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    Thread: Huge indy crash.

    1. Senior Member Metallitubby's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 10:22 AM #141
      Quote Originally Posted by David@vwvortex View Post
      Great read.

    2. Member Dravenport's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 10:23 AM #142
      RIP Dan Wheldon

      RIP 2006 Ford Taurus SEL 26/12/13

    3. 10-17-2011 10:35 AM #143
      Quote Originally Posted by geofftii2002 View Post
      A WRC accident took the life of Michael Park in 2005. But maybe we shouldn't tally these sorts of things...
      Thanks.

      Sad tally, yes, but one that points to a need to change things up in IRL. The current design incarnation isn't working in the respect of driver safety. Open wheels don't belong on a banked 225-mph oval, IMHO.

    4. Member geofftii2002's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 10:38 AM #144
      Quote Originally Posted by allroad View Post
      Thanks.

      Sad tally, yes, but one that points to a need to change things up in IRL. The current design incarnation isn't working in the respect of driver safety. Open wheels don't belong on a banked 225-mph oval, IMHO.
      Agreed.

    5. Member Triumph's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 10:42 AM #145
      Quote Originally Posted by allroad View Post
      Thanks.

      Sad tally, yes, but one that points to a need to change things up in IRL. The current design incarnation isn't working in the respect of driver safety. Open wheels don't belong on a banked 225-mph oval, IMHO.
      Then what do you do about Indy? Not have it?
      -Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog

      I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to speed around the city, keeping its speed over fifty, and if its speed dropped, the bus would explode! I think it was called, "The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down."

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      10-17-2011 10:46 AM #146
      Quote Originally Posted by allroad View Post
      Thanks.

      Sad tally, yes, but one that points to a need to change things up in IRL. The current design incarnation isn't working in the respect of driver safety. Open wheels don't belong on a banked 225-mph oval, IMHO.
      I agree 100%. First thing I thought of when I saw the crash on tv. The drivers are all coming out now and saying they were against racing on the track. One of the drivers said, "This is not a suitable track. One mistake and everyone will be a part of." Unfortunately major changes in racing usually don't happen until someone dies.


    7. Member Cousin Eddie's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 10:47 AM #147
      Quote Originally Posted by InternetMeme View Post
      Unfortunately major changes in racing usually don't happen until someone dies.
      So true. Look at what Senna's death did for F1.

    8. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 10:51 AM #148
      Quote Originally Posted by DerSpiegel View Post
      Awesome armchair perspective there.
      I dont know about that. With racing, there is always that chance. Hell, with getting in your car and going to work, theres always that chance. It sucks that he was killed but there is always that chance and to not acknowledge it is foolhardy. F1 and IRC are more dangerous then NASCAR. It just is. That being said, you could not pay me enough to drive what either of those 3 drive.

      Quote Originally Posted by Triumph View Post
      Then what do you do about Indy? Not have it?
      The comment about not being safe is BS. I saw quite a few drivers getting out of cars that barely looked like cars. For racing, it seems pretty safe to me. Maybe a NASCAR style implementation like a restrictor plate or something?

      Its unfortunate that there really is nothing that can be done about this type of thing but to mourn and carry on really. RIP Weldon.

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      10-17-2011 11:00 AM #149
      IMHO, this is part of the sport. There are far fewer fatalities now than at any time in the sports history, and I think this has tempered and spoiled all involved. Part of the attraction is driver risk. I recall reading editorials from the twenties and part of the attraction to indy and other races was (I paraphrase here) 'man operating machinery and risking life and limb for glory.' Why not have the 'drivers' operate the vehicles by remote control as they sit in the pit lane? You can have ultra-high speed and virtually no risk whatsoever. Why not just scale the vehicles down and watch radio-controlled car races?

      The death is tragic, particularly for his family. It is part of the risk that one accepts and gets paid handsomely to take while doing one of the things that most TClers would gladly do for free. If the risk is too much they should choose not to do it and if a viewer feels that risk is unnaceptable then they shouldn't watch. I don't want to see it neutered more than it already is because of this.

