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L-188
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Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:08 pm

Hey guys don't have a link but my iPad is putting up popups like crazy.

Apparently indy driver Dan Wheldon has been killed in a large crash at the Vegas 300. Over a dozen cars involved. No word on other hurt drivers.

[Edited 2011-10-16 15:16:15]
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jetblueguy22
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Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:12 pm

Word is all other drivers are okay, banged up but shall be fine. RIP Dan Wheldon. The crash was just horrible to watch. IndyCar has lost a good driver and a good man.
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KPDX
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Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:14 pm

I watched it live. Very tragic... Dan Wheldon had his stunning Indy 500 win this year too.  

RIP.
 
PSA53
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Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:17 pm

I just saw it.Man,that was horrible crash..The drivers are about to give 5 lap tribute.It's on ABC.The race itself has been canceled.

R.I.P. Indy Champ,Dan Wheldon.
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GrahamHill
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Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:17 pm

Here is a video of the tragic accident: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcAZ7I_lk7M&feature=player_embedded

Rest in Peace Dan. My prayers to his family and friends.
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PSA53
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Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:34 pm

What class shown by the Indy ruling board,the racers and they're crews and the fans in the stands of the 5 tribute laps..I'm not sure the condition of some of the other drivers involved,but will I assume it's not life threatening.

All the best to the Wheldon family.
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trident3
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Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:36 pm

A top bloke, great driver and great champion. My thoughts are with his wife and two young sons.
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photopilot
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:49 pm

RIP Dan Wheldon. Words fail me other than to say "thanks".... for the great racing moments we got to share with you and your wonderful Indy 500 wins. You'll be sorely missed.
 
srbmod
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:10 pm

http://www.ajc.com/sports/wheldon-dies-after-massive-1202315.html

Quote:
LAS VEGAS — Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after his car became ensnarled in a fiery 15-car pileup on Lap 13, flew over another vehicle and landed in a catch fence just outside turn 2.

The 33-year-old racer was a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, including this year's race.

Three other drivers, including championship contender Will Power, were hurt in the pileup.

We all know that crashes are part of racing regardless of the series (Formula 1, Indy Car, NASCAR, ALMS, etc.) and that drivers do get seriously injured or killed and accept that as a fact of life in motorsports. This has to be one of the worst auto racing wrecks I have seen. The open-wheel crashes seem so much more violent than those in racing series like NASCAR.

You wonder if this may be the only time this event gets run at Las Vegas Motor Sppedway, as if I'm not mistaken, this is the first Indy Car series race to be run at LVMS since the track was redone back in 2006. Prior to this race, the last time the Indy cars ran in Vegas was on a street course in Downtown Las Vegas during the 2007 Champ Car Series. There were some concerns during qualifying about the safety of the track.
 
L-188
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:20 pm

Thanks srbmod.

I haven't figured out how to cut and paste off an iPod.

I am glad I stuck to football today rather than watch car racing (my team had a bye). I don't think I needed to watch the wreck.
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ajd1992
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:20 pm

I saw him at the 2004 Indy 500 - he crashed right next to where I was sat.

RIP Dan.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:22 pm

Quoting srbmod (Reply 8):
The open-wheel crashes seem so much more violent than those in racing series like NASCAR.

Two factors - first speeds are usually higher, but mostly because open wheel cars are designed to shed parts to lessen the energy transmitted to the driver.

The impact forces in a crash like Jimmy Johnson took last night can be just as severe as those in an Indy car.

But the one concern in an open wheeled car, be it Indy, F-1, or even sprint cars is that the open cockpit makes it more likely for debris to strike the driver. I have no idea if Weldon was hit by something, but it is a possibility. While the video shows his car airborne, it does not appear to hit anything solid with a high G stopping impact, rather tumbling and bouncing.

By all accounts he was a good person, a good son, a good husband and father. Those are the most important things in life.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
photopilot
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:35 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 11):
I have no idea if Weldon was hit by something, but it is a possibility.

