2013 IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston
7th October 2013, 2:21 at 2:21 am #242602
It’s sad I mentioned this yesterday with the ALMS terrifying crash at Virginia.
But are these tracks really up to standard? I see no steel cables across those catchfences. I’ve seen those even here, big section steel cables, 6 of them, tying the whole fence together,. And the people were incredibly close to it.7th October 2013, 2:27 at 2:27 am #242603
Ow shucks! That was massive! I didn’t watch the race and I was waiting for ESPN to air it again in an hour and I come across this in the roundup, certainly an unpleasant unintended spoiler. Ever since Wheldon, when I see an IndyCar or any other single-seater flies towards a catchfence, I’m terrified. But really glad he is only a bit broken, and has nothing that cannot be fixed. Even tough I’m a Penske fan, my best wishes to Dario, and hope he’s back for St. Pete next year.7th October 2013, 2:31 at 2:31 am #242604
Sad end to a good race. Hope Dario and those spectators get well soon.7th October 2013, 4:18 at 4:18 am #242605
@fer-no65 I wouldn’t say the fencing is unsafe, it’s the same setup that F1 uses at many tracks such as Singapore (where it’s temporary like in Houston) and Korea (where it’s permanent) the only difference being that in the USA we use chain-link fence (which note, isn’t the part that failed it was the poles that failed) and F1 uses what I like to describe as something that looks like the side of a shopping cart.
Also I believe that Indycar requires their road/street courses to be FIA Grade 2 tracks. Or atleast they did a few years ago anyway.
EDIT: Taking a second look at the Indycar fence from this picture http://www.hostingbytes.us/images/3/1409963.jpg is pretty much the same exact thing as F1 raced with in Singapore a few weeks ago & Korea today (and a bunch of other tracks this season).7th October 2013, 5:08 at 5:08 am #242606
Wow that was a massive shunt. Hope Dario makes a full and quick recovery.7th October 2013, 7:43 at 7:43 am #242607
Picture of the fence post accident.7th October 2013, 7:55 at 7:55 am #242608
Isn’t this yet another example of the DW12 launching another car into the air, when it was specifically designed to try and prevent that?7th October 2013, 11:20 at 11:20 am #242609
Exactly. If I was Dallara I’d be taking a long hard look at the design of those fairings behind the rear wheels, because they are doing very little good at the moment.7th October 2013, 12:22 at 12:22 pm #242610
I would have thought someone would have taken a look at the rear tyre guards sooner before any of this happened – in one of the first races for the DW12 at Long Beach Rahal and Andretti got together and one car was launched off the other. That incident was at much lower speeds that this one and nothing was done then to affect a change. I suppose the guards are more so designed for ovals where the speed differential in front to rear contact may be smaller and it is the tyre-to-tyre contact just through rubbing that causes airborne incidents, but they seem intrinsically unable to resist a collision between cars of differing speeds like this where the panels must deflect the initial impact to prevent the second car climbing over the first7th October 2013, 12:24 at 12:24 pm #242611
Ι didn’t see the crash live, but judging from the comments in F1FLive, I really thought of Las Vegas, oh my. Great he is alive to be honest7th October 2013, 13:16 at 1:16 pm #242612
Mark Webber went airborne in Valencia in 2010, by hitting the back of a Lotus (not to mention his Le Mans flip). Didn’t Rosberg also launch over a HRT last year?
Forgot this one, SchumacherLiuzzi at Abu Dhabi 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lq5lh3-O_g
Going back to Indycar, I’m surprised Takuma Sato’s propensity to cause wrecks isn’t in question here. Oh, and a grandstand with no run-off at a flat out curve.7th October 2013, 13:53 at 1:53 pm #242613
Race 2 highlights –
They should have added more TV footage of that crash to the highlights video. Good to know that he is ok.7th October 2013, 16:37 at 4:37 pm #242614
Regarding the rear wheel guards & extended floors behind front wheels, They were more designed around preventing wheel to wheel contact launching cars doing similar speeds on the ovals (Think Ryan Briscoes 2005 crash) & they have worked in that regard.
When you have 1 car driving into the back of a car with a relatively big speed differential as we saw yesterday then there isn’t much you can really do as the wheel guards are not going to be able to withstand that sort of impact.
In terms of this crash it was just very unlucky in that everything happened in the worst way at the worst point of the track.
Taku got sideways on a bump with Dario very close to him & then the angle at which Dario hit Taku’s car & the extra speed he was carrying launched him over the wheels at just the wrong angle to go into the fence at the worst possible part of the circuit.
As to the fence, They are built to FIA specification using the same materials etc… that’s used elsewhere in other categories.
I know that the FIA are looking into new types of fencing but thats still in the trial phase & not something thats been widely used right now.
The biggest problem in these sorts of accidents & the thing which tends to do the damage to drivers is the fence posts. The actual fencing gives which absorbs energy but with the posts been solid they tend to put a big G-load through car & driver & its that which can do serious harm.7th October 2013, 16:52 at 4:52 pm #242615
The fan’s video above is pretty shocking.
Just had this official update through from IndyCar:
Following the events of the last lap of the Grand Prix of Houston Izod IndyCar Series race on Sunday, Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Dario Franchitti was admitted awake and alert to Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center in Houston for a concussion, two spinal fractures and a fracture to his right ankle. Last night Dario had surgery to temporarily stabilise the ankle.
He will remain in Houston for a few days, at which time he will be transported to Indianapolis for further evaluation.
“Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes. They mean a lot to me. I would also like to send my best to all the fans involved in the accident and hope that everyone is alright.” – Dario Franchitti7th October 2013, 17:06 at 5:06 pm #242616
The car was launched because Darios front tire made contact with the sidepod of Sato. That is nothing that the rear nerf-bars or the extended front floor can prevent and it even happens in full-fendered full-bodied cars as Clint Bowyer demonstrated in 2011.
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