      That said if the changes are made and everyone is safer and people continue to watch then fantastic. I just think that the changes that tend to make things safer also tend to take something away from the event. There are quite a few series that have gone this way already. To me F1 hasn't been the same for many years, for instance. Hopefully any changes are well thought out.

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      10-17-2011 11:12 AM #150
      As sad as this is I don't honestly understand the public outcry that they shouldn't have been on that track, the cars are unsafe etc.

      It's RACING. Motorsports. 200+ MPH. Men have been pushing the limits of every single machine since the machines were invented. Planes, cars, boats, ****ing lawnmowers. When you push the limits of man and machine **** happens. When it happens you can't expect it to be without incident. I don't care how much safety you implement. Barrel rolling into the wall at 200 miles an hour in an open cockpit car is clearly not going to end well.

      As much recognition as Dan deserves and as tragic as it is this accident was horrific in every way. The fact that 14 other drivers basically WALKED AWAY is simply amazing.

      Soldiers are killed. Firemen will die in house fires. Racecar drivers will be killed. It's the nature of the job and one of the risks and while that doesn't make it any less tragic it's something we simply have to accept and be glad that motorsports as a whole is far safer today in every form than it has ever been.

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      10-17-2011 11:14 AM #151
      Quote Originally Posted by Woodski View Post
      RIP Dan Wheldon.
      x2 - very very sad day

    12. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 11:19 AM #152
      One of the things that I loved about CART over IRL was the street courses. To me, it was so much more interesting. Indianapolis is pretty cool, but make it special by limiting the amount of high speed ovals.
      Ovals work for NASCAR because they're full fendered cars that can bump and grind in traffic. Open wheeled cars simply aren't designed for that. Even with the new design for what's effectively a rear bumper, the front tires are still out there in the open.

      I'd love to see a race season that was 80% road and street and 20% ovals.
      With Chevrolet re-entering as an engine supplier, go back to Belle Isle.
      I'd love to see Surfer's Paradise again too.
      Give us that Las Vegas Strip street track that's been promised for over a decade.
      Go back to Cleveland. I always thought it was so cool that they were racing on an airport tarmac.
      With turbocharged cars returning, go back to Denver and explain how the mile high city allows for the cars to remain fast and competitive thanks to the turbos
      Back to Toronto for Exhibition place
      Use the road course at Twin Ring Motegi
      Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal is another great racing venue and draws F1 comparisons when run
      How about Reliant Park to replace one of the Texas ovals?
      Maybe a return to PNW at PIR

      They've done a better job of integrating more twisty tracks in, but they should consider fully integrating them. Most of these ovals have inner tracks to run on... run those instead. You still get some straightaway speeds to keep the speedfreaks happy and then you have prominence with the people who hate 'left turn racing'
      Right now, there's 8 ovals and 9 tracks.

      Not to mention, you bring the speeds down to a safer level.
      The last Road course death I can think of was 1999 CART at Laguna Seca. All the IRL deaths seem to be on Ovals.

      sucks that someone had to die to get the drivers to stand up and say "Hey guys, this isn't safe..."

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      10-17-2011 11:27 AM #153
      Quote Originally Posted by Chapel View Post
      I'd love to see a race season that was 80% road and street and 20% ovals.
      With Chevrolet re-entering as an engine supplier, go back to Belle Isle.
      I'd love to see Surfer's Paradise again too.
      Give us that Las Vegas Strip street track that's been promised for over a decade.
      Go back to Cleveland. I always thought it was so cool that they were racing on an airport tarmac.
      With turbocharged cars returning, go back to Denver and explain how the mile high city allows for the cars to remain fast and competitive thanks to the turbos
      Back to Toronto for Exhibition place
      Use the road course at Twin Ring Motegi
      Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal is another great racing venue and draws F1 comparisons when run
      How about Reliant Park to replace one of the Texas ovals?
      Maybe a return to PNW at PIR