I've seen several camera views of this beyond what is linked above. Wheldon's car tumbled and went into the catch-fencing above the safer-barrier wall and at the moment of impact of the car, the top of the car ensnarled the fence first. Very similar to the Greg Moore crash in 1999 where the top of the driver's head took the first impact vertically downwards.
I can't begin to imagine what happens when it's wire catch-fencing that ensnares the top of a car hitting and sliding down it. From the videos, it looks like it simply tore the car apart, hence the fuel and oil vaporizing and burning in a flash.

Similar in many ways to Mike Conway's crash up into the fence at the Indy 500 in 2010 but in Conway's case, the bottom of the tub hit the fence, not the top of the driver's head.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:58 pm

Rich Vogler's helmet hit a heavy support pole holding the catch fence as the fence flexed and the pole remained in position. The wall impact G forces stretched Rich's body so that part of the helmet was outside the roll cage up against the fence.

Crashes where the top of the car make impact like Greg's are the most dangerous for open wheel cars in my opinion.

I was on the road when this crash happened, but from the descriptions in the last hour before the announcement, it seemed to me that it was a serious head or spinal injury. I didn't see anything from the various post-crash tapes like the medical team actions after Alex Zanardi's crash.

(And I am not saying the Indy Car medical team was any less 'urgent' or less compentent than those in Zanardi's crash. A patient like Alex rapidly bleeding out takes a visibly different series of actions to treat than a head or spinal injury.)
Not all who wander are lost.
 
lorm
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:03 am

Quoting srbmod (Reply 8):
The open-wheel crashes seem so much more violent than those in racing series like NASCAR.

Wheel to wheel contact or cars riding up the back or sides in an open wheel series be it F1, Indy etc usually ends up sending a car airborne. A good example is Mark Webber's crash at Valencia, Spain. The next generation Indycar from Dallara will presumedly feature pods behind the rear wheels to minimize the chances of cars riding up another and going airborne.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 11):
While the video shows his car airborne, it does not appear to hit anything solid with a high G stopping impact, rather tumbling and bouncing.

His car flipped and hit the catchfence and safer barrier wall cockpit first, then was hit by another car while it was disintegrating. Maybe you haven't seen the replay from the inside of the turn. Usually some of the worst injuries and fatalities happen because of the massive G forces that are imparted onto the drivers are due to the cars collecting the the catch fence, like in Kenny Bräck's crash at Texas which he supposedly sustained 214g's.

Another slightly Indy (CART) fatal crash I remember watching live was Jeff Krosnoff's, when his car rode up the back of another and hit the catch fence which also killed a track marshall at Toronto. Greg Moore was of my favorite drivers before he too was killed in a cockpit first crash.

Sad day, as Dan Wheldon won the Indy 500 this year.
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lorm
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:07 am

Quoting photopilot (Reply 12):
can't begin to imagine what happens when it's wire catch-fencing that ensnares the top of a car hitting and sliding down it. From the videos, it looks like it simply tore the car apart, hence the fuel and oil vaporizing and burning in a flash.

Read into the Gordon Smiley accident at Indy in 1982. Horrible.
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LGWflyer
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:08 am

This is shocking news, very sad to hear. RIP Dan Wheldon.
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Okie
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:29 am

Quoting srbmod (Reply 8):

You wonder if this may be the only time this event gets run at Las Vegas Motor Sppedway,


I would not guess on that but best I can remember probably 3 years back an Indy car race was cancelled at the Texas Motor Speedway due to speed concerns.
I believe the solution in latter events was limiting boost or intake restrictions to slow the cars down at TMS.
It appears that the 1.5 mile oval tracks built for Nascar vehicles do not do very well for open wheel with speeds approaching 225mph.
Nascar controls the speeds with final gear ratio's plus moving a huge mass keeping the speeds down along with some tracks restrictor plates on the intake.
Indycar is just going to have to come up with something across the board to slow down the cars on the 1.5 mile ovals built for Nascar with intake management (boost?) that can be easily changed removed for street races or other tracks.

