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others see the need for change?
We can use the 20-20 hindsight
we’ve gained following the
catastrophe at Las Vegas Motor
Marc Lewis Santa Monica, Calif.
Will the new car be better?
Speedway. Talladega-style packs
with IndyCars are not going to work.
We cannot expect drivers not to
charge and forever avoid mistakes.
The death of Dan Wheldon at Las
Vegas Motor Speedway puts a tragic
exclamation mark on the end of
what was the Indy Racing League.
The ensuing wreck looked like the
meeting of Tomahawk missiles.
If we are going to have 34 cars,
we need flat turns or a natural road
course or fenders.
Mark Lamontia Landenberg, Pa.
Focus on the barriers
After watching the Las Vegas race
and witnessing Dan leaving us, I
couldn’t hold my tongue any
longer. We keep focusing on the
Tony George developed the series to
run on ovals of various lengths,
some tracks better suited to this
type of racing than others. The one
glaring fact about the series is the
number of drivers hurt. Some have
always questioned the safety of the
chassis used in the series. There
seemed to be a disproportionate
“safety” of the cars, which is great.
However, with the technology we
have now, we have done very little
in regard to the tracks they race at.
First, the SAFER barrier. Yes, it
has saved lives, but it is a cheap
solution to a problem that still exists
– G-forces. If there was a safe
barrier, it would be composed of very
long coil springs/shock absorbers
just like the cars. And I think
everyone in racing knows a bit about
that. Also, the barrier must be a bit
taller and very little possibility of it
completely “bottoming out.” This
will also prevent it from needing
repairs if the impact is so great. This
means removing the old walls so the
tracks retain their size, and creating
a wall that will move many feet,
even yards if necessary.
amount of injuries with
Second, the catch fence. We need
to come up with a better solution.
It’s not a budget issue; how far out of
budget is a smooth plexiglass wall
that gives when hit, and allows a car
to slide down and o; it instead of
being ground to shreds? We use
composite materials that are very
strong – why can’t we use something
see-through and durable?
I hope that the new Dallara
chassis will be as safe as the
IndyCar people say it is. I have had
a number of occasions to see the
new car up close and my concerns
are the extensions behind the rear
wheels and how much of the
driver’s head is exposed.
We have the brain power and
technology, but still continue to
live in an era of old. When will
The square boxes behind the rear
wheels are open for airflow. One
has to question what e;ect that
will have if a car spins 180 degrees
at speed and catches air in the box
that has a downward slope from
front to back. Will this cause lift
and get the car airborne? As for
driver height in the cockpit, from
the pictures I have viewed, the
driver’s head is too exposed and
should be lower in the vehicle.