      They've done a better job of integrating more twisty tracks in, but they should consider fully integrating them. Most of these ovals have inner tracks to run on... run those instead. You still get some straightaway speeds to keep the speedfreaks happy and then you have prominence with the people who hate 'left turn racing'
      Right now, there's 8 ovals and 9 tracks.
      Did you include the Baltimore street track in that count?
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

    14. Member Murderface's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 12:00 PM #154
      I remember going to Watkins Glen years ago and walking around the grounds before anything was going on on track. All of a sudden, Dan Wheldon came out and started talking; I was stoked to see an Indy driver in person. Ever since then, I'd see him racing and think "I saw him at Watkins Glen!" and now it's horribly sad to think he's gone.

      I snapped a picture of that moment:



      What's also sad is that Wheldon was involved in testing the car for next year, the Dallara concept, which has structures behind the wheels to prevent exactly these kinds of things from happening.

      Last edited by Murderface; 10-17-2011 at 12:04 PM.

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      10-17-2011 12:00 PM #155
      Quote Originally Posted by Triumph View Post
      Then what do you do about Indy? Not have it?
      While Indianapolis is still very dangerous, it is not quite the same as the high banked ovals that the Indycar series insists on including in their schedule. Indycar has already dodged several bullets at Texas, and they abandoned Charlotte after I believe only one race where spectators were killed.

      From my armchair perspective, the difference between Indianapolis and the nascar banked tracks is that there is only one way to go wide open around Indy, and there are several lines that can be held wide open at tracks like Las Vegas. The drivers know this, so there has to be some letting off when cars are close in the corners at Indy. This leads to the field being strung out within minutes at the 500. Not so at a track like Las Vegas.

      Las Vegas was rebanked in the mid 2000's I believe, to a "variable banking" configuration, to artificially produce more side by side racing for the nascar series. This type of track design is simply incompatible with the open wheel cars.

    16. 10-17-2011 12:21 PM #156
      Quote Originally Posted by David@vwvortex View Post
      Really well written article. Thanks for posting this David.

    17. Member compy222's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 12:44 PM #157
      i know the spirit of indy, F1, and cart is open wheel racing, but almost all the deaths in the last 15-20 years have been from stuff entering the cockpit/head trauma...the most recent being Massa's head injury from a suspension spring. a structural windshield and roof could save some lives. there are trade-offs with the ease of ingress/egress in an emergency, but it seems like it wouldn't be hard to engineer given the time and effort already put into the chassis and body work.

      perhaps we can stop having RIP threads like this...
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

    18. Member Cousin Eddie's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 12:48 PM #158
      Quote Originally Posted by compy222 View Post
      i know the spirit of indy, F1, and cart is open wheel racing, but almost all the deaths in the last 15-20 years have been from stuff entering the cockpit/head trauma...the most recent being Massa's head injury from a suspension spring. a structural windshield and roof could save some lives. there are trade-offs with the ease of ingress/egress in an emergency, but it seems like it wouldn't be hard to engineer given the time and effort already put into the chassis and body work.

      perhaps we can stop having RIP threads like this...
      F1 has already been working on this:

      Link to story: http://thef1times.com/news/display/03960


    19. Member That1njguy's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 12:57 PM #159
      RIP Dan Weldon...always a champion on and off the track.

      Please learn from life. For all that there is good and bad.

      We all believe that IRL and other racing organizations will learn from this an implement the changes necessary to bring better racing. Dan has left a positive impact on the sport and its a shame he didn't get to see it carried through.



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      10-17-2011 01:11 PM #160
      Quote Originally Posted by compy222 View Post
      i know the spirit of indy, F1, and cart is open wheel racing, but almost all the deaths in the last 15-20 years have been from stuff entering the cockpit/head trauma...the most recent being Massa's head injury from a suspension spring. a structural windshield and roof could save some lives. there are trade-offs with the ease of ingress/egress in an emergency, but it seems like it wouldn't be hard to engineer given the time and effort already put into the chassis and body work.

      perhaps we can stop having RIP threads like this...
      To clarify, two major factors contributed to the crash...

