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Thread: Fix it Indycar!

  1. #1
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Fix it Indycar!

    If anyone watched the Texas race from last night (Sat) they probably know exactly what I'm talking about. Simona de Silvestro's car hit the wall in a rather undramatic fashion (as wall hits go at 200MPH +) and skidded along the wall and a small fire broke out. The car finally came off the wall and slid down the track to a stop but that small fire had now turned into a rather scary looking fire that was clearly not going out on its own.

    The TV camera was focused right on the car as the flames grew and the driver was trying to unhook herself and get out. I'm sure the director thought we were going to see an example of the famed safety team going to work and turn this around quickly. Instead, we watched the flames grow higher at a rapid rate and had to start wondering if we were seeing a tragedy live on television.

    For whatever reason it seemed like plan A was a firehose from the safety truck that I didn't even know was there... and one that must've malfunctioned because they were fiddling with it as the flames grew higher and things were not looking good for the driver. You'd think there would be a Plan B with fire extinguishers but it was slow coming. Fortunately, one of the safety workers went to help the driver out (getting burned himself) and finally a lone fire extinguisher appeared.

    This was as bad as I can remember Indycar safety crews looking. I'll admit, we don't see fires like this in Indycars these days normally (thankfully). Usually, at worst in an on track accident there will be an oil fire that pops up if a line is broken in a crash and it quickly burns itself out. But this wasn't that... I'm assuming maybe it was an oil fire initially but as it slid along the wall for that extended period of time it must've set the bodywork on fire.

    Normally, Indycar safety crews are the best... not some of the best... THE best. But clearly this was far from their best moment.

    In any case, Indycar needs to have a loooooong look at their response and preparedness for this type situation (and figure out exactly what and why something went wrong). This could've been a whole lot worse (she ended up with burns on her hand and the safety worker had burns on his face according to Indystar.com).

    Kudos to the Indycar safety team member who went directly to the car to help the driver even though it became clear he wasn't going to have the immediate backup/safety of a firehose or extinguisher.

    Last edited by Bball; 06-06-2010 at 05:23 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    Do we know if the crew was a regular IRL crew or something they got from Texas. I have to believe they picked them up in Texas because they were so horrible. Either that or they're the same people who wouldn't throw water on Rick Mears in '81.

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    Quote Originally Posted by grace View Post
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    Do we know if the crew was a regular IRL crew or something they got from Texas. I have to believe they picked them up in Texas because they were so horrible. Either that or they're the same people who wouldn't throw water on Rick Mears in '81.

    I thought the IRL carried their own safety teams.

    I have confidence this situation will be corrected and not swept under the rug. I imagine this was the #1 thing being discussed amongst race officials after the race.

    I'm sure they are going to want to know exactly why this car burned the way it did and if it was a total fluke thing or if it could've been avoided. Every accident is a learning experience for race engineers.

    I'm also sure safety procedures will be checked and rechecked with some changes made. I don't know why the hose failed to function but someone should've been out of that truck with a fire extinguisher immediately not waiting for the hose anyway. And I don't know why all responders went to mess with the hose anyway. Surely that is at most a 2 person job. Seems like the rarity of this situation showed a lack of preparedness that I believe will be addressed.

    If this happens again I bet we see a much more professional response with safety members breaking up into different duties and a clear Plan B ready and in place if the hose does have a problem.

    I have to wonder if that wasn't checked pre-race? And if it was checked... was it really equip failure when it was needed or operator error (such as failing to completely remove the hose and not leaving any hose or kinks in it in it's housing)?

    Again... I think these errors will be corrected (both equip and human error). Last night was a lesson that the safety teams maybe aren't fully prepared for all possible and plausible situations.

    I remember back to the Brack crash at Texas and I can't say the safety crew made any mistakes there so certainly they've seen horrific accidents and acted professionally in the past. I think fire on the track has been reduced in Indycar to the point the safety crew was taken by surprise and just not mentally prepared.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."

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    Play McRoberts and Price! BRushWithDeath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    While this was undoubtedly a scary and bad moment for IndyCar, the race itself was not. The entertainment value of a night IndyCar race in Texas takes anything Nascar has to offer and blows it out of the water.
    "I had to take her down like Chris Brown."

    -Lance Stephenson

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    Although Tony Kanan isn't happy with her, Danica had probably one of the best races of her career. That was a legitimate run to 2nd place. She passed cars on the track and didn't use an alternate pit strategy to make up track position.

    Her team gave her a great pit last pit stop and she was able to pass Briscoe with a head of steam for P1... but he was ultimately able to pass her back and check out. She didn't have anything for Briscoe.... but neither did anyone else by that point either.

    I hate to say this but Texas is almost too scary.... as are any of the D shaped ovals... but Texas seems the scariest. I suspect they will be a factor in the new car designs with the wheels less exposed. I also expect to see some of the old ovals make a return (Phoenix, Milwaukee, Loudon...)... maybe at the expense of a D shaped oval or two. Although that might have more to do with track promoters and not Indycar per se'.

    If they do lose any D shaped ovals I hope the Kentucky Speedway isn't one of them. It's a great place to see Indycars and an easy drive there.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    I thought the IRL carried their own safety teams.
    They do. And yes, I was sickened of what I saw happen during the attempt to rescue her from the car.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    I hate to say this but Texas is almost too scary.... as are any of the D shaped ovals... but Texas seems the scariest. I suspect they will be a factor in the new car designs with the wheels less exposed. I also expect to see some of the old ovals make a return (Phoenix, Milwaukee, Loudon...)... maybe at the expense of a D shaped oval or two. Although that might have more to do with track promoters and not Indycar per se'.

    If they do lose any D shaped ovals I hope the Kentucky Speedway isn't one of them. It's a great place to see Indycars and an easy drive there.
    I like the current configuration of these cars. I thought the best part of the race was the closeness between the drivers. Sure it gets scary when the wheels get close, but I think it helps the sport.

    I'm sorry, but if IRL chooses the Delta Wing concept I will NOT support IndyCar or any type of American open-wheel racing. The first over-head shot of those cars on the track will prove my point. That and they're not open-wheel.

    With that said, I thought this Texas race gave us the best racing we've seen all season. I sure hope they keep Texas in their future schedules.
    Last edited by duke dynamite; 06-07-2010 at 11:03 AM.

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    The Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series, issued the following statement today regarding the response to the oil fire in Simona de Silvestro's car during Saturday's race at Texas Motor Speedway:

    First and foremost, we make the safety of our competitors a priority when on the track. The primary hose on the series' safety truck malfunctioned, so the safety team had to go to the backup of the bottles. All equipment is checked prior to going on track before every race. We are examining why the hose malfunctioned to ensure this equipment failure will not happen again.

    Our Safety Team consists of approximately 24 highly-trained safety personnel with a minimum of 14 attending each event - 2 trauma physicians, 3 paramedics and 9 firefighters/EMTs. Team members have an average of 20 years of experience in their respective areas. The safety team is recognized for its high standards and high performance and this problem will be addressed.

    From Speed.com
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...nce-stephenson
    "But, first, let us now praise famous moments, because something happened Tuesday night in Indianapolis that you can watch a lifetime’s worth of professional basketball and never see again. There was a brief, and very decisive, and altogether unprecedented, outburst of genuine officiating, and it was directed at the best player in the world, and that, my dear young person, simply is not done."

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    I'm sorry, but if IRL chooses the Delta Wing concept I will NOT support IndyCar or any type of American open-wheel racing. The first over-head shot of those cars on the track will prove my point. That and they're not open-wheel.
    I hope the IRL does not choose any one chassis and I hope they at least consider grandfathering the existing chassis into the mix (with appropriate changes as needed) to ease the transition for lower budget teams.

    I've seen some artist renderings of the Delta Wing that painted it and stuck some decals on it and maybe made a couple of tweaks and it improved the look considerably over the gray/black model we normally see.

    I wonder about the idea of at least allowing the Delta Wings at Indy (for another chassis option) even if you don't allow them as normal IRL cars for the season.

    Innovation is part of the sport and throwing cold water on it in an attempt to lower costs has also lessened interest and taken money out of the sport.

    Yes the Delta Wing looks odd... but look at the history of the Indy 500... Many odd cars have made appearances thru the years. Some of those odd designs ended up morphing into the modern racers we see today. But the new rules utilizing the same chassis year after year (both in the series and at the Indy 500) don't lend itself to technology moving forward (or create storylines for the auto press to grab onto).

    Of course the quest for speed has been dampened as well. That's one of the reasons I think new designs will be protecting the wheels better. That may be a necessary trade off to get some speed back into IMS for quals plus make the D shaped high banks (like Texas) safer for drivers and fans. Not only do the totally open wheel designs create drag making the cars less efficient but they also create the scenario where we see cars getting launched into the air where driver/vehicle safety features lose their effectiveness AND it also endangers spectators.

    Qualifying speeds are one thing, race speeds another. Even though I think Indy needs cars knocking on new records in practice and quals I don't think they necessarily need those speeds for the race. So if they want to adjust the rules to allow for that disparity I'd be open-minded and listen.

    One thing lost in the talk of the Delta Wing is even if you don't like the design (look), the concept of having a baseline design that is free for anyone to use and build, tweak, etc is something that should be considered. It's a method of totally thinking outside the box and eliminates one of the things that is bound to happen if you allow multiple chassis that are made by a select few exclusive builders- the superior chassis will ultimately prevail as everyone will want the superior chassis... and the lack of innovation and freeze in the rules will eliminate the lower-tiered chassis maker(s) from making radical changes to improve their car to catch up (currently the rules lock the chassis makers into the same car for X amount of years so it's not like they could just create and offer a new chassis for the next season).

    You could maintain that same Delta Wing concept no matter what the baseline design looks like.

    I have a feeling ultimately the idea of the Delta Wing will prevail, although it might not look anything like the version we see today. But I suspect the radical difference in the looks of the current design will make it hard for TPTB to embrace because of fears fans won't embrace it. Bit that might change if they allow them as an Indy only chassis and someone brings one to the track and has a good month... errr couple of weeks with it.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    I can't say protect the wheels. It's a product of open-wheel racing to have them...open.

    However, this is the best design so far:


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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    One problem with the delta wing concept is the fact that it will not turn. No way that narrow front track can overpower the grip on those two big tires and make it go around a corner. Engineers designed it and say it will work, my experience says otherwise. Other than that, I love the concept of it!!!
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...nce-stephenson
    "But, first, let us now praise famous moments, because something happened Tuesday night in Indianapolis that you can watch a lifetime’s worth of professional basketball and never see again. There was a brief, and very decisive, and altogether unprecedented, outburst of genuine officiating, and it was directed at the best player in the world, and that, my dear young person, simply is not done."

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP63 View Post
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    One problem with the delta wing concept is the fact that it will not turn. No way that narrow front track can overpower the grip on those two big tires and make it go around a corner. Engineers designed it and say it will work, my experience says otherwise. Other than that, I love the concept of it!!!
    That's the question I've been having... How will it turn?

    I think it will require some heavy use of the accelerator to turn.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    I like the Swift Engineering proposal the best.

    The delta wing concept looks retarded.

    http://jalopnik.com/5466952/gallery-...osal/gallery/5

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    The 'look' of the Delta Wing isn't my favorite either... but that said... The prototype being painted that steel gray color with no signage doesn't help it look like a race car.

    I do think it looks (somewhat) better when you see it with a better paint scheme and sponsor logos.






    Or with a little tweaking and logos...


    Of course the other options are much more traditional looking:
    Lola-


    BAT-


    Dallara 2012-


    Swift-
    Last edited by Bball; 06-09-2010 at 12:17 AM.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    This has kind of morphed into an Indycar in general thread (which is fine) but something to add to the original post and point is this photo. In case there was any question of the seriousness of the incident and the need for a faster (read-more competent) response, then look at this photo of Simona's helmet-


    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    Indycar issued a statement saying that they had faulty hoses.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nascar/news;...ug=ap-testonly

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—The IndyCar Series has acknowledged that a malfunctioning hose complicated efforts by Texas Motor Speedway’s safety workers to extinguish the fire on Simona de Silvestro’s car Saturday night.

    De Silvestro was eventually pulled out of the car by the workers. The IndyCar rookie burned her right hand.

    On Monday, league officials issued a statement saying workers were forced to use backup bottles to put out the fire and that it would look into why the equipment did not work. All equipment, the statement says, is checked before each race.

    At least 14 of 24 safety members are required to attend IndyCar races. At least two trauma doctors, three paramedics and nine firefighters or EMTs must be work race day.

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    At this point though, I'm just glad they're gonna bring forced induction back.

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    That's the question I've been having... How will it turn?

    I think it will require some heavy use of the accelerator to turn.
    It won't...It'll push like a dump truck. Engineers and engineering is fine, but only if they've ever put their head outside into the sunshine
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...nce-stephenson
    "But, first, let us now praise famous moments, because something happened Tuesday night in Indianapolis that you can watch a lifetime’s worth of professional basketball and never see again. There was a brief, and very decisive, and altogether unprecedented, outburst of genuine officiating, and it was directed at the best player in the world, and that, my dear young person, simply is not done."

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    Indycar issued a statement saying that they had faulty hoses.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nascar/news;...ug=ap-testonly
    Faulty hoses might've added to the problem but their response was all wrong and muddled and confused from the beginning. I think it's just been so long since this kind of situation has occurred that they just weren't properly prepared for the initial situation... let alone for an equipment failure.

    It looked like duties were not properly delegated to begin with and it just went downhill from there. I think at least two of the responders should've went immediately to the car and one or both of them should've had fire extinguishers. The other two could've handled the hose.
    Last edited by Bball; 06-09-2010 at 12:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    You might well be correct. Inactivity breeds complacency. I'd wager that this situation will be corrected very promptly. The fact that she couldn't get the head surround out is a little distressing. I used to drill our drivers to make sure they could get the pins out and how to pull it and toss it over the nose.
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...nce-stephenson
    "But, first, let us now praise famous moments, because something happened Tuesday night in Indianapolis that you can watch a lifetime’s worth of professional basketball and never see again. There was a brief, and very decisive, and altogether unprecedented, outburst of genuine officiating, and it was directed at the best player in the world, and that, my dear young person, simply is not done."

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP63 View Post
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    You might well be correct. Inactivity breeds complacency. I'd wager that this situation will be corrected very promptly. The fact that she couldn't get the head surround out is a little distressing. I used to drill our drivers to make sure they could get the pins out and how to pull it and toss it over the nose.
    If you look closely at the video of the accident I posted you never see the 2nd hose ever being used either. What LOOKS like the 2nd hose spraying is actually the 2nd fire extinguisher. It makes me wonder if the 2nd hose was ever operational either. And why the delay with it (assuming it did finally operate off camera)?

    Regardless if it's equipment failure, operator error, or both I have every confidence that this situation is already corrected for the next time. ....and I bet redundancy will be part of the equation to make a malfunctioning hose a small blip in the rescue and not turn it into a black eye for the sport.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    The Delta Wing car looks like a land speed record car, not a race car. All of the other choices look better than that one, in my opinion.

    I find the general concept that the cars have to be "safer" going against the whole sport. Why do they have to be safer when the driver knows going in what the dangers are? That is why they are special. They can put away the worry of getting hurt and do amazing things with those cars at those speeds. I'm not advicating being reckless and not caring about their welfar, but are we getting to wimpy these days? Open wheeled racing, be it sprint cars to F1 is special just because of that. If a driver doesn't want that challenge then go get in a stock car.

