Dario Franchitti's accident at Houston

Kewee

Race Winner
Dario's just had a huge accident in the latest IRL race at Houston. Fractured vertebrate, fractured ankle and concussion. Very very lucky to still be here. The worst type of accident for an IRL single seater, airborne into the catch-fencing. Wreckage everywhere. :(
 
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The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Once again, this article shows that half the circuits the IRL/Indycar series races on are not fit for purpose! Narrow circuits with concrete walls and wire catch fencing is not what is needed in a professional racing series. I am amazed that Franchitti wasn't more seriously injured than fractures to back and legs!
 

Kewee

Race Winner
Still no where near as dangerous as the ovals though. The American approach to racing is very different than the European. They take the sport to the spectators and allow them to be much closer to the action both during the races and the build up in the days leading to race weekend. Unlike Formula 1 the technology is highly regulated to create an even playing field and the drivers are the heroes. It works, fans can actually meet their favorite drivers, talk to them, get their autographs etc, often at shopping complexes the day before the race. Formula 1 is way to full of its own importance to allow fans to get that close to the drivers. Danger will always be a part of American motorsport, it will never become sanitized and that is part of the attraction, for the drivers and the fans. It used to be like that in Europe once. I'm not saying I agree with the American way but I do understand their reasoning.
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
Narrow circuits with concrete walls and wire catch fencing is not what is needed in a professional racing series.

The race was held in parking lot. Not much difference from the old Caesar's Palace GP. Concrete and catch fencing were the only things that kept spectators alive. Whether they should be racing at such venues is a different argument though.

Not exactly shocking that Sato was involved though, huh?
 

GermanF1

Race Winner
Contributor
KekeTheKing But you can't really blame him. He just skidded on the slippery marbles. It happened a lot in that race. Just a racing incident I would say...F1 stewarts would probably ban Sato for life these days!
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
The incident was made worse by the circuit. If that had happened at a conventional circuit the car would have just spun off into the gravel and come to a stop at a lower speed, the proximity of the fence did the damage but if there had been no fence it could have been a really horrendous accident. Wrong type of circuit for this kind of racing.

Why are they racing at Houston anyway? Haven't they seen the brand new circuit not too far away at Austin?
 
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MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
It's really not what the series needs at the moment, they're losing the title sponsors and it's only two years since Wheldon's crash at Las Vegas
 

Dario Resta

Podium Finisher
A nasty incident that could have ended much worse. I thought those ridiculous structures behind the rear wheels were there to prevent that kind of accident?

They don't work.

Bits of the fence went a hell of a long way as well!
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
Too similar to Dan Wheldon's crash for my liking. Even with their shrouded wheels open wheeled race cars outgrew that type of circuit a long, long time ago.

Best wishes and hopes of a swift recovery to Dario.
 

Kewee

Race Winner
It's really not what the series needs at the moment, they're losing the title sponsors and it's only two years since Wheldon's crash at Las Vegas
Accidents like these have no impact on the number of spectators that attend, if anything the crowds grow larger, sad but true. There is only so much money to go around, especially during the current economic climate and NASCAR gets the lions share by far and always will. Single seaters can't compete with 40 or so mobile billboards and never will be able to in the US.
 

Kewee

Race Winner
Why are they racing at Houston anyway? Haven't they seen the brand new circuit not too far away at Austin?
IRL will never race at a circuit that it would have to share with F1. Formula One is technology driven and far quicker than Indy Cars. As I said in a previous posting, IRL is heavily regulated with much thought given to the ovals, to run on the same circuit as F1 would expose themselves to belittlement which would be very unfair. Keep in mind an F1 car wouldn't survive and be competitive Indy any more than an Indy car could be competitive alongside an F1 car at Austin.
 

ZakspeedYakspeed

NeverUnderestimateThePredictabilityOfStupidity
Premium Contributor
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjXMWgYpGEI

Look for the guy with the cap on... around 18-20 seconds in raising his arm as the accident unfolds ... he is my boss ... was at the race with his son standing next to him looking kinda towards the camera ... I was planning on going to the race, however was wiped out from the work week ... otherwise I would likely have been standing next to them just avoiding catching carbon shards with my teeth ...
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
It doesn't matter which series is faster. The Indy organisers are putting drivers, track officials and fans at risk by using outdated temporary circuits built in car parks. Multiple race series use the same tracks all over the world. There is no excuse for racing at Houston now there is a circuit at Austin.
 

Kewee

Race Winner
F1Yorkshire ...... I wasn't putting up an argument against what your saying Yorkshire, your quite right but what I say will stay true. F1 and IRL will never share the same circuit simply because it would show the superiority of F1's technology and speed. IRL is Americas premium single seater class, the last thing they want is to create a comparison that would make it appear second best.
 

Kewee

Race Winner
A nasty incident that could have ended much worse. I thought those ridiculous structures behind the rear wheels were there to prevent that kind of accident?

They don't work.

Bits of the fence went a hell of a long way as well!
Those 'ridiculous structures' you refer to do work, nothing can be 100% though. It's widely believed that the new chassis named after Dan Weldon, due to the work he did developing it prior to his death, probably played a major role in saving Franchitti's life. It's unfortunate to read silly statements backed by no knowledge. IRL always learn from their tragedies and will continue to do so.
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
It really is not on referring to a perfectly valid question as a "silly statement backed up by no knowledge". Unfortunately the structures clearly didn't work and yes they were designed in the hope of preventing exactly the type of launch that put Dario up into the catch fence.

It is actually common knowledge that following the Wheldon accident, Dallara redesigned their IRL chassis and that the redesign was intended to minimise the chances of that kind of accident. Dallara went so far as to designate the new car as the DW11 in Wheldon's honour. The rear bumber, nerf bar and the bodywork shaped to shroud the wheels were designed to "reduce" (Dallara's term) the type of wheel interlocking and contact such as that suffered by Wheldon.
 
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