|Walker and Rodas' Porsche Carrera GT. Image: Always Evolving Performance Motors|
When tragedy strikes in this age of instantaneous information we can
usually bet on one thing, armchair detectives. Looking back at the folly
of split-second assumptions and the ability for anyone to go online and
post their hypothesis, valid or purely made-up, is something we will
probably just have to get used to. In the case of the tragic death of
Paul Walker however, we have at least enough factual information about
the car he died in to help dispel some of the rumors and misinformation
that has been seen in the media, even by some "reputable" outlets.
|Fuel tank is located behind seats and in front of the rear-mounted engine.|
Assumption: The location of the fuel tank caused the deaths.
The facts: This may very well be true but we will get to that in a moment. At present, some less responsible media outlets are speculating that the fuel tank's location, in front of the passenger compartment's footwell, may have made it impossible for the two men to be saved. The error here is that the fuel tank on a Carrera GT (which can cost over $15,000 for the part alone) is not in the footwell but rather in the bulkhead immediately behind the driver and passenger, and in front of the engine, which is in the rear on this car. We believe the nomenclature "Carrera" has confused non-automotive types to assume it's a 911, GT2, GT3, etc. Owing to the logic that the ruptured tank may have contributed significantly to the inability of rescuers to remove the men, this is indeed possible due to the location of the tank. The GT, according to at least one report and evident from crash scene photos, hit the light pole and trees on it's passenger side, the seat Walker was occupying, and thus likely ruptured the tank allowing the fuel to splash into the passenger compartment due to forward momentum.
|Exploded diagram of Carrera GT fuel tank.|
The tank was actually placed here to not only help make it more durable in the event of a crash, but primarily for the sake of neutral balance, as the car was originally built to compete in a racing series who's rule changes prevented it from ever actually participating in the intended races. If the tank were placed fore or aft, like in most cars, the weight distribution would change throughout a race due to the end of the car containing the tank becoming lighter as fuel burns off.
|Paul Walker and Roger Rodas.|
Assumption: The driver had no business being behind the wheel of such a powerful car.
The facts: Roger Rodas was not only the proprietor of Always Evolving Performance Motors...
Full story continues at MotoArigato.com