Okie
 
lorm
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:01 am

Quoting okie (Reply 17):

Yep, at Texas many drivers were complaining of diziness because of the excessive sustained g forces. This was a CART race back in 2001.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firestone_Firehawk_600

The future 2012 Indycar engine package is set to be turbocharged again so it will be able to be tuned with boost between 550 - 750 hp depending on the venue. Maybe Indycar will see some sort of a renaissance back to the pre - CART/IRL split era. Dallara is putting together a package that will allow teams to customize some of the aero and some bodywork, so that should re-introduce different looking cars again. Hopefully that doesn't totally give advantage to teams like Penske that have their own wind tunnel...
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RayChuang
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:19 am

Very likely, we be see much lower turbocharger boost allowed on the 1.5-mile tracks from now on--that 225 mph speed plus turbulent air behind the car was essentially a major accident waiting to happen....

Hopefully, with the new 2012 Indycar bodywork and lower engine boost, such tragedies won't happen again.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:23 am

It was shocking to hear of the death of a driver during a IndyCar race. Due to major safety improvements to the cars and driver equipment in recent years, deaths and serious injuries have sharply declined. Still, high speed car racing is still dangerous, drivers, supporters and fans all know the risks and now we lost a good driver in Dan Wheldon, leaving his wife a widow, his 2 very young children without a living father.

At this race at Las Vegas, as with many airplane crashes, and as others here and elsewhere have suggested, several factors were in play here that led to Weldon's death.
Because of very tight specifications, the speed of these cars is very close to each other. As we often see with NASCAR, and has often happened in IndyCar and other racing like F1, this means cars can bunch up, with very little spacing around them, dangerous and slow passing, leading to bunch wrecks as happened here.

These are open wheel cars. The trigger of the massive crash that led to Weldon's death was caused by the wheels of 2 cars making wheel/tire contact, losing control, causing the tightly bunched and very fast cars to crash into each other behind them, get launched over other cars as they piled up, hitting the catch fences, getting upside down and hit by other cars on the way down to the track.

This was a very fast and small track for IndyCars, perhaps unsafe for them in they way they were set up. The set up of the safety fences may be a factor too.

This race had 34 cars in it, perhaps 5-8 cars too many, too many drivers without sufficient experience, too crowded, difficult to pass.

Weldon and others had a lot of money riding on this race. He was among others who could get a $5 Million bonus if he won. This was done to get drivers like Weldon, who were only part-time in IndyCar (despite his winning the Indy 500 2 times, including this year) to race in it to draw more spectators to help the IndyCar league and the operator of the track. That high incentive for you and your team can cause a lot of pressure and perhaps excessive risk taking which could be a factor here.

With this deadly wreck, IndyCar may be hurt in the eyes of fans, losing many who while they like to see high speed racing, they don't want to see people die in front of them.

As others here and elsewhere have suggested, some planned mods and others should be considered to these cars for next year may help. One planned change is better protection and aero pieces near the wheels, especially the rear wheels, which would reduce the wheel contact risks. Clearly though, speeds on some tracks need to be reduced, perhaps by 20-30 MPH lap speeds less. That could easily be done by lower turbo boost pressures or fuel system flow limiting. We may have to find better ways to protect the drivers' heads, especially in frontal and rollover crash situations. Limit the size of the field of cars, especially on the smaller tracks to more manageable numbers, keeping out weak drivers and cars. Make it so cars can safely pass and keep some space to each other.

Hopefully this terrible crash will make IndyCar think over it's off-season to consider changes to keep the sport exciting to watch, but safer for all.
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:06 am

I saw the news on the BBC sports website some minutes ago.

**

You died doing what you loved best.

RIP Indy Car driver.

  
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Aesma
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:12 am

Sorry to hear that news, condolences to his family.

I see Formula 1 mentioned in many replies because it's open wheel, but nobody mentioned that there has not been a driver killed in 17 years. The main problem is not open wheel racing, it's oval racing, the same kind of crazy crashes happen in every series that uses ovals. Put F1 cars on those tracks and there will be blood, guaranteed.
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CXB77L
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:21 am

RIP Dan  

I don't follow IndyCars, so I don't know much of Dan Wheldon, but whenever a driver is lost the whole motorsport community grieves. I saw the replay of the incident on the news, and it looked bad.
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MadameConcorde
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:31 am

He's got a lovely wife and two small children.

