Our thoughts remain with everyone affected by yesterday’s accident. Thank you to the people of Houston for their support of the Grand Prix and their concern for Dario Franchitti, the fans and race personnel. IndyCar is thoroughly reviewing the incident. Reducing the risks that are associated with racing is one of our highest priorities and receives our constant and on-going focus.
The rear-wheel-guard is there to give drivers a last opportunity to back down before making wheel-to-wheel contact and be launched, like Wheldon, Conway in Indy 2010 and many others. Even Dario suffered it in Kentucky 2007 (I think?), but the difference in crashes like this or like Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti in Long Beach last year, is that the guard can’t prevent a faster car being launched over a slower one, and remember Takuma got loose in that long right hander, so the speed difference was important. What would be sensible for Dallara, is to find a way to make those guards tougher (maybe making them with the same material as the safety cell) without unbalancing the cars too much due to the obvious added weight. But so far, the things, ugly as they are, are doing a good job. They just don’t work well when the cars have great speed differences. Those are my 2 cents. :-)