woke up in the ambulance with concussion and a sore elbow. Within a couple of hours of the accident I went to the airport and caught a plane back to Chicago. As I recall when I got home I went to bed and didn't get out for a couple of days. I hurt all over. The car was totaled and we missed the next 4 races while we built a new one.
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