      -Open wheel caused Dan's car to launch after initial contact.
      -Open cockpit exposed Dan's head to the fencing and wall.

      Honestly, I blame open wheel more than open cockpit. Had the collision been between two NASCARs or two LMP cars, there would probably been no issue.

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      10-17-2011 01:24 PM #161
      In modern racing, on track deaths usually do lead to some big safety changes- either by the racing organization through rule changes, or initiated by the teams themselves (John Force).
      So his death may save future driver lives.

      Quote Originally Posted by Adam144 View Post
      F1 has already been working on this:

      Link to story: http://thef1times.com/news/display/03960

      Open wheel racing is about being able to see the drivers.
      That driver visibility thing is one of the fan draws.
      So they just need to decide if they want an enclosed car or not.
      That roof may protect the drive from flying debris, but it won't help much in a crash like Wheldon's. It might have helped protect his head from directly hitting the wall, but the impact would have jarred his head away from his body (and the HANS device is not designed for that load vector). IOW- it doesn't dissipate the impact force like the carbon tubs do.

      I think a batter option would be an open roll bar type system.
      That way the drivers can still get in and out quickly (and maybe even quicker if they have a roll bar to garb), they are still very visible while driving, there are no added surfaces to dirty up and limit visibility, and going away from transparent gives the engineers many more viable options for crash protection.
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      10-17-2011 01:27 PM #162
      Quote Originally Posted by Shomegrown View Post
      To clarify, two major factors contributed to the crash...

      -Open wheel caused Dan's car to launch after initial contact.
      -Open cockpit exposed Dan's head to the fencing and wall.

      Honestly, I blame open wheel more than open cockpit. Had the collision been between two NASCARs or two LMP cars, there would probably been no issue.
      I had brainstormed years ago in an F1 thread that if they added some "bumper" beams around the cars to protect the tires and wings, the drivers could be more aggressive in passing.
      The same idea could be applied to any open wheel racing.
      And an open roll cage would still allow the driver to be seen in the cockpit while giving enclosed race car protection (as it's the roll/crash cage structure and not the cosmetic skin that protects in race cars anyway).
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      10-17-2011 01:38 PM #163
      Quote Originally Posted by Chapel View Post
      With Chevrolet re-entering as an engine supplier, go back to Belle Isle. they are next year
      I'd love to see Surfer's Paradise again too. wont happen
      Give us that Las Vegas Strip street track that's been promised for over a decade. champ car ran at a better vegas street circuit in 07
      Go back to Cleveland. I always thought it was so cool that they were racing on an airport tarmac. yes, but this has been replaced by edmonton it seems
      With turbocharged cars returning, go back to Denver and explain how the mile high city allows for the cars to remain fast and competitive thanks to the turbos yep
      Back to Toronto for Exhibition place already run there
      Use the road course at Twin Ring Motegi they did this year
      Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal is another great racing venue and draws F1 comparisons when run CGV is allowed two race weekends a year, F1 is one, and the NASCAR/Grand Am is the other
      How about Reliant Park to replace one of the Texas ovals? possibly happening next year in addition to the texas twins
      Maybe a return to PNW at PIR definitely.
      next years sked is currently has only two of the hyper speed ovals(texas and vegas, expect vegas to be off for next year), with the remaining confirmed ones being Iowa, Indy, and California(a track designed for Indycars).

