Lifeline Classic 24 Hour at VIR – Heat Stroke, Heat Exhaustion, and Dehydration
By Bill Strong
I have been racing and commentating at the VIR24 since the first CCES 24-hour event in 2010. I have seen many racers and crew either get heat exhaustion and a few get heat stroke. I fell victim to the hazards of not eating or drinking enough during the 2013 VIR24. I crashed and got a concussion, and suffered a brain bleed. All because I was not thinking straight while racing. I think back to how close I came to hurting another racer and how this wreck cost me to sit out the rest of the year’s action. At ChampCar we want all racers to keep an eye on each other. During the race, keep tabs on your drivers, talk to them every 1/4 hour or so. See how they are doing. Lap times can tell a lot about how a driver is doing. If suddenly, late into the stint, they are having a hard time keeping the car on the track, most likely your driver has a serious issue. Bring him in ASAP.
VIR has a top-notch medical crew on site. All you need to do is get a CCES pit lane workers attention and they will have a VIR medical crew at your location is a matter of seconds. What you can do is get water INSIDE the person. Make him drink. Dumping water on the person is not as effective as getting him or her to drink it. Water is best! Get their gear off to try and lower their core temp.
And don’t forget, that the rain may make it feel a bit better out there, but you can still get heat-related issues in the cars.
And don’t forget about your crew! They can also suffer heat-related issues!
TMI Racing Products is the VIR On-site racing store that has a limited supply of Cool Shirt System products. Every year they sell out of system and parts, order early.
Here are some infographics that might help you recognize the different symptoms of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration.