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      05-15-2021, 05:44 PM   #1
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Professional Motorsport Race Track Safety

Open for discussion, dialogue and opinion regarding professional motorsport race track safety....

Specifically, Indianapolis Motor Speedway....the 2.5 mile oval has 4 identical turns banked at 9.2 degrees....today's Indy Car reaches terminal velocity of 230 + MPH....and if a mistake or a mechanical condition occurs, the car slides up the banked turn and is stopped by a....CONCRETE WALL.

In today's ultra-heightened awareness of safety, this is archaic.

Would the FIA allow this condition?

Please post your thoughts and observations.
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      05-15-2021, 06:01 PM   #2
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I'd love to see F1 do the oval at Indy. Yes, it's archaic and TOO dangerous! We almost lost GRO last year but more deaths on 230mph+ ovals seems almost inevitable. I worry much less about F1 drivers but unfortunately we will probably see more. And to think at one time I was so against the Halo. I don't even notice it anymore.

Indy doesn't come to Charlotte's mile and a half oval anymore for that very reason. That and too many rednecks don't get open wheel racing for some reason.
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      05-15-2021, 06:04 PM   #3
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I agree.

But for Ovals are there any better options ? Are tires better or worse?
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      05-15-2021, 06:07 PM   #4
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Well said -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killed by Death View Post
I'd love to see F1 do the oval at Indy. Yes, it's archaic and TOO dangerous! We almost lost GRO last year but more deaths on 230mph+ ovals seems almost inevitable. I worry much less about F1 drivers but unfortunately we will probably see more. And to think at one time I was so against the Halo. I don't even notice it anymore.

Indy doesn't come to Charlotte's mile and a half oval anymore for that very reason. That and too many rednecks don't get open wheel racing for some reason.
Archaic it is.
To your knowledge, has any sanctioning body or anyone challenged the fact that a CONCRETE WALL awaits Indy oval participants....its crazy risk and dangerous in an open wheel race car....and not that much safer in categories like NASCAR, as these cars are much more rigid and transmit so much more G's to the driver.
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      05-15-2021, 06:14 PM   #5
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Thank you -

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdott View Post
I agree.

But for Ovals are there any better options ? Are tires better or worse?
Like any track that faces the massive expense to create Armco crash barriers, re-design a section of the track to either slow or re-direct the car away from a known danger....

Indy could and should do the same.
I suggest the concrete wall is removed entirely and to prevent decreasing the actual width of the turns, the latest in energy absorbing crash barriers are installed which may require altering the spectator seating (perhaps take out a row or two of seats and add them back in somewhere else as to not affect revenue)....and then relocate the catch fence that keeps the cars and debris out of the spectator areas.
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      05-15-2021, 07:37 PM   #6
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As far as I know, there is already an absorbent barrier system in place on the outside of the turns at Indy… And there has been for some years now… You can see it in countless pictures…
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      05-15-2021, 07:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
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As far as I know, there is an absorbent barrier system in place on the outside of the turns at Indy… You can see it in countless pictures…
here's one.....
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      05-15-2021, 07:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poiseuille View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveA View Post
As far as I know, there is an absorbent barrier system in place on the outside of the turns at Indy… You can see it in countless pictures…
here's one.....
I don't think that is Indy, though…

This is… in 2014, I believe..

https://espnpressroom.com/us/files/2...5_PE2_0816.jpg
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      05-15-2021, 07:52 PM   #9
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right, that was nascar. this is better==>
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      05-15-2021, 08:17 PM   #10
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Outside wall at Indy is SAFER barrier.
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      05-15-2021, 09:07 PM   #11
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Thank you - it looks much safer; what are your thoughts?
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      05-15-2021, 09:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racerbruce View Post
Thank you - it looks much safer; what are your thoughts?
It's crazy !
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      05-15-2021, 10:40 PM   #13
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i believe the main risk is not the walls outside line of the tracks.. tracks inner walls also designed to decrease the maximum angle of such a crashes.. main danger for drivers are flying debris and more importantly hitting a stationary or a much slower car.. high G impacts are inevitable at such situations..

barriers clearly designed to absorb and stay in one piece in such crashes.. not that long ago even barriers were failing.. but not anymore.. debris (Justin Wilson) and high speed difference crashes (Alex Zanardi) is much more lethal than the wall impacts..

back in the day at Indianapolis problem in F1 was caused by Michelin more likely.. tires werent ready for such loads or being pushed to limit repetitively.. which Michelin admitted short after Ralf Schumacher crash already..
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      05-15-2021, 11:23 PM   #14
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To begin with racing cars at high speed is intrinsically unsafe. Next throw in corners and then add more competitors. No one in there right minds would think that this could be 100 % safe, 100% of the time. History has shown that the speeds have gone up and the injuries and the deaths have been reduced although not eliminated. Injuries and deaths will never be eliminated but the drivers will consider the risks versus rewards and continue doing a sport ( business ) that they must love in order to risk their lives. Not just once or twice but continually throughout their careers. Hopefully racing will continue to learn from past accidents and racing will be even safer in the future.
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      05-16-2021, 10:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yco View Post
back in the day at Indianapolis problem in F1 was caused by Michelin more likely.. tires werent ready for such loads or being pushed to limit repetitively.. which Michelin admitted short after Ralf Schumacher crash already..
^This...Also...let's remember that Formula 1 held the USGP at Indy from 2000 to 2007. Running in reverse direction, the course included turn 1 and the main straight of the oval. The walls had the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction Barrier) barrier.
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      05-16-2021, 01:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3798j View Post
^This...Also...let's remember that Formula 1 held the USGP at Indy from 2000 to 2007. Running in reverse direction, the course included turn 1 and the main straight of the oval. The walls had the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction Barrier) barrier.
Thank you to all who shared the SAFER wall system at Indy - I was unaware and am grateful this community knew of this wall system and enlightened me.
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      05-17-2021, 08:18 PM   #17
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Romain was the last high profile violent crash and that was a barrier on the inside of the track, well away from the edge. That crash shook the racing world from top to bottom.

Indy’s layout is like a street circuit, walls lining the whole thing. The speeds are at the very top of the heap. It’s reasonable to consider inertial effects under hose circumstances. But at the end of the day the fact is that at any moment the cars can become pinballs careening off bumpers. Trajectories are at the whim of physics. Racing is dangerous.
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