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      10-17-2011 01:38 PM #164
      Quote Originally Posted by allroad View Post

      Le Mans: Last death 1997. There have been major accidents since - 1999 and 2011, for example - but people walked away.
      At Le Mans yes, but drivers have been killed in that type of cars in these years, Michele Albereto in a private Audi test in the R8(at Laustizring I think), and driver was killed in practice in a Grand AM SR2 car(basically the same Lola B2K in the LMP run to Grand AM rules at the time) in 01 or 02 at Homestead)....both accidents I believe involves flying car. ACO also have been doing a lot of work to prevent the cars from flying, from the move away from flat bottom car in 05, to the chamfered floor, to the current big fin on the new cars...While drivers have been walking away from the accidents, the flying still seem to be happening, Peugeot have destroyed multiple cars in private test accidents...
      Last edited by RacingManiac; 10-17-2011 at 01:42 PM.

    25. Member Woodski's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 01:39 PM #165
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      I had brainstormed years ago in an F1 thread that if they added some "bumper" beams around the cars to protect the tires and wings, the drivers could be more aggressive in passing.
      The same idea could be applied to any open wheel racing.
      And an open roll cage would still allow the driver to be seen in the cockpit while giving enclosed race car protection (as it's the roll/crash cage structure and not the cosmetic skin that protects in race cars anyway).
      I don't want to see them looking like arrive and drive karts.

    26. 10-17-2011 01:42 PM #166
      Quote Originally Posted by venom600 View Post
      He was way too young.
      Very Sad, my prayers go out to his Wife and kids

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      10-17-2011 01:42 PM #167
      Quote Originally Posted by Chapel View Post
      I'd love to see a race season that was 80% road and street and 20% ovals.
      With Chevrolet re-entering as an engine supplier, go back to Belle Isle.
      I'd love to see Surfer's Paradise again too.
      Give us that Las Vegas Strip street track that's been promised for over a decade.
      Go back to Cleveland. I always thought it was so cool that they were racing on an airport tarmac.With turbocharged cars returning, go back to Denver and explain how the mile high city allows for the cars to remain fast and competitive thanks to the turbos
      Back to Toronto for Exhibition place
      Use the road course at Twin Ring Motegi
      Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal is another great racing venue and draws F1 comparisons when run
      How about Reliant Park to replace one of the Texas ovals?
      Maybe a return to PNW at PIR
      PIR was great, I went to the race every year when I lived there. Cleveland was awesome. I was so upset when they cut that race because of mid ohio. It's right on the water at the airport and is a great location and race.

      I just don't have the same interest in oval races.
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      10-17-2011 01:49 PM #168
      Quote Originally Posted by Woodski View Post
      I don't want to see them looking like arrive and drive karts.
      They could just add a structural member in the front and rear wings, and also add something just fore and aft of each wheel/tire to prevent rubber on rubber contact.
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      10-17-2011 02:08 PM #169
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      I had brainstormed years ago in an F1 thread that if they added some "bumper" beams around the cars to protect the tires and wings, the drivers could be more aggressive in passing.
      The same idea could be applied to any open wheel racing.
      And an open roll cage would still allow the driver to be seen in the cockpit while giving enclosed race car protection (as it's the roll/crash cage structure and not the cosmetic skin that protects in race cars anyway).
      a cage structure would work, but then you really get into driver ingress/egress issues without some really funky engineering...not saying it couldn't happen, but a closed cockpit would be easier.
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

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      10-17-2011 02:32 PM #170
      When I saw Jeff Krosnoff's crash in 96, Greg Moore 99, and then Weldon I knew instantly that they had passed. In my heart I wanted them to survive but my mind knew the deal. The only time my initial thought was wrong was Kenny Brack at Texas ISW (Thank goodness!!). It is the shear violence of there crashes!! Also the Catch Fence is playing a deadly part in these crashes!! While it "catches" the car and prevents large debris in the crowd, it also tears the car apart and spins/twists/flips the car/driver compartment. Alex Zanardi didn't get caught in the fence and I think that gave him a fighting chance. Tony Gorge's pack racing has finally reached its potential. Just sucks such a good dude paid that price.
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      10-17-2011 03:13 PM #171
      Quote Originally Posted by GOT R32? View Post
      When I saw Jeff Krosnoff's crash in 96, Greg Moore 99, and then Weldon I knew instantly that they had passed. In my heart I wanted them to survive but my mind knew the deal. The only time my initial thought was wrong was Kenny Brack at Texas ISW (Thank goodness!!). It is the shear violence of there crashes!! Also the Catch Fence is playing a deadly part in these crashes!! While it "catches" the car and prevents large debris in the crowd, it also tears the car apart and spins/twists/flips the car/driver compartment. Alex Zanardi didn't get caught in the fence and I think that gave him a fighting chance. Tony Gorge's pack racing has finally reached its potential. Just sucks such a good dude paid that price.
      Zanardi's car was lying motionless across the track essentially and had the nose cone taken off severing his arteries. He **almost** bled out right there and thankfully did not.

