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Indy Car champion Dan Wheldon dies after horrific crash


Captain Howdy
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http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/95473

Such a great racer. Safety in indy car is fucking woefully inadequate compared to other forms of motorsport.

While I stopped watching indy car after the death of the CART championship, I still kept a passing interest in it, and through both the CART championship and IRL, the death and injury rate has just been horrible.

I started watching CART and F1 at the same time in 1993, and while F1 reacted to the deaths of Senna & Ratzenberger in 1994, Indy car still hasnt realised that open top cars and solid walls do not mix.

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I'm no expert on racing, but I've seen the crash footage and watched some of the discussion online since the crash:

 

1. This track was simply not designed for Indycar, the number of cars on the track, and the speeds they attain. Many are saying it was a very poor track choice.

 

2. It wasn't the solid walls that were the cause. His car went airborne and went above the barriers, hitting the fence above. Plenty of other vehicles hit the solid barriers and those drivers walked away.

 

Other than a complete car redesign, I don't know how this could have been prevented.

 

Sad. Young guy (33).

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Other than a complete car redesign, I don't know how this could have been prevented.

 

 

As I already said, the safety in F1 far excedes that in Indy car. That not only includes the cars themselves which have to go through rigorous crash tests, which get tougher and tougher each year, but to the design if the tracks.

The big problem with Indy car is the lack of run off areas and proximity of walls/fences to the track.

Nascar is dangerous enough, but they at least have a metal shell surrounding them.

The last deaths in F1 were the two at Imola in 1994, but I have lost count of not only Indy car deaths, but near fatal accidents as well.

 

Yes, there will always be fluke accidents like the one that occured to Felipe Massa 2 years ago in F1, and he was a lucky boy to survive, but the strength of the Indy car chassis', cockpit protection and numerous other factors is so far behind many other forms of motorsport, it would be laughable if it were not so tragic.

 

Motorsport is obviously dangerous, and I would guess that pretty much every person that races, whether its bikes, cars, boats or planes etc, knows that every race could be their last, but that doesnt make it an excuse for poor safety.

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Very sad. Honestly ive never heard of him, as i gave up on CART/Indycar long ago. Only watch with vague interest when the Aussies/Kiwis get mentioned. Unfortunately this does not surprise me. Lost way too many good drivers from these two series over the past 15 years. The sad thing is, absolutely nothing will change. The speeds are rediculous, their is no safety on these tracks, and no safety in these cars. I love good racing. But they almost encourage dangerous racing in this series, and sending 4 cars into a corner, knowing well that one spin could have this affect. This all started from an absolutely nothing incident, with a tap and slight spin which in another series would have seen the car spin safely out of the way or into a sand trap.

 

Motor Racing will always be dangerous, and i dont think F1 is exempt from that. Reality is that you can not play god and determine infinite ways a car can crash. There have been plenty of shocking accidents in F1 in past few years... Massa, Kubica in Canada when his legs were hanging out, Webber flying over Kovalienen etc...but safety is priority.

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Very sad. Honestly ive never heard of him, as i gave up on CART/Indycar long ago. Only watch with vague interest when the Aussies/Kiwis get mentioned. Unfortunately this does not surprise me. Lost way too many good drivers from these two series over the past 15 years. The sad thing is, absolutely nothing will change. The speeds are rediculous, their is no safety on these tracks, and no safety in these cars. I love good racing. But they almost encourage dangerous racing in this series, and sending 4 cars into a corner, knowing well that one spin could have this affect. This all started from an absolutely nothing incident, with a tap and slight spin which in another series would have seen the car spin safely out of the way or into a sand trap.

 

Motor Racing will always be dangerous, and i dont think F1 is exempt from that. Reality is that you can not play god and determine infinite ways a car can crash. There have been plenty of shocking accidents in F1 in past few years... Massa, Kubica in Canada when his legs were hanging out, Webber flying over Kovalienen etc...but safety is priority.

I fully agree.

With the F1 crashes you mention though, those three crashes would likely have been fatalities in Indy car (the injury to Massa would have been the same, but he would have likely impacted a solid wall, and not one with tyre barriers etc).

 

There is always a chance that an F1 driver will die again, but their safety rules really are head and shoulders above Indy car, and had they not reacted to the deaths of Ratzenberger and Senna like they did, we would certainly be seeing a fatality list like we have seen in the same time span as F1. I cant even remember how many life ending or career ending injuries there have been since 1994 in Indy, but 17 years of F1 there hasnt been a single one thats done more than taken a guy out of action for a few months (Massa's being the worst).

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