NAFE newsletters and articles

Forensic Engineering Analysis of a Motorsports Racing Incident

Article Authors: Stephen D. Knapp, PE (NAFE 891S), Richard M. Ziernicki, PhD, PE (NAFE 308F), and Ben T. Railsback, PE (NAFE 713S)

Volume: 34
Volume #: 2
Month: December
Year: 2017

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The motorsports racing industry was built on the foundation of people wanting to engage in competition, take risks, and enjoy the capabilities of their go-fast hobbies. Risk undoubtedly accompanies such dangerous activities. As a result, race participants sign a waiver, giving up their right to file claims against organizers of the racing event. Who then is liable for the failure of a component that is certified for racing and is responsible for an injury? This paper will address this question and outline important factors related to an incident involving the failure of a race-certified transmission flexplate that resulted in serious injury.


Forensic engineering, racing, standards, failure analysis, certified, certification, flexplate, SFI

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