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    Safer is a relative concept. It is safer in the aspect that the cars are more able to shed energy during impact than they were before, but they are not and never will be "safe".
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...nce-stephenson
    "But, first, let us now praise famous moments, because something happened Tuesday night in Indianapolis that you can watch a lifetime’s worth of professional basketball and never see again. There was a brief, and very decisive, and altogether unprecedented, outburst of genuine officiating, and it was directed at the best player in the world, and that, my dear young person, simply is not done."

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    I agree with that. I just don't get the need to cover up the open wheels. That is what makes the cars more dangerous and more challenging to drive.

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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    Quote Originally Posted by SycamoreKen View Post
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    I agree with that. I just don't get the need to cover up the open wheels. That is what makes the cars more dangerous and more challenging to drive.

    I think maybe what I am saying is getting lost in the translation.

    I do believe Indycar, especially at the Indy 500 time trials, needs to be pushing the boundaries of speed. OTOH They can't make the cars rolling coffins so safety has to be a factor but they can't just tweak the rules and use stale technology to keep the cars in the same speed range year after year after year. Let alone throw curveballs in to slow them or maintain speed year after year. That dilutes the imagination of the public. ...And Indy is not just about the race. In fact, if Indy is about the race alone then we see it loses a lot of what has made it compelling over the years.

    Then factor in the 'exciting' races at Texas, Chicagoland, etc. D shaped, high-banked, cookie cutter ovals. Yes they are exciting. Part of that excitement is the potential for a close finish. Part of that excitement is seeing drivers driving on the edge of disaster.

    Chris Economaki once said people don't go to the races to see death, they go to the racers to see drivers cheat death.

    I agree with that. But they don't go to the races to see a car go flying into the stands either. The closeness of the racing, especially on the D shaped ovals with open wheel racers isn't exactly the safest for spectators. So you have a double-edged sword- With the potential of an accident getting out of control where the car's safety features are tested outside their design parameters AND the track safety features (for fans) are as well.

    These type of flying car accidents are too unpredictable to cover all the safety bases.

    Nobody is clamoring for fenders, but protecting the wheels against the type of wheel to wheel contact that sends a car flying shouldn't be out of the question.

    I want to see Indycars at Indy going faster again... at least in qualifying trim. If this change makes that again feasible then I am all for it. I'm less concerned about more speed for the D shaped ovals. There it's just a matter of the potential for disaster with the close racing that the cars and track types gives us.

    I also like the excitement of the D shaped tracks but I realize if Indycar ever puts a car thru the fence (or over it) the game is over. While it can happen at Indy (see Renna accident or even Conway's accident) the D-shaped tracks are a place where we might just be awaiting the inevitable if we don't do something to control it soon. Those tracks breed the situations where flying cars are extra likely.

    As I've already said, once you have a car in the air all bets are off on predictions or expectations of what can happen in that wreck. The absolute randomness of it puts you at the mercy of safety features that just weren't designed with this type of accident in mind.

    I think a design can be done in a way that doesn't radically alter the look of the cars the way the Delta Wing is doing.

    Also, if we're truly into the sport being about the technology of speed, having those big exposed tires and wheels is actually a major source of drag (wind resistance) on the cars. So it isn't helping them go faster or use fuel more efficiently either.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."

    -John Wooden

  28. #25
    A happy Roy is a good Roy DaveP63's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix it Indycar!

    Many good points there. One thing that I have been pondering about qualifying is using a different engine map on the ECU to allow more power for qualifying and then cutting it back for the race. That would allow faster qualifying times, but keep them more under control for the race itself. There are ways to minimize wheel exposure for open wheel cars, but even with them "covered" as it shows in some of the proposals, the construction of the wings, endplates and sidepods will still allow them to collapse under impact and expose the wheels. It just keeps that extra 10-12 inches of tire out of the immediate "here, trip over me" zone.
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...nce-stephenson
    "But, first, let us now praise famous moments, because something happened Tuesday night in Indianapolis that you can watch a lifetime’s worth of professional basketball and never see again. There was a brief, and very decisive, and altogether unprecedented, outburst of genuine officiating, and it was directed at the best player in the world, and that, my dear young person, simply is not done."

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