Also I am sorry for the family he left behind; together he, his wife and children seemed so happy and confident. What a loss.

http://www.zimbio.com/Susie+Wheldon

  
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
sw733
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:43 pm

Sad stuff. I had the chance to meet Wheldon at Kansas Speedway in 2008, the year he won there. Really nice chap.

Quoting photopilot (Reply 12):
Very similar to the Greg Moore crash in 1999 where the top of the driver's head took the first impact vertically downwards.
Quoting lorm (Reply 14):
Another slightly Indy (CART) fatal crash I remember watching live was Jeff Krosnoff's, when his car rode up the back of another and hit the catch fence which also killed a track marshall at Toronto.

Jeff Krosnoff actually died because he flipped up in to the light pole during the street race in Toronto. It was terrible - his car flipped up at just the right angle that the first thing to hit was his head in to the street lamp. Amazingly, it could have been much worse - there were two fences and the crowd had broken through the first so as to get right up to the track (along the second fence), but the track crew cleared them not too long before the crash happened. I remember all this because I was at the race and saw the crash happen in person...also had met Krosnoff the day before in the pits.
 
Newark727
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:34 pm

It's so easy for me, and I suspect many others, to forget what a dangerous sport auto racing is, having only followed it during a time when many safety measures have been implemented, and then something like this happens. Even though I never followed Indy Cars, I find myself feeling almost guilty for spectating so eagerly in other forms of motorsport, and only paying attention to the risks when there's an accident. Best wishes and condolences to Wheldon's wife and family.
 
swissy
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:18 pm

Quoting sw733 (Reply 25):
Jeff Krosnoff actually died because he flipped up in to the light pole during the street race in Toronto. It was terrible - his car flipped up at just the right angle that the first thing to hit was his head in to the street lamp. Amazingly, it could have been much worse - there were two fences and the crowd had broken through the first so as to get right up to the track (along the second fence), but the track crew cleared them not too long before the crash happened. I remember all this because I was at the race and saw the crash happen in person...

Same here, was a birthday gift from my wife, 2 tickets and she took the time and went with me.... we just walked by that spot and sh... hit the fan, we did not know what happen, everything happen so fast...

I do not like these ovals because the speed is just too much for these cars and you have to go full steam to get full down force, no space for errors or sh... happens. Street courses can be deadly too.... we lost a great chap with a great charisma and smile   
 
n6238p
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:22 pm

This is a tragic event that really shook me up yesterday. It saddens me but more than that, it angers me. Several of my friends and I were discussing this whole week about how someone will get killed this weekend. This sounds like general story that can be said before any race but no, I can't remember such a pessimistic buildup to a race like this in a very long time. Everything surrounding the event, the organization, the promotion was everything wrong with open wheel racing in America. Trying to get drivers with limited time in the car to race for millions. Can you imagine if Travis Pastrana actually was able to race as planned? 34 cars that can't driver away from each other on a flat out oval? Does this really sound like a good idea? On top of all of this, the Dallara chassis is one of the most poorly designed chassis in the history of racing. All open wheel cars face the risk of wheel hopping and going airborne but this car just absolutely loves to leave earth. We didn't see one, or two, or three cars getting airborne, we saw five. Three flipped and two others tried to. I have never seen a wreck where this many cars ended up in the air with exception to the CART debacle at Surfers Paradise and the IMSA wreck at Riverside. Will Power should be dead, Pippa Mann should be dead, JR Hildebrand as well from yesterday's wreck. How many times have we seen this Dallara go flying into the fence and the drivers barely escape death. Not to mention the grisly details of Tony Renna's unfortunate accident that the IRL didn't seem too quick to discuss.

Every driver that raced yesterday strapped them selves into the car knowing the risks. There was plenty of talk about how dangerous and reckless this event would be. But they raced anyways because they are professionals.

I hope, I really really hope the clowns that run the IRL are held accountable for what happened yesterday and face the consequences of their negligence.
To actively root against anybody is just low, and I hope karma comes back at you with a vengeance
 
rlwynn
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:42 pm

IndyCars do not need to race on these 1.5 mile high bank NASCAR tracks. You are just asking for trouble. These cars are too fast for this track and racing in traffic is incredibly hazardous. Dump the 1.5 high banks and get back to the superspeedways and flat ovals.

