Thread: RIP Dan Wheldon
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      10-19-2011, 11:08 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by BTM View Post
Going 4 wide is not common on "proper" ovals, meaning those best suited for open wheel competition. At Indy, 3 wide is like . Most often cars are single file with a racing line and a passing line. I can see almost all of turn 1 in my seats, and see 3 wide racing a few times a race. The speeds they take the turns at are also lower. This, combined with a longer track means everyone effectively has more room and is more certain about what other drivers are doing - unlike LV, where you can be wheel to wheel for laps at a time averaging over 220mph, especially with that many cars on the track. When the 33 get spread out at Indy it's basically a constant stream of cars going by. Now look at how bunched up the same amount of cars on a track a mile shorter.

These tracks work in NASCAR because of one simple thing - the bodywork. Bumping in NASCAR does not necessarily cause major accidents like touching wheels does in open wheel cars. But open wheelers have been racing on ovals since racing's inception and have been doing so relatively safely. As unfortunate as it is, moving away from ovals entirely is an overreaction. There is a huge difference from a flatter squared off type oval track, and a high banked bowl type oval.

FWIW I've climbed the 9* banks at Indy. In person and close up, they seem ridiculously steep. I can't imagine a 20* banking
Don't forget racing wheel to wheel is one great thing, but going wheel to wheel at 200+ mph is a disaster waiting to happen. A slight mistake or wheel touching wheel can simply launch the car up in the air.

We've witnessed Mark Webber launched in the air last year in Valencia. But the mandatory design of roll-over structure, seat belts and HANS protected him from any injury at all, and the run off area in Valencia ensured the RB6 landed on a flat surface instead of some random building. and finally the energy absorbing armco barrier stops the car without hurting the driver.

Everyone must remember this is "Motorsport", its a sport. Yes its dangerous, but death among athletes should not happen.

Originally Posted by jkoral View Post
If you're going to have an expert talking head on to discuss and explain the accident to the audience at least find someone qualified or familiar with Indy Cars.

His stated expertise was with F1 and then he proceeded to screw up the history of safety in F1. Not only was it 1994, two drivers died that weekend (everyone seems to forget about Roland Ratzenberger) and the push for safety was not from the drivers as he said but very much top down from the FIA pushed by Max Mosley, Sid Watkins, et. al.

He couldn't speak intelligently about Las Vegas and the issues surrounding the race so he tried to contrast it with what happened in F1 and was totally wrong. He repeated that this might be the event for the "drivers to take a stand" or some such crap. Safety must be an organizational imperative. Just as many drivers expressed concern about this race prior, they still got in their cars and got on with the job when the flag dropped.

The guy was making my blood boil as a I was forced to listen to him and his misinformation once or twice an hour. Apologies for taking the thread off in a tangent.

RIP Dan Wheldon.
The "expert" only got a few "Facts" remembered in their brain.

The thing about current F1 is there a lot safety regulations mandated since the 90s. Paved concrete area, gravel traps, smart energy absorbing armco barriers, Kevlar fuel cells, survival cell monocoque, pre-season crash test, stringent racing overalls, helmets and HANS. Safety car trigger happy Race Control to ensure the drivers and on track marshalls are working in a safe environment.

New Track design must meet FIA safety regulations of the amount of run-off area and be homologated by the governing body. Existing tracks must be upgraded if possible.

With the media attention of this tragic accident, will pressure IndyCar governing body to react for more safety.