Following the high profile fiery crash of the 2005 Carrera GT on December 30 at Hercules Street in Santa Clarita, which claimed the life of its latest owner, Roger Rodas and Paul Walker, the car has become the central focus of an ongoing debate. Major concerns has been directed to the safety standards of the car and the non-existence computerised safety feature, in this case electronic stability control that can detect stability lost and immediately correct it. The question that has been on everyone’s mind following the crash is ‘if the car was equipped with the electronic stability control, would they still be alive today?’
Within a week from the deadly crash, more details has emerged about the car as more stories come into light especially about the car’s previous troubled history and how the ill-fated Carrera has changed 6 owners with Rodas being its final owner before it was reduced to what looks like a rubble.
While the non-Porsche owners and drivers are coming together and debating about the car’s safety standards and questioning if mechanical error could have caused the car to trail off the road, Porsche owners and race cars enthusiast are also waking up in defence of the car’s credibility and the driving skills of both casualties onboard the 2005 Carrera GT that caught fire 60 seconds into the collision as noted from the nearby building’s CCTV camera. Some Porsche owners argues that the car is safe, a pleasure to drive and in fact, was one of the best cars ever produced by Porsche while others remains skeptical over the fact.
The previous owner, an IndyCar series race car driver, Graham Rahal, 24 who had the car for a year traded it for a brand new Ferrari in Florida and the same Ferrari dealer sold the car to Rodas. An avid super car collector himself, Rahal also notes that the car is incredibly hard to handle but that’s what makes it special. It demands you to obey and be discipline and that’s what race is all about. ‘Any super car collector would want to have this car in their list and he also stated that he would get the car again because it makes for a good investment,’ says Rahal who fitted the car with vivid black alloy wheels (the originals were the stock silver wheels) that gave the car an extra lift making it even more noticeable at any Southern California car events for its unique touch-up.
“The carbon clutch, things like that are a challenge, whereas the 599 you hop in, off you go. It’s pretty simple,” he said. “But if I was insanely wealthy and could have 10 super cars, a Carrera GT would be one. I would have to be somewhat of a garage queen, because long-term, I think that is a fantastic investment. I think that the Porsche collectors would agree.”
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Some websites claims that Porsche has come out with an official statement regarding the crash involving the 2005 Carrera GT, which was ceased in production in 2005 following the enforcement of new air bags rule. In the statement, a spokes person named Calvin Kim extended the company’s condolences to both victim’s families further stating that they would assist police in the investigation and would offer their full co-operation. However, when and where was this official statement released is unknown as only limited websites released it. So it’s unclear if Porsche ever made a statement regarding the unfortunate incident.
Back in 2006, Porsche made a $4.5 million settlement to Ben Keaton and Corey Rudl who were killed after swerving off the track to avoid a slower-moving Ferrari that entered the track and collided with a wall that was built too close to the track at a speed of about 145 mph during a Ferrari Owners Club track day at the California Speedway. However, there were multiple occurrence that contributed to this crash including the track safety, the proceeding car, the negligence of the flag-man who despite the approaching Porsche gave the green light for the Ferrari to enter the track and Keaton’s failure in informing Rudl that the car had problems prior to testing it on the track.
Jay Leno, the ‘Late Night Show’ host who is also a renowned race car driver had a rough confrontation with the Carrera GT when he spun out of control at the Daytona International Speedway (claims may vary) in 2005. Speaking of the incident, Leno jokingly said that he did not do bad at all for a comedian while others claim that the moment of incident was described as ‘riding on an ice-track’.
Walter Röhrl, a German rally and auto race car driver claimed that the GT Carrera is the scariest car he has ever driven following a stunt on a wet track that made him loose control of the car. But this was before the car was released as Röhrl is also a test driver for Porsche. The incident was followed by many more specs control and upgrades done to the initial car that Röhrl first tested on the track under both weather condition, dry and wet. After testing it in slippery condition, he concluded that the Carrera GT needed more traction control. The test that was carried out in 2002 warranted that the 2005 Carrera GT would not be released until it was perfect.
With all these contradictions and more and using every other incident as comparison, the question to what caused the deadly crash that killed both Rodas and Walker remains unanswered as police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the horrific crash. Fans across the world keeps flocking the crash site with flowers and condolence messages and it becomes even more painful as the days goes by. Hollywood has been shaken to its core with the untimely passing of the beloved actor who was the face of ‘The Fast and The Furious film franchise’ that everyone are left pretty speechless to date.
What we can hope for now is that sufficient data can be extracted from the car’s black box so the event leading to the unfaithful crash can give us all some closure although it would still be the hardest goodbye to a celebrity in recent times.
Watch a tribute made for Paul Walker consisting stunts and some of his best moments in the first 2 edition of ‘The Fast & Furious’ movies.
More On Paul Walker’s Death:
Paul Walker: Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die
Latest: Autopsy On Paul Walker and Roger Rodas Cause Of Death Revealed
Paul Walker’s Most Memorable Quotes in Life and From Fast And Furious
Roger Rodas Was An Inspiring Leader And A Flamboyant Race Car Driver.
Walker’s Remains Laid To Rest In A Private Memorial.