His poor family.
I can drive faster than you
 
National757
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:55 am

In the days and weeks to come as sadness gives way to anger, Randy & Co will have some explaining to do. Why after Senna and Earnhardt are we still talking about a 'new focus' on Driver Safety? Why the hell are they racing essentially the same Dallara chassis unchanged since 2002?

Quoting N6238P (Reply 28):
I hope, I really really hope the clowns that run the IRL are held accountable for what happened yesterday and face the consequences of their negligence.

Completely Agree - Trying to turn IndyCar into NASCAR, racing at tracks designed for stock cars.

Such a senseless tragedy.
 
scrubbsywg
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:21 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 22):
Sorry to hear that news, condolences to his family.

I see Formula 1 mentioned in many replies because it's open wheel, but nobody mentioned that there has not been a driver killed in 17 years. The main problem is not open wheel racing, it's oval racing, the same kind of crazy crashes happen in every series that uses ovals. Put F1 cars on those tracks and there will be blood, guaranteed.

I agree F1 has had a fairly exemplary record as of late, but it isn't immune. Some marshals were killed as recently as 2001 i believe. There have been some close calls as well. Kubica's crash in Montreal was pretty close to at least totally mangling his lower body(they were exposed while he was still flying through the air). Who was it a couple years ago where a car came over top another sideways and only by a foot or so missed decapitating a driver? This led to changes around the cockpit. Massa was seriously injured by flying debris/high speed impact. You can argue that because of F1's relentless pursuit of safety(and also reducing speeds) there haven't been any driver fatalities in almost 20 years, but i think it is also a bit of luck.

I think indycar should really look at reducing the speeds a little on these smaller ovals. Fans likely wouldn't know the difference if they were running a little slower than they were in Vegas.

The worst crashes in open wheel happen when there is some sort of trauma directly to the head. Krosnoff in toronto, moore, Massa, Senna, etc. are all common that pretty much the first part of the body to hit anything is the head. Whether it be light posts, fencing, car parts(like tires) or a wall, hitting anything at that speed with almost direct impact against the head ends badly. I am leery of all these new f1 tracks having large permanent bridges or overhangs on the tracks(abu dhabi, singapore). All we need is one car getting airborne while flipping.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:45 am

This death occured during live international TV coverage of it and during the Internet era. Even non-fans have seen the video of the crash, discussions have been all over like here over what happened and what should be considered to improve safety. Clearly the next step is for drivers, team owners, car makers, engine makers and the IndyCar organization to work together in the next few months to make critical decisions to improve safety short and long term. Indeed, after the loss of a major star and other drivers dead or seriously injured , a long term commitment of all in NASCAR had made it much safer. One cannot cause unintended problems either, not ruining the racing or causing more risks.

Clearly there is a need to reduce the overall speed of the cars on all oval tracks. Some tracks may have to be suspended from use if they cannot be made safer to the drivers and fans. Some weak drivers need to be kept out. Some owners may have to leave if they cannot make the financial commitments to improve safety. Some ways to reduce costs, one of reasons for the creation of the IndyCar organization from the former CART organization, must continue so more money can be put into safety and assure fairness in competition.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:58 pm

Saw this yesterday - Wheldon had a severe head injury.

Quote:
After an autopsy, Murphy ruled the death an accident, the result of blunt trauma to the head due to motor vehicle collision,
http://espn.go.com/racing/indycar/st...ays-dan-wheldon-died-head-injuries
Not all who wander are lost.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Indy Car Driver Dan Wheldon Dead In Crash

Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:04 pm

scrubbsywg I agree that luck plays a role and there has been close calls in F1, it's still a dangerous sport no doubt. But luck also plays a role in other disciplines, and in the end, statistics are clearly in favor of F1. Yes marshals died more recently (that's why I specifically mentioned drivers), mainly because of flying wheels, so that was improved (there is still much to do with marshal protection, and behavior in some cases, apparently in Korea they're reckless). Recently Henry Surtees was killed by a loose wheel in F2.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams

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