      From the looks of Dan's crash he landed cockpit down on the wall. The pic of them evac'ing him w/a blanket over his face says it all. I don't even think a "safer" barrier would have helped in this case. Watching the wreck in realtime is just amazing to watch how quickly it unfolded.

    32. Member Woodski's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 03:19 PM #172
      Quote Originally Posted by David@vwvortex View Post
      Zanardi's car was lying motionless across the track essentially and had the nose cone taken off severing his arteries. He **almost** bled out right there and thankfully did not.

      From the looks of Dan's crash he landed cockpit down on the wall. The pic of them evac'ing him w/a blanket over his face says it all. I don't even think a "safer" barrier would have helped in this case. Watching the wreck in realtime is just amazing to watch how quickly it unfolded.
      Vegas has a SAFER barrier(as do all the tracks NASCAR competes on), the problem lies in that he cleared it.

      When Mario Andretti has his Dallara Lift-Off Experience™, I remember him saying that when the Dallara was in low downforce configuration(1mi+ ovals), that there was a negative pressure applied to the nose, so in actuality, the car is always trying to take off. So when it gets that one little chance and the nose starts to lift slightly, it's all the invitation it needs to get sent into the air like a leaf.

    33. Member Woodski's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 03:30 PM #173
      Like, this **** still doesn't seem real, like it feels like it was cut from the movie "Driven."

    34. Global Moderator David@vwvortex's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 03:30 PM #174
      Quote Originally Posted by Woodski View Post
      Vegas has a SAFER barrier(as do all the tracks NASCAR competes on), the problem lies in that he cleared it.

      When Mario Andretti has his Dallara Lift-Off Experience™, I remember him saying that when the Dallara was in low downforce configuration(1mi+ ovals), that there was a negative pressure applied to the nose, so in actuality, the car is always trying to take off. So when it gets that one little chance and the nose starts to lift slightly, it's all the invitation it needs to get sent into the air like a leaf.
      Ahh.. that I didn't know. It looked like concrete to me, but as you said it didn't matter he landed on it/behind cockpit down.

      Interesting Andretti said that. Wow.. as someone else mentioned the ACO has been trying to do something about cars getting airborne when they go across the grass or things like that sideways. Seems to have worked w/the ugly shark fin at LM this year when McNish went off at the Dunlop Curves and the car stayed down. If he was in the R10 or the R15 I shudder to think what would have happened b/c he too came down on the wall, but fortunately he was in a closed top proto. Rockenfeller.. same thing.. sideways on the straight leading up to Indy when he got clipped by a 458. He didn't go over.

      I think everyone will be glad to see this stupid chassis finally go. Unfortunate it had to be this way.

    35. Member caliatenza's Avatar
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      10-17-2011 03:49 PM #175
      i used to follow IndyCar and NASCAR when i was a kid. Kinda stopped watching as i grew older. That in car video that was posted earlier was insane! . The pictures of the crash look worse than the video actually...I didnt know who Dan Wheldon was untill i came across the thread, but reading up on him just makes it really sad . Whats worse is he leaves behind a wife and two small children who now have to grow up without a dad....


      RIP Dan Wheldon

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