Report: Could helmet cam have played part in severity of Michael Schumacher’s head injuries?

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Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher has spent his life being surrounded by cameras. But could a small video camera have played a big part in his near-fatal skiing accident in France nearly eight weeks ago?

Several media reports, including one by The Telegraph in the United Kingdom, indicate that a video camera attached to Schumacher’s helmet may have somehow compromised the helmet.

According to The Telegraph, experts from the French ski and climbing academy ENSA have performed tests to see whether the structure of the helmet could have been weakened if there was also a solid object (such as the camera) in-between the helmet and the collision with the rocks that Schumacher crashed into.

The camera, which Schumacher reportedly attached to the helmet to film his son skiing with him, was undamaged, and has yielded video and audio footage that has been significant in the official police probe of the crash.

But the helmet itself broke apart, according to reports, and at least some investigators believe the helmet cam could have played a part in worsening the blow of Schumacher’s head into the rocks.

“The helmet completely broke,” according to a source close to the investigation quoted by The Telegraph. “It was in at least two parts. ENSA analyzed the piece of the helmet to check the material, and all was OK.

“But why did it explode on impact? Here the camera comes into question. The laboratory has been testing to see if the camera weakened the structure.”

More light may be shed upon the circumstances of Schumacher’s crash on Monday when the prosecutor leading the main police investigation into Schumacher’s crash, Patrick Quincy, is expected to announce that the Meribel ski resort and manufacturers of the ski equipment he was wearing have been cleared of liability in the accident.

Schumacher remains in intensive care in an induced coma at Grenoble University Hospital.

Dodge to celebrate 50th anniversary of Hemi motor at NHRA U.S. Nationals

Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
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When this year’s NHRA U.S. Nationals plays out from August 29 through September 3 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, a lot of folks are going to be channeling one of the most famous lines in motorsports:

“Hey, that thing got a Hemi?”

Dodge and parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday – on National Hemi Day, no less – announced that it will celebrate the Hemi’s 50th anniversary of Super Stock cars with the 18th annual Dodge Hemi Challenge during the U.S. Nationals.

Cars that will take part in the Challenge will be 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda cars – “The most iconic of the Mopar package cars,” touted a Dodge press release – in a head-to-head battle.

The Dart and Barracuda were purpose built for use solely on a drag strip. The 23 entrants in the Challenge will drive their personally owned versions of the ’68 ‘Cuda and Dart.

The winner of the Challenge – which will be held August 30-31 – will take home a $15,000 purse, while cash rewards will be available for all 16 drivers that qualify for final eliminations.

“The Dodge brand is proud to serve as title sponsor of the NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge, an event that spotlights the legacy and power of the 426 HEMI engine,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America.

Beahm added, “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock cars that debuted back in 1968 and are still competing today, which makes our support of this edition of the HEMI Challenge extra special.”

One special incentive for contestants is the 42.6-pound NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy, created in the spirit of the 426 (cubic inch) HEMI engine.

Jimmy Daniels has won the Challenge the last two years and goes for a three-peat in this year’s race within a race. His father, Jim Daniels, won the race in 2010.

The Challenge’s all-time winningest driver is Charlie Westcott Jr. of Parma, Michigan, who captured the Challenge in six different years: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

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