The gallery of images above "shows some insight into how a NASA cage handles 14 rollovers, a 100-foot flight down a 45-degree slope into a rock field." So says Kevin Dubois, the man behind Evolution Dynamics, the company that provided the Mitsubishi Evolution 8 for driver Jeremy Foley and co-driver Yuri to take up the mountain at Pikes Peak.

As you may already know, things didn't go quite as planned. Foley and the Evo careened off the course at Mile 16 and were air-lifted to a nearby hospital. Fortunately, neither the driver or his passenger were seriously injured in the accident, and that's due to the strength of the roll cage and the well-thought-out safety measures taken ahead of the event.

As you can see in the gallery, just about every bit of the car was damaged in the crash – even the passenger seat was ripped from the eighth-inch steel plate welded to the car's floor – but the safety cage mostly held up. Amazingly, the Evo's turbocharged engine, along with the transmission and transfer case, survived the carnage to die another day.

Want to relive the crash one more time? Scroll down to see the video.


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  • 44 Comments
      smi_james
      • 2 Years Ago
      Glad everyone made it out safe thanks to the roll cage...... looking at some of those welds I would stay they got really lucky and I am surprised that cage didn't suffer more damage than it did.
      Vincent Wynn
      • 2 Years Ago
      tumbling aint too bad in a cage... until you realize youre tumbling on boulders the size of the door :|
      budwsr25
      • 2 Years Ago
      Im still waiting for the in car and on car video to be released.
      SethG
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is just a reminder of the priorities and tradeoffs made in the engineering of consumer automobiles. Could all our cars be this safe? Yes. But there would need to be significant tradeoffs in terms of cost, luxury, efficiency, convenience and key features we've come to expect. I realize I'm stating the obvious but when there are demands made (usually by the government) regarding automobile safety requirements, we should remind ourselves that if consumers demanded greater safety, they could have it, as long as their willing to make the tradeoffs. A roll cage would add weight and make interior space less useful. A 5 point harness would be a pain to put on and to wear. A helmet would hurt headroom. But all of these things would make crashes less deadly.
        Drakkon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SethG
        And actually, government standards are most often well behind IIHS and other industry groups. Yes, the DOT has the real authority, but automakers are usually several years ahead of every 'mandate.'
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SethG
        [blocked]
        Narom
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SethG
        Install a rollcage to a car in the UK and expect a good jump in your insurance cost. They don't care if it makes it safer, they just think you're going to drive like a nutter.
        Drakkon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SethG
        Mercedes insists that its next generation of safety tech will have 4-point harnesses. You're right, 5-pt is not likely in the future, but we will likely see a change in the next few years.
      themassmauler
      • 2 Years Ago
      This article didn't "dissect" ****, just told the story again. I was hoping for engineering reasons as to why forces were diverted, absorbed, rejected and anything else that could be explained. Maybe the dissect should be defined before used. IMHO
        saturday
        • 2 Years Ago
        @themassmauler
        Here you go: http://forums.evolutionm.net/10340317-post367.html
        Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @themassmauler
        The quick and dirty explanation? The cage is constructed to form triangular elements, which creates an extremely stiff structure that puts each tube in either tension or compression and redistributes loads to many members instead one or two. Metals stretch and rebound like an extremely stiff rubber band up until a certain point where they permanently deform. The triangular framing distributes load throughout the structure allowing the elastic metal to absorb some energy but no where near enough to save you in a direct impact (that's what crumple zones are for). Once you cross that line to permanent deformation, there's no turning back. The real goal of a roll cage isn't to absorb anything, as the video shows. Its simply to be strong enough to keep your ass from being crushed until you stop rolling down the hill. :P
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          [blocked]
      themanwithsauce
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would like to give thanks to all the engineers and scientists who spent countless hours making sure that we can do stuff like this and be a-okay! Thank you for using your smarts so we can be stupid! And that's not sarcasm, we really have come a very long way and thousands upon thousands of lives are saved every year both in deliberate attempts to push the limit (such as pikes peak) and freak accidents in day to day life (tree falls into road).
      db
      • 2 Years Ago
      The cage was built to NASA road racing, not NASA rally spec. If you read the build thread, the builder rebuffed the idea of adding more bars (specifically A pillar braces) to bring the cage up to proper rally spec (his claim: "Pike's Peak is not a rally"). The focus was set on weight reduction and the cage was built to the letter of the rules and no further (a popular approach with the Time Attack set, and probably good enough for road courses). Upon wrecking (and having the driver and navi survive) he told people that they should now shut up about it not being as safe as a rally cage. This is crazy logic -- the extra bars would have only helped and you can see where the cage was most deformed that these would have made a difference. PP cage regulations are simply not in line with other modern real-world road (where the cars are likely to hit trees, rocks etc) motorsports rule books. IMO these guys got lucky (I saw the accident in person and it was shocking), and I would like to think that if the builder had a second chance to build a PP car he'd put in the extra bars.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @db
        [blocked]
        Chayil
        • 2 Years Ago
        @db
        Did you read Bill Caswell's comments from Jalopnik? He said that it was the worst crash he had ever seen and Jeremy Foley and Yuri the codriver were saved by Kevin Dubois' cage. Yes, it was built to NASA road racing specs, not rally specs, but just the same, it held up extremely well. Kevin had NASCAR side rails put in that undoubtedly helped. There is a great discussion on evolutionm.net, which I belong to, where another Evo racer at the Peak-Dave Kern was talking about a combination of Rally, NASCAR and NHRA for future designs. Rally for the big rollover and to stop rocks from crushing the interior, NASCAR for side impact and NHRA for frontal impact. Basically, a rolling tank. BTW, Kevin is really not telling people to shut up because he did not use a rally cage design. For that matter, I don't think anyone builds a car for the climb that would sustain the damage that the Kevin Dubois Evo had. Now that the entire course if paved, speeds are way too high. Just out of curiosity, one of the fastest times posted was by a guy on a Ducati 1200S. What do you propose to guarantee his safety? A rally cage? LOL
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chayil
          [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      lasertekk
      • 2 Years Ago
      I thank the metallurgical engineer for developing the material, I thank the fabricator for choosing that material and the design, and I thank the welder for giving it a crack-free weld. That about covers it.
      svntsvn
      • 2 Years Ago
      Anyone ever climb Mt. Washington's Auto Road? See the time attack vid's up there? Well, having driven that road and seeing that similar drop off the side of a mountain like Pike's Peak, makes one wonder, why do they not install rail's on the corners to keep the race cars/ pedestrian drivers on the course some what to maybe save a life, vs. the god like view that might get tinged or the purist that says let the road be the guide.... Dumb ass's...... the road is man made, add a guard rail on the corners for christ sake. Who gives a crap about asthetics on a mountain road that already carved up and scared the landscape.
        rob
        • 2 Years Ago
        @svntsvn
        Imagine a world not created for the lowest common denominator. There is a real engineering trade-off made based on road use, number of accidents / deaths on the road, causes of those accidents, speed limits, etc. Do you see the humor in calling a group of people "dumb ass's" given that there are middle school kids that know better? http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apostrophe
        Cartooniey
        • 2 Years Ago
        @svntsvn
        god view?
      Snark
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hope they cleaned up the mountain really well afterward. The alpine environment really takes a beating during the race even without cars going off-course.
      cds9000
      • 2 Years Ago
      More proof that the golden age of the automobile is RIGHT NOW.
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